What would you like on your bagel?

Good Karma Brands had the opportunity to hear from talent/storytelling coach Beverlee Brannigan last week. I have been lucky enough to spend most of my career around content producers (radio personalities, reporters, writers, etc…), and I have always found amazing lessons we can learn about sales from our content teammates and their coaches.

Beverlee’s time with our team was no different. There were multiple lessons to take over to sales from her and the one I want to focus on is the “bagel story”. The gist of the story is that an individual she was coaching interviewed Sir Paul McCartney for a magazine story and then told Beverlee about it. The interviewer realized they didn’t get any new, or exciting information to write a story. He realized every question he asked Sir Paul McCartney was a question the legend had been asked countless times. Thus, the story he would write wasn’t going to be anything different than what most fans already knew. Once the interview was finished, Sir Paul McCartney asked the interviewer if they would like a bagel. As Beverlee pointed out to us – that’s the story. That’s the story that no one else has ever told their fans! Sir Paul McCartney toasted me a bagel!

There are several sales and marketing lessons we can take away from that story:

  • Don’t bury the lede!  The lede needs to on the first page of your your presentation and it should get the audience wanting more – just like a headline in a magazine saying, “Sir Paul McCartney toasted a sesame seed bagel for me.”
  • Like Sir Paul McCartney, many of our current and future customers have been asked the same questions over and over by salespeople. What questions are you asking them that no one else is asking? By asking them questions no one else is asking you will do a couple of things:
  • You have made them think in new ways, and they will feel like they are learning with you and because of you.
  • They will give you answers and information they aren’t giving anyone else…because no one else asked them for that information.
  • Pay attention to the hidden opportunities that can help you build a relationship. Did this person ask Sir Paul McCartney what kind of bagels he likes or how he likes his bagels toasted?  Maybe he answered that he only likes everything bagels or complained about his toaster. In these hypotheticals, imagine if a case of Everything Bagel seasoning showed up at Sir Paul McCartney’s door or a new toaster? I would guess of the tens of thousands of people that have interviewed him; this person would probably move towards the top his memory and an instant relationship would have been built.