Your Retail Success

Connect with the story behind your product or company

Your Retail Success

by Rick Kroetsch

People want to know the “why” behind what they buy to help them make their decision. They love to hear the behind-the-scenes story that they weren’t aware of but will help them in their buying decisions.

What do you know about tow trucks?

If you’re like me—nothing. I have no interest in tow trucks, I’ve never thought much about them, and I’ve never wanted to learn anything about them.

Or so I thought.

While scrolling through television channels last week, I stumbled onto a show where a crew was towing a tractor trailer out of a 200 ft (61 m) snow-covered incline on a mountain highway. It involved at least three tow trucks, 15 people, and shutdown sections of the highway, and it took more than eight hours to raise the vehicle to the road during snow and unpleasant conditions.

Why am I telling you this?

The show didn’t focus on the features of towing or the trucks; it focused on the people and the story. It showed the frustrated crews, the challenges, the cold and blowing snow—all things that we can relate to.

When you’re selling to your customers, are you telling them things that they can relate to or things that you think are important to them?

Tell your story

People want to hear why you do certain things, how it came about, what challenges are faced and overcome, how it impacts the community, et cetera. They’re not just buying a product—they want to know the story behind it. Tell them about the farmer and their family, the origins of the raw material, the number of people involved in getting a product to market, the process involved in your product that helps protect and preserve the environment—the list of what your customers want to know and learn can go on for many stories.

Customers want to connect with the experience through emotion. They want to feel good, learn something that they can share with their friends—they want to know that they are making good decisions. Use storytelling to get across the message of how your values and ideals are what they identify with. Cement that relationship by telling the story behind the scenes.

It’s not a documentary

That’s not what the customer is searching for or relating to. The dry, cold hard facts aren’t resonating with them. Open up, show the human side of your business, and demonstrate how it makes a difference or how you help and support others. People want to know that their money is well spent with companies that make a difference and care.

It has to be authentic

Don’t embellish or be self serving. Be real and think about what is important to the target customer and what makes them feel good. Putting the human element on it helps them understand, relate, believe, and get excited about supporting your company.

Let them tell their story also

Get customers to share their stories on social media. If they like what you have shared, they can help spread the message. Encourage them to use their voice to help you hear and share more stories.

Think about towing!

If someone can make towing unique, interesting, and entertaining, you absolutely have a more engaging, memorable story to tell. Get out there and be a storyteller.

Rick Kroetsch is the vice-president and associate publisher of Alive Publishing Group.