Every business needs to have a definitive position and a compelling story. Customers won’t buy anything from you or even entertain the idea if you don’t have a story that touches them on an emotional level. It’s human nature.
Before you can ever have a prayer of getting a prospective customer to consider buying anything from you, you need to make them understand that you have the ability to solve their problems and the reason that you can solve their problems is because you have been where they are at some point in the past. That is the emotional connection. Your story must meet some objectives. First, it must demonstrate your hook in the marketplace. In other words, it must show why people should hire you over your competition. Second, it must go deeper into the reasons why your competition’s offerings are a thing of the past and why yours are what is relevant right now. In order to establish those objectives, you need to ask the following questions:
Why does your prospective customer need what you are offering at this very minute?
It is critical that you identify your customer’s problems and come up with a way to solve those problems. If you are able to do that, your prospective customer will see you in a whole new light and your credibility and trustworthiness will start to take hold. You should be able to express a deep understanding of what your customer is going through and offer a solution or one of several solutions to them. Another part of the conversation should be an explanation about why the solution to the problem should be executed right away.
What makes your solution different (and better) than someone else’s solution?
The chances are very good that your prospective customer agrees with you that a solution is needed; however, the part that will possibly take some convincing is making a move from the old vendor to you. Many prospective customers are reluctant to make a commitment right away. Change is difficult and there is the fear that there will be some irreversible consequence if a decision is made impulsively or too quickly. Your conversation can go something like this:
- Identify the prospective customer’s problem.
- Explain why a fresh approach is so important and why it will be effective.
- Come up with three to four possible solutions to their problems.
- Convince the person that only you can give them what they need.
You also need to convey how your solving the person’s problems will improve his or her life. Your story should also include the idea that the person’s future will be better because of your having solved his or her problems. When it comes to sharing your story, you not only need to use a catchy phrase that will attract the person but your story should have much more substance than that. It should really touch the person and make them feel that what they are experiencing is not unique to them. They should be made to understand that you can empathize with exactly what they are going through.
Presenting your story, a story that is compelling, sensitive, educational and human is the only way that you will successfully touch the other person. You need to make him or her understand that you truly feel what they feel and that you have the ability to solve whichever problems they are experiencing.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).