I had a most interesting experience recently that relates perfectly to what I want to share with you…story-telling.
Jack Fletcher is a gracious elderly widower – 76 years old – who has been completely blind for 46 years. He lost his sight in a horrendous accident shortly after he moved to San Diego when he was 30 years old. A mutual friend told me about Mr. Fletcher and mentioned that although he is quite self-sufficient, he occasionally needs help – someone to take him shopping, read him his mail, help him run his errands, etc. Those of you who know me will recognize my response, “Why not?”
I called Jack a few days ago and explained that I lived near him and would be happy to lend a hand whenever he needed me. Sure enough, he called and asked if I could come to his home and take him grocery shopping. My daughter Sharlie and I arrived at 10:00 in the morning as scheduled. I thought we’d pick him up, take him shopping, and be back home within thirty minutes or so. Fortunately for us, that didn’t happen.
Jack asked to take a seat and then said, “Would it be alright if we just got to know each other a bit?” He then asked us each some questions about ourselves and somehow wove our conversation into several of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard.
Jack is a pro at building relationships – and he did it by asking questions and telling stories. We heard a story from his childhood, several amazing World War II stories, the story of his fateful accident and the enchanting, inspiring story about how he met his sweetheart in the Orientation School for the Blind.
We were enthralled as Jack recounted his love affair with Dee Dee (who was partially sighted) and how he hired an $85,000.00 vehicle and a driver to whisk them away to Reno for their marriage ceremony. He could hardly hold back his laughter when he explained that the vehicle was a Greyhound Bus and that the driver came at no additional charge!
Frankly, I thought our visit to Jack Fletcher would be an opportunity to be of service to someone in need. By the time we left his home, however, there was no doubt about who the beneficiaries of that visit really were!
What does this have to do with becoming a master marketer? Everything! I’ve built my entire business by sharing my own story. I have one – and so do you. Write it down and don’t leave out the difficult details. People you approach want to know you’re authentic – a real person with real trials and real triumphs. I honestly believe in the majority of cases, people don’t join me in USANA because we have such great products or even because they prefer our binary compensation plan. I believe people join me in USANA because on some level, we’ve “connected.”
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting you dump your life history on someone the first time you visit. Obviously, you need to create some curiosity about what our company offers and then determine their interest level. But by your second conversation I suggest you get into some serious storytelling. Personally, I edit my story depending on the person I’m talking to. Let me give you just one example:
I’m in the process of visiting with a young father who wants to spend more time with his children. They are two and four years old and he hardly knows them because he is working 70 hours a week for an unappreciative employer.
Because I want to connect with him, I’ve shared the part of my story that includes my two sons, Dax and Zachary, who are both young fathers themselves. I explained how much it meant to me as their mother to see them spend time at home with their children – my grandchildren. I told him about the many different options they had when it came to choosing their careers and how I encouraged them to give relationship marketing five years so they could be home with their wives and children while building a residual income that I believe will pay them for the rest of their lives.
I then told him about my brother Mike, who was eventually able to be at home with his wife and six children because of his USANA business. I shared the story about Mike taking his five-year-old Anna to kindergarten and agreeing to stay on as the teacher’s helper for the day. One of the little girls in the class came up to him, took his hand and while looking up at him said, “Whose mommy are you?” True story!
You get the idea. Stories make you real. Stories make you much more than someone wanting to recruit someone else. Stories are the threads of a beautiful tapestry we weave with one another. Tell your story and watch your business grow.
May you all live “happily ever after…”
USANA’s First and Only 8-Star Diamond Director