“Pull up a chair. Take a Taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” – Ruth Reichl, American chef, food writer and editor at the LA Times and NY Times.

Think about the last time you tried a completely new-to-you food. I’m betting you started with a bite.

Why a bite? Likely because you weren’t quite sure if you were going to like it. Or if you might have a bad reaction of some kind to it. You pretty much were not willing to go all in on something that you weren’t familiar with. Especially if this was at a place outside your usual eating locations – not at home, not at your favorite restaurants or bakeries or cafes.

If someone you knew well, and you’d eaten their concoctions before, had cooked you a dish, you would be far more likely to dive in.

A bite is a good way to test whether you like something or it satisfies your need or desire.

What about when you buy a car or truck? You probably take it for a test drive. Why? To understand if the vehicle performs in the way you’re looking for.

When buying a car or truck, a lot of people will also try to rent one for a day or more. To see how it drives and feels over the course of more than just a few minutes. Or maybe the car dealer is willing to let you have the car for a few hours. This is more than a bite – this is a cupcake. You’re getting the full experience but in a small dose. A bite only gives you a taste – but before we go all in, we’re likely to want a step in between a bite and the whole thing.

So now we have a bite, then a cupcake, and then maybe a purchase if those experiences are positive.

Generally speaking, people are reticent to buy without trying something out. Only if they have a fair amount of positive experience already with the person, business, or brand. Building trust plays a role in people needing small experiences before buying into something, as well as developing a greater understanding of what they’ll get.

And yet…and yet… all the time we make the mistake of asking people to buy something without offering some easy path to try it out: a bite, a cupcake, and then a possible purchase. Bakeries are good at offering bites and cupcakes – at least a few of them are. Especially for big event purchases.

The challenge is to come up with a bite and cupcake that give people a real taste of what makes your offering, your business, and you special: your CAKE. That core piece of what sets you apart and creates the AHA experience when people ‘get’ it – from a bite, then a cupcake.

Some businesses offer downloads or small products or free workshops to help people start to feel trust and also experience the core value. Many times these entry offers, bites or cupcakes, miss the mark. They’ve become a way to get people to open their wallet rather than build trust and create a core experience. When you think of a cupcake, you have a complete experience – it’s just smaller. It’s not a half-built kind of a thing – it exists all by itself and offers useful and enjoyable value. That’s what we’re going for here. A taste and a cupcake that bring people delight and make them want more from you.

Discovering your bite and cupcake takes time, experimentation, deeper thinking about what really lights your customers up. Turns out, it’s hard work. We focus on that as the core to building customer relationships in our Lens 5: Path to Customer Relationship. That’s a key part of helping our community members accelerate their success building the business they love. I invite you to learn more about the Inspired Success Community and our Lenses for Wise Action.

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