Finding the Glue

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30th November 2015

Do you make shopping lists? Have you ever forgotten it? What do you do?

Maybe you phone home and ask your partner, or child, or roommate, or ANYBODY who might be there to find that list at all costs, take a picture of it, send you the contents.

Maybe you just do your best to remember.

If you’re buying stuff that someone else has asked you to get, that’s really hard. But let’s say you’re stocking up on the ingredients for your favorite recipe; one that you’ve made a hundred times. Suddenly, it’s much easier. You can imagine yourself making that cake, or pie, or risotto, or whatever wonderful creation you’re planning. As you go through each step in your head, the appropriate ingredients are right there in your mind’s eye.

How about packing for a holiday? Ever tried to do that without a list?

Think about it. You’re trying to think what to pack for your perfect getaway, hoping you’ll remember everything you’re likely to need to make the trip complete. You imagine all the different things you will do on each day – all the good stuff. Think of the days you’ll go swimming in the sea (swimsuit, goggles – check). Hold on, after the swim you’ll by lying on the beach (towel – check!). Ooh, the sunburn (Factor 50 – check!). For me, my baldy head burns so easily that I immediately imagine a hat. The sand flies or mosquitoes that might bite you (Jungle Formula – check). That gets you thinking of the bad stuff: what if somebody gets ill (holiday insurance – check); what if I’m robbed (weird money belt thing that goes round your waist – check).

Imagine you’ve got to remember someone else’s list. It’s really hard, because it’s just a list of stuff, with no glue to hold the stuff together. The recipe has glue. The holiday has glue. One was the experience you created in your mind of making the dish; the other was the experience you created in your mind of your holiday. And if you like cooking, or going on holiday, creating these experiences isn’t just a chore, but the act of imagining, telling yourself a wee mini story that was actually pleasurable. Remember that: wee mini story. It’s the glue that makes your seemingly disparate stuff stick.

As sales and marketing people, we’re all naturally focused on selling products and services. In our world, a list of the product’s benefits makes sense, but for a prospective customer, no matter how interested they may be in the moment, that list is just like someone else’s shopping list – hard to remember and no fun. But if you can find the equivalent of their favourite recipe or trip abroad, you can tap into their wee mini story. Talk about a day in the life of their team. Play back their story with the benefits of your product woven through. Suddenly, your list has glue.

See more on how to make your selling sticky in this blog.