Friday, August 13, 2010

Public Speaking: Use Product Related Stories

You can bring your product to life in the eyes of the client with stories. I learned
about this from the general manager at John Wanamaker Department store in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I was doing a customer service presentation.

The manager was telling me about the time he and his wife were shopping for
a handmade quilt to give as a wedding gift. They went to several different shops
in eastern Pennsylvania. The people working at the shops were uninformed
about and indifferent to the questions being posed about the history of the quilts.
They eventually came upon a shop where the proprietor went into great detail
about the person who actually made the quilt and about the origin of the
material, thread, etc. Guess where the manager bought the quilt?

Of course, not all customers would want this level of detail. But the ones that
do may be influenced to buy immediately if you are ready with this kind of
information about your product, idea, or service.

You should also develop interesting or humorous stories or one-liners about
how your product was used. For example when I was in high school, I used to
sell matchbooks with advertising on them to small businesses. On a sales call
I would put a used match in my wallet which I would pull out with great
ceremony and say, "This is THE match that lit the bonfire we had just before
winning the homecoming football game. You can have a match similar to this
one." That would get the clients smiling. Then I sold them one or two cases of

Think up ways such as my one-liner to talk about your product, idea, or
service to keep it in the customer's mind with a nonsales sales pitch. Product-related stories or jokes lend a favorable light to your product without increasing
sales resistance.

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