Wednesday, September 5, 2007

J is for Jelly Beans and Jeanette

Bear with me. This will be a little different than the other A-Z posts, but if you follow along, I promise to tie it up nicely.

Twenty years ago (oh my God, it really was 20 years ago!) I worked at a restaurant called the HeartThrob Cafe & Philadelphia Bandstand. I was a Soda Jerk, and it was a great time. I always joked that I was a bartender with ice cream. One of the waitresses was named Jeanette. She was a great person, and we became friends. Actually, her best friend was my future (now ex) wife, and Jeanette's future (now ex) husband was also a good friend of mine. Regardless of our outside attachments, I always enjoyed Jeanette's company because she was such a joyful person.

Back to the point...

At Christmas time, we had a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. Unbeknown to me, Jeanette had drawn my name. Well, since I was dating her best friend, Jeanette had a pretty good insight into things I might like. There was a five dollar limit on the presents, and Jeanette went to Cub Foods and got five pounds of bulk jelly beans (they were 99 cents a pound there). She even picked out all of the black ones (knowing I didn't like those). Keep in mind that while I have always been an aficionado of jelly beans, I haven't really been a fan of "high-end" jelly beans like Jelly Bellys. I actually REALLY liked the bulk, cheap jelly beans.

Five pounds of jelly beans makes for a pretty big bag. And, it was a pretty big bag of jelly beans that I enjoyed for quite a while.

Now, let me tie this up into a nice little package and relate it to real estate.

One of my buyers was greeted upon walking into their new home with a bottle of champaign left by the sellers. In both of these cases, a very simple gesture by another can leave a long lasting impact. We as agents can do simple things that will help cement our relationships with our clients. A pizza on moving day, a bottle of champaign, or a bag of jelly beans might be the hot ticket to make a client feel like a friend as well as a client.

Think about it. Twenty years ago, a friend gave me $5 worth of jelly beans. While the jelly beans are long gone, that simple gesture lives on, and Jeanette will always be considered a friend. She didn't "buy" my friendship with those jelly beans, just like we can't "buy" the friendship of our clients with a simple gift (or any gift!). Those jelly beans were only a gesture. They were symbolic of the friendship we had already built. Just like, if we wish to make a lasting impact, the gestures we might make will be symbolic of the relationships we have already built with our clients.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lane! OK - I might be thoughtful at times, but apparently my memory ain't that good. I remember that you like cheap jelly beans (EXCEPT BLACK - YUCK), but I barely remember buying them for you. It is nice to know that the gift had such a lasting affect, though. When I think of you and junk food, I think of the time you ate an entire box of Bugles...which I suspect was the LAST time you ate Bugles. Anyway, thanks for immortalizing me on your blog. - Jeanette

Lane Bailey said...

You might be right that I haven't eaten any bugles since then... I don't recall the last time I had them... but I don't remember eating a box of them.

I didn't immortalize you, I just related a simple story.

Thanks for stopping by. I was hoping you would.