Your customer thinks about him- or herself A LOT. And basically never thinks about you.
I know you think about your customer… like A LOT. Helping them. Selling them your service, course, or product.
But when it comes to you, your customer will flee your unclear website faster than a cat jumps when it sees a cucumber behind it:
Maybe that’s a little soul crushing. But don’t worry! I’m about to show you why your customer not giving a damn about you is a good thing — and how you can use it to your advantage.
It all starts with a story.
Why a Story?
If you’re trying to sell anything, you need to be using the element of story in your marketing.
That’s right. Storytelling is essential to sales.
And the biggest blunder you can make is one where you cast yourself as the “Hero” in the story. We’ll get to that later.
First, know that you spend up to 50% of your day daydreaming. Want proof? Check out this article from Psychology Today.
There are, however, moments when your brain SNAPS out of dreaming and pays real close attention. Those moments are when you’re listening, reading, or watching a good story.
Donald Miller of StoryBrand explained this recently at Digital Marketer’s Content and Commerce Summit 2016 during his presentation.
If you want to get someone to pay attention to you — like when you’re trying to sell them something — then you’d better be using stories to capture their attention.
The 7 Elements of Story
Now, you definitely don’t want to bore prospects with your attempt to craft the next Great American Novel, but since they’re a potential client, you should be telling the success story when they buy your services.
Miller broke down the 7 elements of story in a super simple way:
- Character (Hero)
- Call to Action
- Success or
Here’s an example of a story you probably know:
- Frodo (Character)
- Evil ring that needs to be destroyed (Problem)
- Gandalf (Guide)
- Travel to Mordor to destroy ring (Plan)
- Gandalf says only Frodo can do this and he needs to do it now (Call to Action)
- Destroy the ring, save Middle Earth (Success)
- Ring falls into the hands of the Dark Lord (Failure)
Lord of the Rings Trilogy, right? Miller let us know that just about any story will follow this model. (Since his talk, I’ve seen other hybrid stories that didn’t fit, but any story that resembles a Hero’s Journey will follow it)
BUT WAIT! Let’s make this concept a little more interesting.
What about element number 2? The Problem.
Elements of the Problem
Miller described how Problems in stories can be broken down into 3 parts:
- External Problem
- Internal Problem
- Philosophical Problem
There’s a good chance your marketing message only tries to solve the external problem.
Let’s pretend you’re selling ABC Web Design services to small and medium companies.
Maybe your message is “Use ABC Web Design Services and You’ll get a Great Website!”
Pretty simple, but how many people out there are selling the same exact thing? LOTS.
What about this? “ABC Web Design Services Will Give You a Great Looking Website and Free Up YOUR time for Growing Your Business”
What did we do there? We promised to kill two birds with one stone. Give them a great website AND free up their time to work on other important things. Double win!
Can we solve three problems? “ABC Web Design Services Will Give You a Great Looking Website, Free Your Time to Grow Your Business, and Give You Peace of Mind When You’re on Vacation with Your Family”
Can you solve this person’s family problems? Of course not. But you can help them create a better family life with a little peace of mind.
Remember the Lord of the Rings example above? What are the different elements of the problem?
- Ring needs to be destroyed (External problem – how to go about doing this?)
- Frodo doesn’t know if he has what it takes – he’s a only a Hobbit! (Internal problem)
- If this doesn’t happen, the world will be ruled by the Dark Lord (Philosophical problem – Good vs Evil)
Don’t Be the Hero
The last — and most important — point I’ll share with you from Miller’s talk is this: Don’t be the Hero.
Because, dummy, your client is the Hero.
You may be thinking “Well, that’s obvious!”
Of course it is. But who’s the Hero in this sales message?
“My grandfather started ABC Products when he was 30, and we have built it up to serve the southeast region. We are the premier ABC Product company”
Who’s the hero there? The company, right? That’s NO GOOD. Remember that people care about themselves more than they care about you. It’s human nature.
You need to be the Guide.
Look at the difference:
“You’ve been struggling years to accomplish XYZ with little results. Good news! It’s not your fault. With ABC Products, you can skyrocket your progress in half the time.”
Notice the difference? The whole story is about the customer — not the company.
Remember: Customers Don’t Care About You
So now you know. Your customer doesn’t care about you… but this is a great thing. They are the Hero of their own story. If you simply position yourself as the Guide, you’ll garner their trust with much greater ease.
- Make sure to touch upon all the elements of stories in your messaging to your ideal customer.
- Heroes are weak. Heroes need to overcome obstacles. Heroes face challenges. Heroes face their fears.
- Guides, on the other hand, already know the path. They’ve already been there and can show the way. That’s why you need to be the Guide.
- Highlight all 3 elements of your customers’ problem: internal, external, and philosophical.
- Make sure to solve them all 🙂
Have you been positioning yourself as the Hero or the Guide?
Let us know in the comments!