Here is a bitter pill to swallow. No one cares about you.
Ouch! Sure, you pour money, blood, sweat, and tears into your business. The concept, the process, the products, the history! They are all so absorbingly compelling, right? Right!
But no one really cares.
Kinda stings, doesn’t it?
What they do care about is themselves and their own trials and tribulations. When you connect a person with a product, a service, or an experience they perceive fixes or alleviates their pain or boredom or fills their little heart with joy, or that awkward corner of the living room with the perfect chair – then they’ll perk up and listen.
I’m not sure who said this first, but one of my colleagues made a remark the other day which struck me as brilliantly insightful.
“You can’t read the label when you’re in the bottle.”
As a business owner, you need to get outside your bottle and look at it from your customer’s perspective. If a guy is desperately looking for an emergency plumbing repair but all your label talks about how many years you’ve been in business and how customer service is your number one goal then he’ll keep scanning the shelf for a bottle with 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE front and center on the label.
You need to ask yourself what you’re really selling. For instance, does Harley Davidson sell motorcycles or do they sell freedom, and the soul-stirring image of riding off into the desert sunset?
Does NIKE ‘just’ sell shoes and gear or are you buying athleticism and a competitive edge? How about Hallmark? Ford Trucks?
How do you help me get what I want—when maybe I don’t know what that is? How do you get someone to care about your solution to their problem? Hint: It’s all about them.
When a person seeks what you offer, what is their ‘before’ state?
What is their desired ‘after’ state?
Focus on the desired after state and tell a story about how you will take them there and you’ll have hit upon the secret sauce! Here’s another hint. People don’t buy products and services, they buy the transformation. No one ever bought a Mercedes because they couldn’t find their bus pass!
Here’s a story about a lawn service. A nice mom and pop business with a couple of trucks. They were drifting along with lackluster sales until they decided to get outside their bottle and read the label. They stopped talking about their equipment, trusted technicians, and the number of years in business. They started talking about when a guy bought their lawn care services he got his weekend back! No longer was he chained to his lawn mower every Saturday—he got his day back with time to golf, lay in a hammock, and spend time with the family. They stopped selling lawn services and instead they focused on the real pain. Sweating, swearing, mosquitos, sunburns, trips for gas, and an entire Saturday wasted shortening the grass.
Interested in reading your label? Feel free to reach out and talk with us. We’re always happy to make a new friend!
Tami Newman began her career in marketing at the age of six when she successfully convinced her Aunt that LUV’s were the only diaper she should ever buy for her brand new baby cousin. She said she watched all the commercials and LUV’s were by far the best choice. No one ever unlocked the reason she was so certain, but her cousin wore only LUV’s. Since then, Tami has worn all the hats in the marketing universe—sometimes several at once—sales, graphic design, writer, social media manager, and entrepreneur. Today she occupies a seat at the Mid-West Family Madison Brand Strategy table, she’s waiting there for you now.