Thank you for all your suggestions! The contest is closed.
Hubby and I stopped into a new tea shop in town the other day. We've been to other locations of this chain and wanted to see what their new shop was like here. It was opening weekend, and for a tiny shop, they had about ten staff on the floor!
As we walked in the door, we were met by two employees offering samples of tea. We each took a cup, thanked them and moved on. We were followed by one employee who immediately went to the next teapot and said, "Do you want to try the rarest tea in the world?" Before I was even able to answer, she went on.
"Antioxidants... healthy... good for complexion... make a face mask when you're done drinking it... blah blah blah."
I didn't get half of what she said, because she was bombarding me with one piece of information after another. She continued to follow me, telling me about products, until I found a moment to interject and tell her I didn't need any help.
Here's the thing. Hubby and I are quite knowledgeable about tea. Hubby is in the specialty foods industry and has been working with tea and tea vendors for many years. We are both certified by the Specialty Tea Institute and have been planning on opening a tea shop ourselves for some time. Rarest tea in the world? I can think of ten teas that are more rare than the one she showed me.
When I made my way to the tea counter, there she was again! She asked me if she could tell me about any teas, and then immediately opened a canister and started waving the lid in my face so I could smell the tea.
Did it occur to this woman to ask us if we were even tea drinkers? Did it occur to her to ask us if we had been in their store before? Or to ask us what kinds of teas we like?
No, and I was immediately turned off.
Just like your audience is when you don't make an effort to find out what they care about.
I understand how exciting it is to want to share your information. To you, it is the most fascinating thing in the world. You want everyone to know what you know!
However, what is interesting to you is not necessarily what's interesting or valuable to your audience, and if you don't find out what that is, you will turn off a lot of people.
I couldn't wait to get out of the store. I didn't want to buy anything and I don't feel at the moment like I would bother going back.
Don't assume you know what they want or what they already know. Ask. Get to know them. Be sensitive to their needs and concerns. Be interested in them and don't just focus on pushing your own agenda.
Share your story about a pushy salesperson (or speaker...)! And don't forget to submit a title for this post!