forsalesign

Why Mr. Tamale Guy?

Posted on Posted in Branding

There’s a tamale guy that parks by Target in my hometown every weekend.

I honestly never took much notice of him and hardly considered buying tamales since they’re good, but not $12 a dozen good.

Until one day…

Restarting The Story

I’ve gotta start back at the beginning for you to get the whole picture, but I had to hook you somehow? Guess it worked, eh?

Mr. Tamale, as I call him (actually I just came up with it), is a very normal looking guy. He parks in front of Target down the street from my house every weekend…all day Saturday and Sunday. And he has all summer long.

Summer is big thing here in Texas…like 110 degrees big. It wasn’t quite that hot this year, but those 95-105 days are killer so sitting out the in sun for 10 hours isn’t a great deal of fun.

But I never stopped to say “hi” or even try his tamales. They could be the best thing that’s ever tickled my tastebuds…but I’ve never stopped.

What Got Me Was…

His sign.

He decided to do something that only mature marketers understand. And I highly doubt this guy is a world renowned marketer or he wouldn’t be selling tamales on the side of the parking lot.

So what did he do on that sign? (I’m going to drag you out as long as I can.)

What was so special about that sign that made me want to stop and buy some after all this time?

And even write a blog post about him? Man, that’s one awesome tamale guy.

He Started With Why

His sign said “Tamales for sale: To help with my son’s cancer treatments.” It wasn’t just because he needed some extra blow money…he sits out in the heat all summer long in order to pay for those treatments. That’s incredible I tell you. Absolutely inspiring.

And it got me. We’ve made a commitment to buy some tamales from him…maybe a few times, just to help out where we can. It touched my emotions and got me to “buy” into something that I otherwise would never have given a second thought.

It also makes me glad we’re following the Dave Ramsey financial plan so that someday, hopefully, we’ll be able to drop by, buy some tamales and give him $500 for a dozen. That would be awesome!

Which makes me wonder how many other people have thought the same thing. How many others have passed by multiple times only to stop after there was a clear why in place?

The Takeaway

As Simon Sinek puts it, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” It doesn’t matter if it’s tamales, computers or your consulting services, they want to be part of something bigger. Part of something that has a clear why behind it and connects with them on a deeper level.

The next time you market anything, even if it’s yourself, it needs to Start With Why (affiliate link). Don’t tell people what you do until they’re further along in the process. They’ll figure that out easy enough. Start with something bigger than yourself and you’ll be able to bring loyal people along for the ride.

*Full Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. That means I make some money off the purchase if you use my link, but it doesn’t cost you any extra. I never promote anything I don’t personally use or endorse.
  • Love this. “People donโ€™t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.โ€

    • Yeah that book is incredible. I highly suggest it. Simon Sinek is probably the next Seth Godin for me. Can’t wait to see what else he comes out with in the future!

  • Powerful story Jared and a great reminder that giving the reason is very important.

    BTW, Simon Sinek was at Catalyst this past week. He gave a very interesting talk.

    • Of course he was… ๐Ÿ˜€ Glad to hear you were able to attend and see some awesome talks!