What natural salespeople know instinctively

My wife and I have been involved in our local community ‘Food Hub’ over the last year. Anyone can come, and take away whatever food they can carry. We don’t ask any questions about circumstances. It’s a fantastic, community-funded initiative, born out of the pandemic but clearly addressing a wider need in what’s incorrectly perceived as an affluent neighbourhood.

While I’ve found my comfort zone in promoting the event, my wife loves manning the stalls, distributing the food. What she likes the most is the stuff that people like me think would be difficult to shift. While anyone can give away boxes of breakfast cereal or tins of baked beans to visitors, it’s a talent to convince them they’ll be grateful they brought home celeriac or parsnips.

My wife does this without thinking, using what in marketing we’d probably call story-telling. Marketing consultant Mark Schaefer would say that her sales pitch passes the ‘RITE test‘. It stands for Relevant, Interesting, Timely, and Entertaining. She can spot the visitors who are taking cooking ingredients (relevant), she can talk knowledgeably about what can be done with what she’s got on offer (interesting), she knows when to explain things (timely) and she speaks engagingly about it (entertaining).

Schaefer reckons that if you create content that “hits at least three out of these four angles”, you’ve struck gold. Natural salespeople know this instinctively. He also suggests that if we start with RITE sales content, we might consider a broader range of marketing channels where the material could just work better. Most of us are guilty of fixing on the medium we’ve chosen, rather than assessing where our customers are.