Two for a Quarter

When I was growing up there was an awesome bakery not far from our house. I swear to this day I can still smell the incredible aroma of all the fresh baked goods. There were donuts, cakes of all kinds, breads, and brownies. Brownies! I love brownies and my addiction started at that little neighborhood bakery. 


They were big brownies with frosting on top. I’d bet a brownie like that would be a couple of bucks these days. But back then they were only 10 cents and better yet, you could get two for a quarter. 


And that began at a very young age my introduction to marketing. 


I remember trying to take advantage of that “special” pricing but the wife half of the husband and wife team who owned the bakery said I was such an important customer that I could have both brownies for a dime. I was very proud of that!


As I grew older (and wiser) I became aware of exactly how “un-special” that two for a quarter deal was. But I also became aware of how little attention was paid to the real cost of “deals” offered by businesses to their customers. 


I saw lots of people take the two for a quarter special without stopping for even a second to consider the value of this so called deal. They might have figured it out eventually, I’d imagine most of them did. Some might have gotten mad about it but I’m hoping most laughed, especially at themselves. 


The bakery was around for many years and the “special pricing” was well known by the locals in the neighborhood. But every now and then you would see an unsuspecting outsider walk in and more times than not they “bit” on the two for a quarter deal. 


What I still find interesting was when the price of the brownies went up to fifteen cents the “deal” became two for thirty-five cents. Virtually no one took the deal. Every customer instinctively knew that 35 was more than 30. Apparently something in our brains makes us think that one quarter is worth less than two dimes. 


Today many people are still fooled by pricing schemes meant to hide the lack of value in a product. My Grandfather used to always say that price without quality is waste. That’s as true today as it was back then.


There is a reason some things cost more than other things that seem to be the same. That reason is most often the quality that’s included in the things that cost more. 


Most everyone has been fooled by a low price or a “good deal” from time to time. That happens to me when I focus too much on the purchase price of the product and not the value, hopefully long-term value, I’ll receive in return. 


If you’re in the buying mode make sure to consider whether or not two for a quarter is indeed a better deal than 20 cents. That old saying is still true today….if it seems too good to be true, it most likely isn’t true. Make sure you look past the price to determine if the value you’ll receive over the life of whatever you’re buying is really a deal or not.


If you’re in a selling mode make sure to explain the value of what you’re selling in a way that even people looking for the best price can see the real cost of what they are buying. If you’re a professional salesperson then you owe that to your customer.

One old beat up well worn quarter is still worth more than two brand new shiny dimes. Don’t get fooled into believing otherwise. 

Are You an Added Value?

Do you add value to your employer or organization? I ask because if you’re not adding value then exactly what are you adding?

Generally speaking, very generally speaking, companies have two types of employees, those who they think of in terms of “why should we keep them,” and those they think of in terms of “how can we keep them.”

It’s never good to be in that first group. Always looking for ways to be more valuable to your company is a great way to ensure you’re in the second group.

But what exactly is this “value” thing anyway. Well the answer to that is, it depends. I know that “it depends” is a really weak answer but the fact is, it depends. Value is determined by the person or group receiving it. What that means is if you want to be certain that you’re adding value you’re going to have to ask. 

If you’ve never sat down with your manager or leader and asked what you can do to add more value to your company or organization then you ought to consider doing that soon. It’s a worthwhile discussion and you’ll very likely learn something that will surprise you.

Without that specific information you’re left to guess at what adding value looks like. That said, here are a few pretty good guesses:

Lighten your leaders load. Whenever you have the opportunity, take something off your boss’s plate. If you can help them get more done then do it but never at the expense of your own responsibilities. Failure to do your job does not help your organization, your boss might like the extra help it at first but it won’t last. 

Learn new things. If you’re not consistently growing and learning it’s unlikely that you’ll continuously add value. Thanks to the Internet it’s never been easier to learn something new every day. Choose your sources well however as not everything you read online is true… I know that comes as a shock to some people but it’s true that not everything online is true. That however is true. 🙂

Share the wealth. Your knowledge makes you valuable, sharing your knowledge makes you value added. If everything you know leaves your organization when you do that’s a terrible waste. Coach, mentor and teach whenever you see the opportunity. If you have the ability to help others grow you’ll always be in demand somewhere. It’s the truest form of job security there is these days. 

It’s your actions that will determine if you’re a “should we” or a “how do we” type of employee. If you want to be a “should we keep them” type then don’t do a thing… you’re probably already there.

If you want to be a “how do we keep them” type then step up, do more, do it smarter,and do it often. 

It’s not just a mindset, it’s a mindset of success!