I was buying a present for my husband for this birthday this morning from one of his favourite stores. I felt a bit rushed and somewhat perplexed about what to buy him. Normally I don’t struggle at all but this year it’s a tad different. There was an added element of complexity to the ordinarily joyous process of gift-giving. The gift had to be small and light and not contain anything ‘tricky’, so that it could make its way effectively overseas to where my man is currently living.
I was staring at all the stuff, beautifully displayed, hoping something would jump out at me. The woman working in the store came up gently and said “you look like you need a hand”.
I explained my situation and as a I did she slowly nodded and leaned in with this look of ‘knowing’ on her face.
During the course of her ‘recommendations’, she spoke to me about how her husband spent 30 years travelling overseas for work, how it took time to reconnect when he returned (but that it did get easier), how her children were often wary of their dad and where he fit in to the scheme of things when he got back, how she encouraged immediate bonding with the kids and their dad by disappearing for the weekend with girlfriends, and how she used to cope with it all. She joked about how she always struggled with gift-giving when he was away, so eventually they simply celebrated when they were next together. She told me how now, in semi-retirement, they travel back and forth to Noosa more often (the place they would take family holidays) and enjoy each other’s company in different surrounds. She runs her own interior design business and he consults in the city, but they allow themselves breaks after a big project. She spoke of the simple pleasure of the perfect small leather travel bag which she keeps packed with only the essentials, so that she’s ready to join him wherever and whenever their fancy takes them. And the big lesson… she spoke of how she’s come to realise that a marriage is about quality not quantity.
The strategies she imparted were wonderful and her gift ideas were spot on. The way she relayed her experience touched me deeply, as it was emotive, personal, yet helpful, and therefore highly powerful. I bought more than I intended to because I was so intrigued by her story, I just wanted to keep listening. I believed in her and the ideas she proposed, so I chose them all. I wanted to breathe in her experiences and make them my own. Hell, I want to be her in 15 years time!
Again, the lesson is clear. Be relatable to your prospects.
Tell your story in a way that matters to them. Find some common ground. Help them with their predicament. Make your story interesting, intriguing. And they will ask for your help. They will buy.
Go and be you. Unapologetically you. And tell your stories to those who need to hear them.