I never heard motivational speaker Bill Gove speak.

But I heard that he was basically the founder of the public speaking industry.  I heard that he was an amazing story teller.  I’m about to share with you an example of what made him so special.

It’s a story of his that I came across that will reveal to you a simple way one appliance store owner established a powerful brand that helped his store stand out from the rest.

It even helped his store compete against the discount stores in his neighborhood.

Bill Gove told this story…

How Harry Competed With The Discount Stores

Harry ran a small appliance store in Phoenix, Arizona.  Harry was used to price-shopping by young couples. They would ask detailed questions about features, prices, and model numbers, and one of them always took notes.

Harry knew that as soon as they left the store they were going to head for one of the discount appliance dealers to make comparisons.  Nevertheless, Harry would patiently answer all their questions, even though it took more than a half hour at times.”

But here’s where Harry really shines.  Listen to what Bill Gove shares next…

Harry’s Surprising Response

“When the couple would announce that they were going to look around at some other places, Harry had a standard spiel to deliver.  ’I know that you’re looking for the best deal you can find,’ he would say.

“‘I understand that, because I do the same thing myself. I know you’ll probably go down to Discount Dan’s to compare prices.  I know I would.  But after you’ve done that, I want you to think of one thing.

“‘When you buy from Discount Dan’s, you get an appliance–a good one, I know, because he sells the same appliances we do’”

Now watch how Bill describes how Harry presents his USP (unique selling proposition), because it’s so powerful.

Harry’s Powerful USP

Bill shared that Harry would say, “‘But when you buy here, you get one thing you don’t get at Dan’s. You get me. I come with the deal. I stand behind what I sell. I want you to be happy with what you buy. I’ve been here 30 years. I learned the business from my Dad, and I hope to be able to give the business over to my daughter and son-in-law in a few years.

“‘So you know one thing for sure–when you buy an appliance from me, you get me with the deal. That means I’ll do everything I can to be sure you never regret doing business with me. That’s a guarantee.”

Then Bill said, “Harry would then wish the couple well and give them a quart of ice cream in appreciation of their stopping at his store.

Bill Gove finished the story like this, “Now how far do you think that couple is going to get, with Harry’s speech ringing in their ears and a quart of ice cream on their hands in Phoenix, when it’s 110 degrees in the shade?”

Brand Lessons From Harry To Help Us Succeed Today
1. Offer a powerful guarantee.

People are scared to be ripped off or look stupid.  Not many have a lot of extra money to risk nowadays.  Take away the risk and you’ll increase sales.

2. Know the questions your customers have and be prepared to effectively answer them.

Customer will have questions before they buy, even if they’re just simple ones like, “I want it.  What’s the next step?”  Do your best to learn their questions and how to powerfully answer them.  If prospects have too many unanswered questions, they’ll usually take their purchase elsewhere.

3. Don’t just sell a product or service.  Attach who you are (or “who” your business is) to it.

This is the power of a brand.  It’s the personality of a product that makes it more appealing than another.  It’s what (who) it represents.  Don’t just focus on what your product or service is.  Focus on who is offering it, whether that who is you or the personality your business represents.

4. Know what makes you/your business different from your competitors and make it known clearly to your customers.

Is it clear to you what makes your business different from the others?  Can you easily explain the difference to someone?

5. Be a real human being interacting with another real human being.

Maybe at some point in the past people preferred buying from entities over people (if it was ever the case), but nowadays people want to buy from real people – people they know, like, trust and can relate to.

Even if your business isn’t tied to your personality, make sure it has a personality.  Make sure it’s human.  Make sure your employees speak to your customers as one real person to another real person.

Understand your customers.  Care about them and let them know that you understand and care about them!

6. Give and you’ll receive.

Do whatever you can to make the first move in the relationship with a potential customer.  Don’t make them take first step.  Give them value, make their day before – or even in spite of – whether they purchase from you or not.

When you do these things, you’ll create a powerful brand, just like Harry.

Photo by Kevin Dooley