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August 15, 2018

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida Business

How the story of Goldilocks can help your sales and marketing efforts

Ron Stein | 10/30/2017

Do you remember Goldilocks and the three bears? It’s the story of a young girl who was shopping for a few different items -- and each had to be “just right”.

I don’t know exactly what Goldilocks considered perfect for her, but I’m certain that she wasn’t looking for as many bowls, chairs, and beds as she could get her hands on -- just one of each, the right one for her.

There are several marketing and selling lessons that the story of Goldilocks and the three bears can teach us. Buyers only care about how you can help them overcome their problems. There are many competitors vying for the attention of buyers and it’s hard to remember which one offers the value they seek. Stories, not data, are what inspire people.

This is all about getting your audience to notice you and once you have that, keep their attention from drifting away.

Let’s take a step back in time and see how Goldilocks can help your business sell more of your products and services.

What attracted Goldilocks to the bears’ house in the first place? Well, it wasn’t like the bears hung a sign outside saying, “We’re not home, come in and help yourself to our stuff.” The tale is framed as a journey of discovery and for some reason that particular house appealed to Goldilocks. It’s the same for your business. Before you can begin talking about your products or services, you must first catch the attention of your buyers. Since people only care about how you can help them, start there. A mattress company, Purple, does just that with Goldilocks’ help. In a video that has been viewed over 76,166,329 times -- yes you read that correctly -- Purple manages to very quickly draw people in and take them on an entertaining voyage of discovery; to convince you why they are different and better. View it here and I promise that you’ll watch the entire “pitch”. The lesson is twofold -- it’s all about your buyer and don’t be boring. Draw your buyer into their story in a creative way from the start.

The mystical power of three. In Goldilocks’ tale there are three situations she encounters and three choices made in each. First, Goldilocks comes across three bowls of porridge. One was too cold, one was too hot, and yep, the third was just right. The same thing then happens with chairs and beds. Only one of the three choices fits perfectly. It’s a repetitive storyline formula to engage the reader’s attention and to reinforce the point made. And it’s just like the buying process. Our brains want us to have choices in risky situations or we may not find a way out of it. On the other hand, our brains also know that if we have too many choices, we often freeze with confusion. Plus, it turns out that it’s easy for our minds to remember three things at a time. People like choices, just not too many and three seems to be the right amount. When presenting an idea or product, make three points -- no more, no less.

Stories sell. Most buyers are savvy shoppers, but inpatient. Having a non-boring opening helps grab attention, but will only work for so long. Wrap a storyline around your pitch and you’ll extend the attention span. And use the power of three when doing so. It’s all proven brain science. The Goldilocks story doesn’t just rattle off the dry data of three vignettes about three porridge bowls, three chairs, and three beds -- the tale builds a little mystery with a hint of menace and is much more enticing than jumping immediately into a list of product features. A story draws us in, and we pay attention to the points made. In the case of the Purple video they put it all together nicely in terms of imagery and the storyline. Here’s the twist – they use Goldilocks as your guide to tell your story, just like Yoda was Luke Skywalker’s guide to the promised land; in this case a fantastic night’s sleep. Really, who doesn’t want that! Tell your buyer’s story and help them find and choose what fits them perfectly.

Goldilocks broke into the bear’s home and helped herself to their stuff, three times with three options each. It has all the elements of a great way to sell and a great story -- attention-getting suspense, a journey, and points made and remembered.

Too many buyers are willing to sleep on a mattress that isn’t just right for them. Help your ideal customer discover and choose what fits them perfectly. And don’t be boring while doing it!

Ron Stein is founder of More Customers Academy, helping business leaders build strategic messaging and positioning that cuts through the competitive noise to grow revenue. Ron has developed his own highly successful 5-step Stand Out & Sell More approach to winning new customers as a result of his twenty-five years of business development, marketing, and selling experiences. He works with a range of businesses, from startups to large corporations across industries including technology and healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services and banking. Ron conducts workshops, leads company meetings, offers keynote talks, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or by email.


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