If you want to increase your beer sales, you need to start channeling your inner Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hopefully, you know the storyline of Star Wars, otherwise, this lesson in selling won’t make a lot of sense. Go watch the movies and come back to this article for the full effect.
My inspiration for this selling technique stems from the brilliant book, “Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller. More homework for you here — read this book if you’re responsible for selling your beers, it’s a game-changer. The premise of this book explains why people, in general, are so engaged by television, books, radio and movies, and how you can take the concept of storytelling and apply it to your sales techniques in order to boost your product sales.
Since the dawn of time, humans have loved to explain things through storytelling and tell their own stories to pass down through generations. Our stories follow a common format that makes sense to our human psyche.
There’s a hero of some kind, who is enjoying life until they realize they have a problem to solve or something negative to avoid. They are then tasked with solving that problem, and along comes a guide to help them do it. That guide is not the main focus of the story but is an integral part of helping the hero overcome a villain of some sort, in order to make their life better, find success or discover happiness. That hero goes on a journey to defeat the villain, and live out their lives in peace having found true happiness.
Back to Star Wars. Luke is the hero of the story. Yoda and Obi-Wan are the guides. Darth Vader is the villain, and eliminating the evil Empire is what Luke has to do so that he can live out his life in peace, otherwise he gets destroyed like all the other minor characters in these movies.
So what does this have to do with beer sales?
Selling is storytelling, and if there’s anything truly unique about the craft beer industry, it’s our stories, so you should be a pro at this.
Think of every transaction as a storyline. You need to be a guide for your consumers and buyers. You’re not the hero in this story, your consumers and beer buyers are. The villain is your pool of closest competitors, and the challenge to overcome is that your consumer or buyer has to choose a beer brand that makes their life better. That might sound a little out there, but bear with me here.
Beer is not a survival need, it’s a social and psychological need that spurs happiness. Consumers are looking for a craft beer that fits their personal preferences so they can find happiness, and beer buyers are searching for craft brands that will fit the preferences of their end customers while also bringing them revenue for their business.
Learn to approach selling your beer like Obi-Wan. Take a backseat to your hero — stop talking so much, ask data-driven questions, actively listen to your audience, and educate your hero so they can make an informed purchase decision.
Be like Yoda, the ultimate guide, always educating, inspiring, and entertaining the hero to keep them engaged. Be aware that selling is a process that doesn’t always happen quickly, and learn to be persistent, even in the most seemingly hopeless of times.
When your brand is the right fit for your consumer or beer buyer, and they make a purchase decision that leads to happiness, that connection is legendary and will encourage brand loyalty, which leads to more sales. Just like Luke defeating Vader and happily living out his days on Tatooine, you’ve successfully bested the competition and enhanced the lives of your customers, which is an accomplishment of fantastical proportions.
Julie Rhodes is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, the only educational services company for the craft beverage industry that teaches you how to take the guesswork out of your sales, marketing, and distribution plans. Follow along on FB and IG @notyourhobbymarketing.