Love ’em, or hate ’em, WalMart is an excellent example of having a story. Why?
Because people actually have two different stories for Wal-Mart. The first one that built the empire. The more recent story, however, threatens to damage their bottom line.
WalMart has grown to its massive size today, and in the process has crushed the competition. Some people see them as the “ultimate store”. A place where cost conscious families can get their shopping done. It fits the bill of millions of consumers.
The story that built the empire is the one WalMart tells its customers, “Get your needs satisfied quicker, easier, and cheaper, while going to the friendly family store.” They even have senior citizens welcome you inside the door.
Now here is the story some folks see and believe, the one that threatens to damage the companies bottom line.
Wal-Mart is a big, heartless corporation. A corporation that uses aggressive tactics. A company that kills businesses in small towns. And of course, this story is the one that people arrived at o their own, without the influence from the company.
The take-away here is simply that your business might also have two stories… the one you want your customers to know, and the one they come up with on their own.
If you don’t even tell them a story, your customers and prospects will most likely develop their own. Possibly negative, possibly positive… it all depends on the individual, and how they see your business.
However, when you are able to formulate a successful story, and subsequently tell it, you will automatically gain an instant connection with your customers. That in turn can create a non-stop stream of sales, allowing you to out-distance your competition.
But before we talk about how to create a successful story, let’s look at a few more important points.
Google. How did they come to dominate a large portion of the pie of search traffic, especially when there was so much competition in the early days of the web?
Well, you guessed it. They told a story. They became known as, “The customer friendly place to get superior search results.” In other words, they were doing everything possible to give the public the best possible results.
And it didn’t matter if they really provided the best results, but that was the story they told the public.
Now, you might be thinking Google doesn’t have much of a story. You might be right. You don’t have to over complicate things. You just have to do enough to create a belief in your customers’ mind of your superior performance.
So how do you create a compelling story for your business?
Well, the process can be summed up in 3 quick and easy steps:
First, you must uncover your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What is special or unique about your business? What advantages do you offer that your competition does not?
Second, come up with your “emotional lever” that pulls the customer into your story. We can use the term “hook”, because it attaches to, and reels your customer into your story.
Third, combine your brainstorming, and tell your story, the story that you want your potential customers to see.
So, what is your story?