TLDR; Be Sure to Sell Your Story, Not Your Product
You’ve got to be ready to meet these new challenges if you want your business to succeed, and the window for doing so is quickly closing. There likely won’t be much of an opportunity for second chances and there is hardly ever any do-overs.
You’re in a different game and a different mindset than many businesses have faced in the past and – for better or worse – this means that their “stories,” the tales they tell their customers, are going to have to change and adapt as well.
It starts with a simple formula: satisfaction equals experiences exceeding expectations. SEE for short and SEEing is believing. If you focus on telling the right story to your customers and setting the proper expectations, and then deliver against those promises, you’ll have long term customers who are happy campers willing to stick with you as things improve over time. It’s still a WYSIWYG world – what you see is what you get. In this universe, the best story always wins.
On the other hand, if you overpromise or try to move too quickly to do everything you used to do, you’re almost certain to disappoint them and fail. What’s worse, you’ll burn out your employees with your spray and pray. The best ones will leave, and the underperformers will mentally quit, which is arguably even worse.
Here are three key rules to keep in mind:
- People buy stories, not things. Your story for today needs to closely and carefully match exactly what you can consistently deliver at the moment and your whole team needs to be onboard and committed to the plan. Plan to under-promise and over-deliver. Don’t rush; do a few important things really well.
- Stories are a powerful way to build loyalty and maintain connections. Your story needs to acknowledge, understand and value your customers’ needs and desires. There needs to be a simple explanation of how you expect to satisfy them through hard work, honest communications, and a continued personal commitment to getting better every day – just as they will be. Make them an integral part of the program and partners in the solution.
- Stay away from pitching math or metrics or relying on technology for now. Everyone has the same tools these days– they usually offer no edge and just sound like fluff to your customers. What matters is that YOU understand your metrics. For your customers though, give them an authentic people-to-people pitch and no amount of cold technology, stats, or spreadsheets can ever turn a sterile story into a heartfelt one. People don’t make emotional decisions based on numbers, they fall in love with your story. Yours or your competitors’ story.
Saddle up and reign it in,