Recently I had an Aha Moment! I can’t believe that I missed this. But I think you’re going to find this to be one of your greatest blind spots, too.
As experts, we often assume people “Get it.” They know what we do. And, if they don’t, they should. Why shouldn’t they? There’s tons of information out there about our subject matter and we saturate them with the value of our work, right?
Here’s what I learned during a one-on-one fact-finding consult with a new potential client. It has helped me shift again how I position my message.
After we exchanged pleasantries, the conversation went like this:
S. Renee: Tell me about yourself.
Potential Client: I don’t know if I need your services because I don’t know if I need branding, but you came highly recommended so I thought I’d at least give you a call. A publisher published my book and I want to sell lots of copies.
S. Renee: Oh, that’s exciting. So you signed a book deal. What an honor! Who is your publisher?
Potential Client: Oh, I paid to have it published.
S. Renee (Hmmm, I thought to myself): Okay. Tell me more.
Potential Client: I realize now that I paid too much money for the little bit of work they did for me, and now they are trying to sell me a marketing package. So I’ve been asking people about marketing, and your name keeps coming up as someone who can help me. I thought I’d call to see if you could help me sell copies of my book.
S. Renee: Tell me more.
Potential Client: I know my book will help a lot of people. I just need for people to see it and I know they’ll like it and buy it.
Renee (after some more digging): So, tell me what you know about branding.
Potential Client: I think it’s when people recognize you. But I don’t want to be recognized. I just want to sell my book.
That’s when the light bulb came on for me. This individual, like many of the people I talk to, has a dream. They finally have a piece of their dream in their hands, but they don’t know how to launch it into the marketplace. In fact, they don’t even realize their book is a product and it has to find its position among the millions of other books in the marketplace.
Yes, they see Fortune 500 companies reach them through storytelling on television, billboard and online advertising, and store placement. But they don’t connect their product with needing the same investment, attention and persistence.
Like many of the over 300 clients I’ve coached, their ideas are on paper, but they don’t see their book as an extension of themselves. They see it as an independent product that only needs to be seen by others, and – BAM – they sell hundreds of thousands of copies and they become well-known!
This is so far from reality. Consumers are sophisticated and smart. They know what they want to spend their money on, but you have to tell them you are the person or company who they want to spend their money with.
Brands drive sales. It’s the skillfully worded message behind the product and the consistency of that message that gets people’s attention. It’s the fulfillment of the promise of that message that earns the trust of the consumer, which leads to a purchase.
Think about the advertisements you see. They are nothing more than a carefully crafted story that shows you a problem and tells you how to solve it. As small business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors and even employees, we too, have to craft our message, build our story and earn the trust of our audience.
S. Renee, CPC, is a nationally recognized Self-Esteem, Branding and Communications Expert, Speaker, Coach and Best-Selling Author. To learn more about how you can craft and communicate a message that connects and engages your audience visit www.srenee.com and consider one of her upcoming events.