How to get your customers to love you so much that they buy you pizza.

Cole Schafer
Dec 11, 2019 · 2 min read

Customers like to ask for favors. And, if you’re a good brand that cares a ton about your customers, you do these favors no questions asked.

However, some favors that customers ask for can be big and hairy and audacious and wildly challenging (and dare I say annoying).

And, in these cases, you can do one of three things…

You can no, respectfully, of course…

You can say yes and paint a fake smile on your face (not unlike the one you give the cousin you not-so-secretly despise at Thanksgiving)…

Or… you can ask them to buy you pizza.

When Derek Sivers ran CD Baby, the largest distributor of independent music in the world, he found himself in a bit of a pickle.

On a handful of occasions, after he and his team had spent 45-minutes working on adding a new album to their online store, the musician would change his or her mind on the album cover or the audio clip and would ask for a favor…

While Sivers always wanted to say yes to these favors, starting over on a 45-minute process was a royal pain in the ass and cost money (his employees weren’t working for free, after all).

So, rather than say “yes” with a fake smile or “no”, he came up with a customer service policy that made everybody smile…

“We’ll do anything for a pizza”.

Anytime a customer needed a special favor, The CD Baby team would tell them “We’ll do anything for a pizza” and they’d give them the number to their local pizzeria.

Not only would CD Baby get free lunch but their customers got a real kick out of the cheesy request. So much so, that customers would tell Sivers years later that this was the moment they fell in love with the CD Baby brand.

Cheese or Pepperoni?

Perhaps, next time you have a rather high-maintenance customer asking for a favor… do it and ask them to buy you lunch.

By Cole Schafer.

Stranger than fiction by Honey Copy is a curation of stories about bat shit crazy marketing ideas that have made brands some serious cheddar. If this story made your mouth water, why not let me tell you when I write the next one?

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Cole Schafer

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I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

Cole Schafer

Written by

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

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