In my last post I mentioned I participated in a workshop focusing on developing “Your Story” (found here) and I wanted to elaborate on my experience a little more.
The workshop was part of a Mastery series run by Richard Dolan (Richard’s website) as part of Real Estate Investment Network’s (REIN) monthly meetings. These Mastery sessions were designed for Real Estate Investors to establish an approach to engaging others in their business: but the application of these modules spans further than just to individuals who are interested in real estate. “Your Story” is essentially a well crafted value proposition, one similar, in theory to what a sales person designs prior to establishing a connection with a prospect. In this case, a successful “Your Story” value proposition engages others to say “I WANT IN”.
Have you ever talked to a friend or family member who is describing a vacation they are about to take and all you can think about is “I want to go there/do that too”? We all have. But why? Whether we acknowledge it or not, something is triggered internally that envisions that location or activity, compares it to our situation and analyzes which scenario is better. That’s “I Want In”!
How Richard engaged all of us at the workshop was to walk our audience through our story that lead to our decision in Real Estate Investing. We crafted our story, a journey through our past, present and future, in a way that mirrored a play paying special attention to the dramatic structure: back story, inciting incident, rising action, crisis, climax and resolution. One key message was to provide the audience with an ending that was UNEXPECTED or didn’t follow the outlined path. I’ve sat through enough movies where I knew exactly where the plot was going and how it would end, and I may have enjoyed the movie none-the-less. But the movies that have resonated with me the most are the one’s that were unpredictable, or the main character took an unexpected step (think Seven Pounds, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, etc). Ultimately by pulling your audience into the story line, they feel your enthusiasm, pain, urgency, desire, whatever it is, and ultimately they want to know more, experience more.
Sounds like sales doesn’t it?
A sales person’s primary objective to obtain customer buy in, to get them saying “I Want In”. Smart sales people know not to burden the prospect with their own or their company’s past, present and future, but to engage the customer to reflect on their’s. Smart sellers know that designing a value proposition and specific target questions PRIOR to meeting a prospect is paramount. The seller needs to engage the prospect to reflect on their past, their present, but most importantly their future. Our job is to craft (read: RESEARCH, PREPARE and DEVELOP) a future where our service/product/widget/whatever will play a role in changing our prospect’s path. Whether it’s reducing downtime by 22%, increasing closing ratios by 41%, increasing market share by 12%: whatever it is, it’s a change from the way things are. If we can create a scenario where the prospect feels change will have a positive affect on their business, “I Want In” becomes the only logical response.
Thanks for reading and your comments are always welcome.