We are all walking around with stories in our head and will engage or avoid people and products based on how they match up. For example, we don’t walk around telling ourselves to pull out our wallet because someone wants to cheat us. We may pull it out if someone threatens us with force on the other hand. There is a sequence of events that we can anticipate from either interaction coming from the story we know.
Your market will work different than others and the stories that are in your buyer’s head needs to be understood. If you approach them with a story that is completely different than what they believe you may not get another chance to connect. Connection will happen when the story you tell is the one they tell themselves. Here are some ways to dial in your story to make an impact:
- Know the perception. There are agreed upon conventions. Ask questions of your audience. What is a software company? What is a business consultant? What is a green company? What is a discount retailer? We have a shorthand for what we think these businesses are. It dictates how we dress, build our websites and talk to our audiences. Something completely orthogonal to a convention can distract and dissuade a person from getting close.
- Find the trigger. Find out what is the buying signal that creates interest and obsession from buyers. Work backwards and find what triggers this. Is it a cause? Low price? Luxury? Tell this story and illuminate your position within this trigger. It is likely something that unites your tribe of buyers.
- Paint the picture. Something changes when a buyer becomes a customer. What you offer will change them in some way. You may help them feel more fit or increase their self esteem. Your product may make them feel cool or feel happiness. Your buyer has to see their new reality vividly and somewhat painfully. The lack of what you are offering hurts more than gaining it. Tell the story in such a way to help your buyer imagine and desire what is missing.
The hard part of marketing is tuning into what we are all telling ourselves. There may be a variety of stories and buyer types. The challenge today is breaking it down and having a strategy for connecting in a way that is natural for your story to be what the buyer is already telling themselves.
How are you telling your story?