The Most Powerful Tool You Didn’t Know You Had
I often come across business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants, who have a very powerful client attraction tool in their business. And they don’t know about it. Which is a shame. Because most small businesses are good at what they do. They are good at being a coach, a fitness instructor, a property developer.
What they are often not as good at is in differentiating themselves from all the other coaches, fitness instructors or property developers in their area.
And that causes a problem, because if you can’t differentiate yourself from the crowd, then you are going to compete on criteria you have no control over – for example which is the closest gym to me? Or who is the cheapest provider?
And you really don’t want to compete on price. There will always be someone cheaper than you.
So how do you stand out, so that you are not competing on price, but attracting the ideal client for you?
Well, here’s the thing. There are 2 big criteria you need in order to put yourself into a different category, to raise your profile to the extent that you have no competition.
Firstly, you need to create something unique. One of the things I teach people is how to take their knowledge and experience and turn it into a unique business system. Once you have that, then you no longer need compete on price – ever.
The other thing that everyone has in their business, but most people don’t even know they have – and they certainly aren’t using it – is their STORY.
Think about it. Everything special has a story.
Christmas has stories of the baby Jesus, and a jolly guy in a red coat called Santa. When we are children we learn many things through stories – from nursery rhymes, to fairy stories and fables. Before written language, all history in all cultures was passed from generation to generation by the telling of stories.
The aboriginal people of Australia, the oldest civilisation in the world (according to a DNA study in 2016 from the University of Cambridge), pass down their culture through many stories from the DreamTime; their understanding of how the world came into existence.
As we become adults, our experiences become stories. They can be in the form of family history – ‘Do you remember when Grandad went out for some milk and came back with a dining room table?’ type stories. These become vessels for keeping memories, and therefore the people we love, alive.
Then there are the stories we tell ourselves. That’s a subject for another day.
The stories I am referring to here, are the story or stories of your journey as an entrepreneur or the story of your business journey.
Your story is the perfect conduit to achieving many outcomes, the first of which is positioning you as an expert in your field. You see, unless your reputation (good hopefully) proceeds you, most of your potential clients probably have no clue who you are and why they should do business with you.
And whilst you can talk all about your product or services and the features and benefits of that – people buy people, and they buy FROM people. Decisions are driven by emotions and then backed up by ‘evidence’.
The decision to buy a specific car, for example, is an emotional one. People buy cars based on many factors, the biggest being how they imagine they will feel when driving that car, which is also a reflection of their values…..Volvo – safety, DB9 – impressive but not too flashy, Smart EQ – environmentally friendly, for example.
Then they back up their decision with the ‘facts’ that support their decision, ignoring any facts that don’t fit. The car manufacturers know their audience and play to those desires. Their advertising supports the message their audience wants to hear, and their stories are crafted to attract their ideal clients.
Well, people do the same when making any decision, including the one to use YOUR company.
What I mean by that is, unless you connect with your potential audience, they probably aren’t going to buy your stuff (unless they have no alternative).
In these days of social media, people want to KNOW (or at least feel that they know) the people they are doing business with. And your story should give them all the ‘evidence’ they need that you know what you are talking about. There are a couple of other key things that your story needs to do.
Your story needs to show your potential customer that you understand their pains because you have ‘been there and done that’. When your customer understands that you have stood in their shoes, and you understand them because you have felt their pain, then they are more open to listening to what you have to say.
Your story also builds rapport with your potential clients. There is something about being open and therefore vulnerable, something about trusting your ‘audience’ with your truths, warts and all, which creates a magnetic effect. They trust you, because you have trusted them. Does that make sense?
Now there is a lot more to building your story, much more than I can possibly go into here. If you would like to watch a short video about the power of story-telling please click here now.
However, to sum up, the power of stories should not be underestimated. It is one of the most powerful tools for creating – know, like and trust. Your clients need to know, like and trust you, before they will ever buy from you.
And if you’re thinking – “well Andy that’s all very well for you but I don’t have a story” – I’m telling you, you do. Most people believe that they don’t have a story, or that no-one would be interested in their story. And it is simply not true. Everyone has a story. You have a story. And it matters.
If you have questions about how to craft your business story – reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join my Facebook Group here. Look forward to connecting!