In this post, I want to show you how to get in front of your customers in an authentic way!
NOTE: Each piece of this story building technique is a blog post, video, photo, quote, social media post, etc….
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
First, I need to address the elephant in the room.
I 100% recommend that you have a blog. This is where your customers get to know you. Store Front, Home Sales, Service based business…It doesn’t matter, you NEED IT!
Call it News, Updates, ‘What’s Happening’….it’s a blog.
Use a free resource until you can afford a legit platform
No Website? Buy a Landing Page. Direct your landing page to your blogging site.
Optimally, get a website and a blog set up before you open your doors. If you are already open, don't sweat, just get it done. NOW!
Ok, now that is out of the way....
When I use the term story, I am not referring to YOUR story. Yes, you have a story about your business, how you got started, when you opened and all that. Your story DOES need to be told, I am just not referring to that right now. Also, I have included a worksheet HERE if you would like to download it and take notes as you work through this process.
If you hate reading, watch the video below!
So, to connect with your audience you need to tell your customers a story about themselves and show them how they can help themselves by using your product/service. You need to truly care about what ails them. Be the all knowing mentor who the are waiting for to better thier lives.
Step #1: Define what the customer wants in life
This might be a:
Physical Need - Hair Removal, Food, Shelter
Mental Need - Knowledge, Edge over competition
But if you really break it down, everything you sell comes back to an Emotional Need. Look at it this way.
Hair Removal - Improved Self Esteem
Food - Social Acceptance or Emotional Comfort
Shelter - Security
Knowledge - Self Esteem or Self Improvement
Edge over competition - Security, Self Esteem, Admiration of others
You see what I mean. Figure out the ONE thing that your customer wants more than ANYTHING in the whole world, as it relates to what you are selling.
For this blog, I am going pretend that I own a Rustic Furniture Company. My customer (a female) will buy a new piece of furniture for thier home from me. What ONE thing does the customer want? She wants to be tied to her roots. She wants to buy something that brings her back to a simpler time in history when homes were centers of activity for the family, not just holding places for eating and sleeping.
Step # 2: Address the problem that is getting in the way.
You have identified what your customer REALLY wants. Now you need to pinpoint why she doesn't have it. Look at it from three different angles.
Outside - From the outside, what appears to be the problem?
Inside - When you really get down to it, what is the real problem?
Fundamentally - When you break it down even farther, to a level that even the customer might now realize for themselves, what is the REAL problem?
This may seem confusing, so let me use our furniture story example to elaborate. On the outside, the problem might be that the customer doesn't know where to even find the piece of furniture that she wants. Let's say that she sees a beautiful rustic dining table in a magazine. The first thought in her mind is that she loves it but hasn't the slightest idea where to get something like that. It must be custom made. Which leads us to the Inside problem....
On the inside, she is telling herself that the custom piece must cost a fortune. Then maybe she starts telling herself that she doesn't even like that kind of table anyway OR that the table she saw at Rooms to Go was ok enough. Which brings us to the fundamental problem...
Fundamentally Deep DEEP down, she doesn't want to ask her spouse to buy the table. She knows it would be a stretch to afford with the kids activities and the vacation coming up, another table would DO just fine. She doesn't NEED a fancy, custom table. What she is saying (and she doesn't even realize it) is that what she wants is not as important as what the other people in her family want.
You see how that works? Whoa! Right?
So, now that we know what the problem is we need to figure out how to solve thier problem, right?
Step # 3: Be the problem solving helper
As a business, you need to approach your customer as someone who truly wants to meet thier needs, not just someone who wants to sell them something. You want to empower them to make a good decision for themselves. You do this in two ways:
Understand what they are going through. Genuine interest in thier lives will go a LONG way in fostering trust and likability
Be the expert that they can turn to, even when they are not buying anything...especially when they are not buying anything.
Back to our furniture buyer, she wants the dining table from the magazine. To establish empathy, your blog posts on your site can be about
How a piece of furniture can bring a family together
A memory piece about your Grandma's Table at holiday time
How your pieces can be passed on as family heirlooms
Then add in the Authority with posts like:
Why Custom Work Costs More
The variables that go into custom work
What is the difference between custom and semi custom work
Notice how you are connecting with the things that she worries about and answering those worries with your writing/videos. Now that she feels like you understand what she wants AND she feels more confident in making a decision about the purchase, show your what to do next.
Step #4: Map it out: step by step
This is where your advertising comes in. It doesn't have to be straight to consumer (Newspaper, Magazine, TV, Social Media) but it can be.
You need to:
Address what they need
The piece of furniture before Thanksgiving
Set up a plan
The process for ordering a custom or semi custom pieces. The more knowledgeable the customer feels, the more likely she is to stop dreaming and make a move to buy.
Execute in an affordable way
This does not mean to sell for less than something is worth, especially if you own a service based business. I means to lay out any financing, payment plans, return policies, or anything else that is important to the buying process. Lay it out where your customer can see it, ask questions about it, and feel like they are in charge of the transaction. No Pressure to buy = Less buyer's remorse!
Ok, so your customer knows everything there is to know. They know what they they want. They know why they want it. They know how to get it. Now, after all of the due diligence, is the time to make the move to sell.
Step #5: Call them to Action
Show them what the outcomes will be if they DO or DO NOT buy your product/service. Call them to action by asking questions.
With Your Product/Service:
Don't you just love this table?
How beautiful would this look with your Grandma's Christmas Centerpiece?
We love the red, white, and blue against this hand scraped pine. Don't you?
Without Your Product/Service:
Do your holiday's look like this? They don't have to.
Why assign the kids to another table at Thanksgiving? Bring the Family together.
No room for the newest member of the family? We can help!
Well, that's it folks. I hope you have learned something new today. I wish for your business is to Grow and Grow and Grow until you are forced to sell it all and live on a tropical island or snowy mountain cabin, You pick! :)
Please reach out with any questions or comments at my EMail: Sarah@BuzzHustle.com OR connect with my online on Facebook: @BuzzHustle or Twitter: @Buzz_Hustle.