A grocery store solicitor is a nuisance because grocery shopping isn’t typically a leisurely activity.
The shopper needs to get down to business, because there are many other tasks to perform when they leave the grocery store and carry on with their day.
However, some people might treat grocery shopping as a more casual activity, perhaps time to explore new products or even meet new people.
Those are the ideal prospects who are more open to grocery store solicitors.
So, the solicitor does have a chance, but I recently witnessed one blow his opportunity … twice.
The Meditation Table
On this fateful day, a table with a sign on top of it that simply said “Meditation” was adjacent to the front of the organic grocery store I walk to regularly.
Not a terrible start.
The location has potential.
Not all people who buy organic groceries care about upping their zen game, but they might be curious about meditation and want to learn more.
Unfortunately, things quickly fell apart, providing us with three content marketing “don’ts.”
#1: Don’t lead with features
Meditation is a “feature.”
Features explain your offer. Benefits persuade someone to care about the offer.
They work together, but leading with features often creates a lackluster presentation.
You don’t care about how many Instagram followers your friend has — you care if they remember your birthday.
Instead of just saying “Meditation,” the sign on the table could have attracted people by referencing any of the true benefits of meditation:
- Improved concentration
- Peaceful sleep
Smart copy could have also carefully highlighted the pain points that would lead someone to look for a new way to manage stress.
#2: Don’t mumble
There was one man standing behind The Meditation Table.
Let’s call him Rick.
When I walked past the table, he said:
As you may have guessed, I have some issues with that salutation/question.
First, it just makes no sense.
I didn’t know what Rick wanted from me:
- To start meditating on command, right then and there?
- To teach him about meditation?
- To confirm he was pronouncing the word correctly?
Since it was not clear, I couldn’t connect with his message.
Second, let’s say I just started a meditation practice and went to the grocery store that day secretly hoping I’d run into a person who wanted to talk with me about it …
Rick’s chosen greeting was confusing, so I would continue to walk past him and into the tomato-and-onion aisle on the other side of the automatic-sliding door.
It’s regrettable that he potentially put off an otherwise-interested prospect.
And finally, I already mentioned that the table displayed a printed sign that said: “Meditation.”
If I didn’t know what it was, I could easily perform research about meditation later.
Rick failed to provide a winning difference about his meditation proposition.
There was no reason I’d choose him over finding a meditation resource I did connect with.
If you “mumble” in your content marketing, you don’t provide a compelling reason for anyone to stop and pay attention.
#3: Don’t ramble
As I left the grocery store, strategically looking down and fumbling in my purse for my keys, I heard a woman ask Rick:
“Where is the meditation center located?”
This time, he replied with a long-winded answer.
It should come as a surprise to no one that it was not a strong one.
Similar to his mumbling, this response not only gives Rick’s prospect zero reasons to choose his meditation organization, it actually gives her a reason to choose a different one — to look elsewhere.
Again, for a meditation community that directly appeals to her sensibilities.
Clarity and connection, every time you publish
We all have the potential to build engaged audiences.
Don’t let your content be an insignificant event others pass by without thought or care. Have it be a milestone.
You need to release your work knowing you’ve polished it up to professional standards, so you feel good about sharing it.
If you like guidelines and best practices, we have a small but mighty resource that helps you confidently produce more solid work.
It’s a framework that lets you check off the most important elements of great content marketing.
Because even when we know what to do, we have to remember to do it … every time.