The Element of Surprise
March 22, 2011
"I can honestly say that every gift I've ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I've given it to." It was a statement from Oprah Winfrey after giving more than 300 audience members $1,000 debit cards to donate to charitable causes during one of her shows a couple of years back.
Oprah became famous for her giveaways, which have included giving members of her audience new cars, paying off debts, and fulfilling some of the wildest dreams. Oprah understands the power that happens when you use an element of surprise, and has used it effectively to create buzz for her show year after year. It also helped her stay at the top of the daytime talk ratings consistently since it debuted in 1986.
Just think of the times when something great happened to you that was unexpected; it made you feel good.
When you surprise someone, the power shifts to you ... and your friends, family and customers will not only remember it, but tell everyone they know about it. It makes an impact.
People will normally do exactly what is expected of them; no more, no less, but the opportunity to go above and beyond is there for everyone. Just think about something you can do today to surprise someone. It doesn't have to be a big thing, such as giving away a car or free cash. It could start small with ideas that help provide additional services, being helpful, or just posting, tweeting or writing to say "thanks or "how is your day?"
In the social world, one of the biggest surprises happens with a simple reply. No one really expects a person to answer them, but when you do, it's something that will remembered.
Here's a couple of additional ideas to use for yourself, or share with your team to surprise someone today.
- Have your sales team purchase the names on their contact list. Build a simple landing page with ideas and packages customized to that specific client. Then, simply send them an e-mail that says, "When you have a free moment today, Google your name for something just for you." It will be a nice surprise when they discover their name and the special link. It's also the type of social currency that will continue to elevate your status with them.
- Go to squidoo.com and sign up for an account. The site is very user-friendly and allows you to build a lens (web page) on something you are passionate about or have an expertise on, and you can have multiple lenses under one account. Build a lens for your clients, or whoever you are trying to surprise. Once you have the lens built just for them including picture links, favorite things, information directed solely to them and so on, e-mail them the link and have them check it out.
These ideas will not only surprise (if you do it right), but they will be forwarded to friends, family and co-workers to check out, too. You may not be Oprah, but you can use the element of surprise and have it work for you. When you do, people will tune in more just to find out what you will do next.