Monday, November 15th, 2010
I recall a story about Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, that illustrates the importance of timing.
Every summer, there is a professional golf tournament in the Washington, D.C. area that draws spectators from miles around.
Qualifying rounds for the tournament are held on the two consecutive weekends leading up to the official start of the tournament.
It was on these weekends that Bill Marriott’s enterprising young grandchildren set up a lemonade stand, selling cups of lemonade for $1 each to the spectators who came to the qualifying rounds to get a closer look at the golfers before the actual tournament began.
The weather cooperated and his grandchildren’s lemonade stand flourished. When the qualifying rounds ended and the official start date of the tournament arrived, his industrious grandchildren were there early to set up their lemonade stand.
Later, Bill Marriott arrived along with throngs of spectators. On his way to the golf course from the parking lot, he passed his grandchildren’s lemonade stand and asked them how their venture was doing.
One of his grandchildren proudly explained how they had set up the lemonade stand on the two previous weekends during the qualifying rounds in order to capture more sales than if they had only sold lemonade on the weekend of the tournament.
Marriott then asked, “And how much were you selling a cup of lemonade for during the qualifying rounds?”
The children answered in unison, “One dollar Grandpa.”
“And how much are you selling it for today?” he asked.
Confused, the children repeated, “One dollar.”
What he said next likely shaped the enterprising young minds of the Marriott grandchildren forever…
“The qualifying rounds have ended. Today is the official start date of the tournament. Raise your prices!”
The children increased the price of a cup of lemonade from $1 to $2 and made more money during the official tournament weekend than they made during each of the qualifying round weekends combined.
How about you? Is it time for you to capitalize—on a higher price, on a different market, on a unique product or service offering?
Don’t wait. Timing is everything.