September 3, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

Make your buyer the hero of their story

Ron Stein | 12/9/2013

Everyone loves a hero. Like Superman they swoop in and save the day.

Seems natural then that your business would try to position itself as a champion in the prospect’s mind. And it feels good too. After all, you’re helping others solve their problems with your product or service.

Well, if this is what your business does, stop doing that!

Sure, you’re proud of what you sell. You should be, yet the more you focus on your business and offering, the more you signal to the potential buyer that the world revolves around you and not them.

So, how are you supposed to talk about your solution if you can’t talk about your solution? Just flip the story and make your customer the hero.

Ultimately, it’s your buyer’s story, not yours. All you have to do is help them on their buying journey and make them the hero of their story along the way.

Why would you do this? For one thing, this approach will differentiate your company. Hardly any of your competitors do this. Think about it for a second -- almost every presentation, email, website, or brochure starts the same. It’s all about the product, service, or company.

Maybe even more important, it’s not unusual for a person to be on the fence as to whether or not to make a change. Or worse, they don’t realize the problem they have requires a change to achieve better things for them.

You can overcome the fear of change, differentiate your company, and help reluctant mortals become heroes. Here’s what you can do to persuade your customers to be the hero in their story.

Take a clue from fairy tales, folklore, mythology, and Hollywood. The best stories draw us in and have a fairly defined recipe. An unwilling hero. The world changes. A call to adventure. The transformation. The hero saves the day. Oh yeah, and there’s always a guide of some sort that appears to aid them in their quest. George Lucas credits the story formula of mythologist Joseph Campbell as influencing the Star Wars films. The lessons here are that the best story wins, follow an established storytelling method, and be your buyer’s guide.

Act as your buyer’s mentor. In Star Wars our reluctant hero is nurtured by a concerned and caring figure that provides “protection” and reassurance to the adventurer. That’s your job. Not to just show your prospects the path to goodness, but to provide context, contrast, and safety. Your buyer is the protagonist of their story. Treat them as the central character because it really is all about them, not you. This is how you talk about your solution without starting off a relationship by just talking about your solution.

Four stages to telling your buyer’s story. There’s a pattern that you can follow and use in all the ways you connect with your audience, online and offline. Stage 1: Start with the idea that every great story needs an antagonist; so introduce an idea or insight that shows your buyer that their world is changing. Stage 2: establish that where they are today is risky, maybe even hazardous to their security. Stage 3: introduce contrast with an approach that provides a safe place that’s distinct from what your competitor’s offer -- but don’t talk about your solution yet! Stage 4: now, put it all together by providing proof that you have the answer with a story. Ideally that’s a story based on one of your existing customers that had the same struggle the prospect has now, made a change using your offering, and achieved great results.

Your challenge is to position your product as the factor your hero needs to succeed.

All communications should paint a clear picture that that they are the main focus of your business. Put them in that picture. Demonstrate that you understand them and their problems. And provide hope. This how you create trust and build real relationships that last.

You are your buyer’s guide. Help make them the leading actor in their adventure by keeping your message on point with this concept.

What’s your prospect’s story? Let us know – use the comment field below.


Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.

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