The last I traveled was in Feb 2020 before covid was announced to be a pandemic and the nation-wide lockdown imposed. In the midst an important life event happened: marriage. But thanks to covid scare, it took us nearly eleven months after the last travel to venture out. Traveling on year-end when half of the country was in Goa was a stunt we did not want to make.
Over eight days of travel in the Himalayas, I had one important realization:
In Shimla after a day of activities in the mountain (especially that scary horse-riding down the mountain!), we were strolling the local market hungry and on the lookout for a good dining place. Two restaurants stood out – both small – both adjacent and both having the same set-up as was the case with all local restaurants. But for some reason one restaurant had all seats filled and the other one had free seats available.
It took me under two minutes to decipher the secret by just standing at the busier restaurant. This is what was happening. The cook there engaged the audience in rhymes and jokes while the seats were emptying for the queue. For example, a guy who was paying for his meal through GooglePay, the chef-cum-owner jokes: “Please send in the cash-back cheque to me that you will receive thanks to eating at my place!” Everyone laughs. And on and on he goes.
The other restaurant had transactions happening: need a seat? Wait. Silence in the queue.
Here the owner was engaging the audience. It was more than just a transaction and therein lies the secret.
Question time! So what was being sold? Food?? Nope! That literally is the byproduct. He was selling you entertainment. I stood in queue hungry for the entertainment first! Food became my second priority!
The cook here was an above average cook who clearly saw the compounding returns in engaging his audience. The guy paying via GooglePay turned out to be a part-time food blogger who took his pic and promised to write about his experience!
In Manali, we were outdoors and had a lot of adventurous activities planned out. The foot of the mountain was teeming with tourists. But one look above and you notice there were a few trekkers who climbed up the mountain a lil and had the entire view for themselves. One look a lil down and you notice there were a few folks who ventured farther down the flowing stream and had the entire view for themselves.
All it takes is you to be just above average.
In Jammu, my wife fell sick and I urgently needed to know a medical shop around my hotel. The hotel did not have the medicines we needed. I call my driver who has been doing these tours for over 6 years and has been to this hotel numerous times to inquire the nearest pharma store. He has no idea. So I ask another driver and he shows me one at the corner just 200m from the hotel.
Lesson? My driver was average driver who focused on driving and nothing else. Good for him. But the other driver traveling from Punjab knew the pharmacies around and it came in handy and he stood out. He was above average.
On another instance I asked my driver about a specific destination he insisted we go. He had no idea of the history of the place but just what exists. If only he narrated the history of the place – he would have been practically selling me more miles on his car coz now am sold on the history of a place he just narrated and want to go no matter what! See? Average vs Above Avg.? It’s all around us and impacts us all.
Take for instance your product helps auto-capture country data for prospects filling the form page on your website.
Transaction-sale: We help fill the country data automatically whenever a prospect is filling a form on your page! Schedule a demo sometime this week?
How many prospects do you see come from form pages today? 150? So country data is asked for 54K times a year on your webpage today and given your YoY growth, we are looking at 70K times this year alone. What if we saved your prospects this click and reduce the friction between the sign-up and your sale? All you ask is name and email and we find where are they signing up from! That means quicker assignment to right sales rep, that means quicker engagement and quicker qualification. We are literally affecting your engagement metrics. It’s not us telling but Harvard Business Review: leads responded to in under 5mins are 100x more likely to connect! Magic right! We call this magic “<Product Name>!” How about a demo in the next 48 hours? 🙂
What above average skill in your experience has compounding returns?
2 thoughts on “Eight Days in the Mountains, One Paraglide, Two Zip Linings and almost a fracture later”
Great post and realizations.
Later I realized, I came for 1 and it had 3.
Hahaha 😀 Life is short, make it large. Come for 1. Take home 3 😀