​The Story Behind The Story: How To Effectively Sell and Inspire


Whenever I am walking in the streets of Nairobi especially at night, I love going by those side walk hawkers who display an array of wares to the passersby. I came to notice that am impulse buyer to these hardworking Kenyans, at times, even purchasing stuff I did not need. I guess this is the reason why my little Princess has a lot of toys and usually celebrates whenever I travel back home from those trips!
But I came to realize that the buying is never out of a need to spend, nay. It is out of a conviction by these hawkers doing the selling. I read somewhere that we ought not bargain with these sellers since to them, the profit margins made is what makes them survive from day to day unlike supermarkets and other established retailers that have a fixed price and have economies of large scale supplies to run on.

So how comes I always come to buy from these street sellers? It is because, whenever they have an opportunity to face anyone, the first few minutes they indulge with anyone is to convince you about why they are doing so. To most, they say it is about survival, that the sale is about feeding their families and such and out of it, you feel obliged to spend to help them meet their basic needs!

This brings me to my pet subject – entrepreneurship and administration. Why is it that some products are too hard to sell? Why are some leaders so uninspiring? Where do some products and businesses sell more than others albeit effortlessly?

Most probably the reason is they do not connect with the potential buyer.  People are never curious about just a story, but the story behind the story. A television channel once rode on this as its value proposition and everyone trooped to it to watch the story behind the headlines since they felt more satisfied with behind the scenes happening away from the normal stuff in the name of news. The story behind the story is the why of what is happening. It is the motivation or the reason why something is happening.

The WHY is the reason behind the creation of a product to satisfy a specific need. When a consumer goes to buy a product, all he is looking for is that connection with the motivation for the production of the output. If the motivation resonates well with the need he has, he seals a deal and completes a sale!

This therefore means that the seller has to find a way of communicating to the potential buyer the motivation for his product. And this is best seen in the company values. What does your company stand for in terms of consumer satisfaction? Is it efficiency? Does it appreciate the fact that inflation is high and that is why it produces cheap products? Then find a way to communicate that to the customer FIRST before going into the details about what the product is and how you will produce it.

Selling they say is an art it therefore can be learnt as a skill. It is also human  it is emotional. The seller has to connect emotionally to the potential buyer and inspire him enough to facilitate the buy off of the product. Where we normally go wrong is we start by rapping about what the product is and its features and it ends there. That is not inspiring enough  and hence, most people find it hard to sell.

Proper selling must start with communicating to the customer the motivation behind the production of the product. What motivated you to develop the product or service? How does that product deliver value to the customer? And lastly, all presentations should end with what the product is, in that sequence.

If all people, leaders included would start with the story behind the story, sales and inspiring members of an organization would not be a hard nut to crack. For the street hawkers, they have perfected this art  they start by invoking your emotions about how the products they hold is their way to survive and from it, seeing as it the product is what you need, you buy into it and hence a sale! It all boils down to the WHY of an organization- define it, communicate it and you are good to go!

It therefore means that people do not buy what you offer, but WHY you do the things you do. The more the reason we should never be concerned about WHAT we do, but WHY!



Author: pblafrica
Passionate about personal branding and entrepreneurship. Wana be influence!

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