Are you telling the right story?

The salesman spotted the young family as soon as they walked into the shop. Mum, Dad and two clearly very lively kids, no older than 5 or 6 years old.

As they started wandering around, looking at the large selection of sofas in the store, he confidently walked over, smiling his best smile and launching into his best sales patter.

Just as he’d done many, many times before, he started by explaining how he understood what was important to a young family like theirs and that, if they were looking for a great sofa, they had come to the right place.

Then he cut straight to the good stuff.

He talked about how their sofas were all made to order but that, if they got their order in before the end of the week, they could still guarantee delivery in time for the Easter break.

He talked about how the family budget could go further if they chose something from the ‘Rosa’ range, as a special promotion they had on meant they could get a matching armchair for half price.

He talked about how their very competitive finance options meant that they could purchase a sofa today and pay nothing for the first six 6 weeks.

And he talked about how all their sofas were classic designs, that would work with any décor and never go out of fashion.

His manner was jovial and chatty and, by all accounts, he was doing a sterling job.

Except for one thing.

None of those things were a priority for this family.

They were not the things that mattered most.

So, what was important?

What mattered most to them – well to Mum and, let’s face it, she was going to make the final decision – was that she didn’t feel embarrassed whenever friends came round, because the sofa looked ‘dirty’.

She had young kids with sticky hands.

A husband that insisted on relaxing with a coffee when he got home from work, before he’d taken his dirty overalls off.

And 2 dogs!

Trying to keep the sofa clean was the bane of her life. And, frankly, impossible.

So, she was on a mission today to buy a sofa that wasn‘t a colour that showed every mark, was fully stain-resistant and had covers she could easily take off and throw in the washing machine.

But, the salesman didn’t mention any of those things.

Instead, he’d made assumptions about what they wanted.

He thought he had covered all bases, but he hadn’t spoken to the number one problem this particular family wanted to solve.

I see this so often in sales and marketing. Companies thinking they know what their customers want, but they fail to check that they’re talking to the right person about the right problem.

Next time you talk to one of your customers, ask them:

  • What do they want?
  • Why do they want that?
  • What don’t they want?
  • What’s important to them?
  • What would a great result look like to them?

When you take the time to listen to your customers first, they’ll tell you the story they want to hear.

Want help to get your messaging right?

Come join my FB group. It’s a place to continue the conversation about how to engage with your customers, using compelling words that speak to your ideal client about the things that matter to them.

I’ll see you in there!