ILLUSTRATIVE LESSON OR SHORT ARTICLE EXAMPLE: I taught a class for clients coming from the B2B to the B2C world where marketing is much more deeply relationship oriented. They wanted to know how to “do” relationships in this new territory. My best advice is simply to be real, be kind and be genuinely interested in helping people.
One of the most successful teaching formats that I make great use of is storytelling. When a concept seems difficult to grasp, I’ll apply the “Tell A Story” technique to the lesson or article I’m writing for you, which also helps cement your brand in the mind of your potential clients and customers. The below is one such example & also a true story.
Word Count: 550 Reading Time: 3 minutes
A Tale of Marketing, Relationships, and Turkish Cuisine
If you want to meet more people who eagerly ask for your help, show them you understand them deeply. Last week at a conference, for example, I created an Insta-Relationship with a perfectly nice Turkish man who’d done me a favor.
He was clerking the desk at the Embassy Suites in San Francisco, where I’d been gifted a bunch of beautiful flowers from an event. I asked him for some tape to secure them in their coffee cup. He over-delivered, then I pegged his accent as ‘Stambouli (I collect accents) and began talking with him about food. Iskender kabab, Beyti and Soltani kabab with pilav, and my personal favorites, Karides Guveč, and Imam Bayildi.
The poor man hadn’t had Turkish food in over a year. The look of a dog shown a meaty bone came into his eyes. He enthused about the different varieties of dolmas and his mother’s pilav, listing ingredients and writing down dishes I should try. I mentioned the yogurt-cucumber dip, cacič, and he almost came apart.
He got a faraway look, and a bit of gravel crept into his voice as he spoke of how his grandmother would carefully gather damask rose petals before dawn for the rosewater that flavored her special baklava. “Like this?” I said, showing him a cellphone picture of the last basket of rose petals I’d harvested for scent the year before.
“Yes, exactly!” he said and turning to his fellow female desk clerk said “See? She understands! Ah if only I could get such food in America!”
Then I put him out of his misery by telling him about the most excellent Imam Bayildi, Iskender Kabab and Guveč at Cafe Baklava in nearby Mountain View, CA, and he kissed my hand in thanks.
“I want some of what she’s got” said the female clerk, looking a tad jealous. “I’ve been trying to get him to open up for a year and you just did it in two minutes!”
It’s not the number of months you’ve put into it, but the other person’s perception of safe space, the fine-pointed focus, and genuine interest that gets people to open up quickly. I spoke about food, something all people far from their homelands connect deeply and (usually) positively with. I clearly loved the dishes I spoke of as well, it wasn’t just a pose.
When you’re genuine, people connect and connect deeply.
It’s worthwhile to say I never ask people to open up or go deep. Because I show interest and remind them of good tastes and feelings, they always volunteer.
If I had been selling a product, I could have walked him through the door to a sale right then. He was so pro-me it was sweet. And all I’d done was chat for a few minutes with him on pleasant subjects that left him feeling good about himself, his heritage, and me as the person reminding him of all that.
Creating mutually beneficial business relationships (or any other kind of relationship) isn’t rocket science. It just requires your heart.
Extend kindness – that’s all most people are looking for, want or need. Just a little opening where love can be glimpsed. A genuine love of ethnic cuisine doesn’t hurt either.
About The Author: Maryam Webster is a veteran psychologist, marketer, multiply published author and writer for social justice, healers, helpers, and conscious revolutionaries. She writes magnetic, high converting copy for articles, mythic bios and sales pages, key converter web pages, and signature programs. Like targeted copy like this written for your business? Get in touch: