Cat Treats, Storytelling and Selling

“Hi, Mrs. Klopp, are you the decision maker in your family?”

“Are you familiar with our patented comfort technology?”

“Will your husband be joining us tonight?”

Insert eye roll and audible, exasperated groan.

You fill out an online request for replacement windows quote and your phone starts ringing off the hook. Everyone and their brothers want to tell you why their windows are the best. They have state of the art filters, coatings, double pane, triple pane … They have a sales pitch they need to get through to sell me 10 replacement windows for my house. They have 20 minutes to sell me because they have an appointment with someone else a few blocks away in 30 minutes.

It’s exhausting. It’s boring. After a few conversations, they all sound the same. Millions of dollars on technology and marketing and they all could’ve worked for the same company.

Then Joe knocked on my door. Joe wiped his feet on my welcome mat before coming into my house.

He commented that he loves these older homes. He lives in an older home with his wife just a few miles from me. I know his neighborhood well as I used to live there. We joked about what money pits these older homes are.

He said he could tell I took a lot of care in my home. He asked if based on my window treatments that I liked to allow natural light into my house. I do.

He petted my cat. He told me about his cat and dog. He gave my cat a treat.

He inquired about a bottle of wine on my counter and then gave me his wife’s business card. She owns a local wine store. She’s owned it for five years now. She bought it from the previous owner after leaving her corporate job. He was more of a Bud Light guy until he started dating his wife. My fiancé was the same.

We spent 30 minutes as two human beings having a conversation about our homes, our pets and our shared interests.

After all of that, Joe asked me why I wanted new windows. They’re drafty in the winter and they fog up. Then he spent 30 minutes talking to me about my options.

Joe took the time to get to know me. He knew my value system, my motivation and pain points.

My drafty windows cost me money on my electric bill every winter – money I could be spending on cat treats and wine.  My cat won’t sit in his favorite window in the winter because it’s too cold. I can’t enjoy the natural light in the winter because I keep the curtains shut to keep out the cold air.

In telling me stories about his life and learning the stories of my life, Joe was able to solve my problems. And he sold me 10 windows. He also made me question my own sales efforts. Was I rushing through to my pitch or taking the time to engage my prospects?

Just like no one wants to spend money on windows, no one wants to spend money on insurance.

But homeowners want to know if there’s a storm and their house suffers damage, they’re protected. They can repair or replace what’s damaged to restore the value back to their home. Or in the worst case scenario, get a new house of comparable value.

Parents want to know that if their son/daughter accidently hits a telephone pole, they’re protected. If their kid’s cars are damaged, they will be repaired correctly with the right parts by a reputable mechanic.

Business owners want to know that if they experience a cyber breach, they’re protected, for any lost revenue, customers, and their business can remain a viable operation.

Consumers get that protection from independent insurance agents who take the time to get to know their clients and learn their stories, not from call centers, lizards, or football players. Maybe the agents even share some stories of their own. Maybe they give out pet treats or kid treats. But they definitely are the agents closing more sales.

Article by Kris Klopp