How to Tell if Your Storytelling Strategy Is a Dud
What do potential and existing customers care about more in your business: Your culture, history of your company, how funny or "human" you are, or your ability to solve problems in innovative ways that help them create distinctive market position and grow?
Customers Care Less About Your Story
Reality check: Your clients rarely base decisions on starting or continuing to do business based on your corporate culture, attitude, style or personality.
They care more about their own problems or goals.
That's why smart B-to-B marketers are asking themselves a tough new question in 2013-to make sure their storytelling strategies actually drive sales.
"If customers make purchase decisions based on how well we solve problems for clients, why is our social media strategy focused on stories and image?"
Connect Stories to Your Selling Process
Telling prospects "I can solve your problem" through a story is weak as compared to the other three-part option:
- Getting their attention with a good story;
- helping them make better decisions, learn a new skill, avoid dangerous risks and;
- doing this in ways that build confidence in themselves, trust in your brand and result in a sales lead.
In my own experience, success starts happening more when I resist telling prospects all about my company's "unique story," or those of my clients'.
Instead, I'm connecting my stories to a simple process, a nurturing program. The more I'm promising prospective customers a cure for an expressed pain, and taking them on a journey toward the remedy, the more they're identifying themselves as leads and transacting with me.
The difference is distinct: Telling disconnected stories that create images versus proving you're worth consideration by creating micro-successes with prospects. This is the way to start leading prospects toward (or away from) the larger solutions we're selling.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.