Stop talking about your business it like it's some kind of emotionless "thing" - or people might just start approaching it like one
I was on the phone the other day to this founder of a cyber security system. He was obviously super passionate about it and was solving a big problem but the conversation kind of made me feel like a rabbit in headlights. The product, features, benefits bla bla bla (Techno-babble). I understood (kind of!) what his product was about and what he did but I had no incentive to want to know more about it.
Tech businesses fall into this trap so easily. People understand what they do, they acknowledge it's important but don't want to have anything to do with it 💔
I thought so. And it's bloody frustrating. More so than anything because you know what you have really does have the power to impact so many people, but no one seems to see it.
It's not your fault. That fire in your belly is real - it's not just a hopeless enthusiasm. It's just that the part of our brain in charge of emotions is crap at languages. So naturally we find comfort in talking about the logical parts of our business which is so much easier to articulate.
But here's the thing;
Your business is an amplified version of YOU. Your core values, your drivers, your WHY. The more you can communicate THAT to your audience, the more your TRIBE is going to be inspired by and attracted to your cause. When they feel an emotional connection, that's when your people want to be a part of it.
There are 3 simple questions you need to answer to do this;
1) "What drives me when I'm at my best" (Your WHY & core values). Articulate your WHY and WHAT you do will start to resonate so much more.
2) "If i was to live in line with my WHY every single day, what would be the impact of it on the world?" (Your vision - note that this is not about the benefits to your user, it is about the world you're creating). Paint a clear picture of the future you believe in and the right people will go out of their way to get onboard your "vehicle" to get there
3) What is your founding story? The reason you care so much about solving the problem you solve is because you once had an epiphany that made you realise why this problem specifically is so important. By sharing your founding story with your audience, you're guiding people to have their own epiphany about why it's important.
So you might be saying to yourself right now "Yes, but Alara - I know the answers to this already!"
You may FEEL the answers to them in your gut, but as long as you're not communicating it to your customers & stakeholders - they will continue to see your business as a "thing".
Your business is not just a "thing". So start to translate that fire in your belly into the way you communicate your business and watch as people are magnetised to you.
If you'd like some feedback about this, drop a link to your website below and I'd be happy to talk about where you can improve!
We've all had situations where someone asks you "Hey! What do you do?" or "What's your new *app* about?" 🙄
So you whip out your elevator pitch and one of two things happen. 🌟 Either their eyes light up and you dive into a dreamy state of having a super inspired conversation OR 🤐 they show a slight sign of interest before deviating the conversation to someone or something else giving you no choice to move on and leaving you feeling like you've missed an opportunity. 💣
Imagine if every time that question was asked - you had a super inspiring conversation - what would be the impact of it?
More people talking about what you do. More people coming onboard with your vision. More referrals. More sales. More funding. More inspired employees.
More people staying loyal to you over other people.
All because, you established a genuine emotional connection with them.
In order to have conversations like this EVERY time there are 2 stages you need to focus on:
1) To INSPIRE, not inform
If you only have logical conversations, you're going to get a bunch of people that conceptionally understand what you do. To get people to emotionally connect to your product, you need a reliable way of igniting inspiration and the easiest way to do this is by genuinely being passionate about your work and showing them your glow 💗
In a conversation this is how you would do this:
Snap into the 7 year old CHILD in you and speak from there the whole conversation:
Next time you someone asks you "What do you do?" notice where your mind goes. As much as we don't want to admit it, it usually starts thinking about the possible outcome/benefit of this conversation which makes the person asking a target. People feel when they're being targeted, hence they deviate the conversation topic!
But inspiring conversations aren't born from desperate intentions, they're born from a shared excitement. And who better to do this than the 7 yr old you? So find a phrase that snaps you into your childlike excitement and start your answer with that. Mine is a quick "Oh my God!" - and I'm thinking from my child mind. Or picture yourself speaking as a child.
The change that this step alone will create in the atmosphere is the difference between being sprayed with a firemans hose to walking by a lagoon that looks so inviting you want to jump in. One you want to deviate and run away from, the other you can't get enough of!
Have fun and make it entertaining so they have a reason to stay in the conversation!
Before you dive into a pitch of any kind, set a fun atmosphere.
"Oh my God! If you were to ask that to me 3 years ago you would have thought I've just come out of a funeral!"
This sets the tone for your inspiring conversation and breaks the ice. So find a little sentence/insight that you follow your "child state triggering phase"
Peak curiosity and wonder:
Instead of telling them what you do and the details of it and how it works and who it's best suited for, at this stage ONLY share the most recent and exciting part of what you're doing and connect it to the impact it's going to have on the world:
"Oh my God! If you were to ask that to me 3 years ago you would have thought I've just come out of a funeral! (laughs). Right now I own my own company. We're about to launch a new app which is all about creating moments of magic in families that normally feel disconnected"
Note how I've only given the most recent information and have not talked about WHAT I do yet. If they already know your most recent exciting venture and are asking "Hey, what's your new app about?", then just answer with the VISION part. "Its about creating moments of magic in families that normally feel disconnected"
This does 2 things: It helps you filter the right people for you from the wrong. If someone believes in your vision, this is the point you will find out because they will ask something like "Ah how are you doing that?" "That's really cool. What got you into that" etc. If they still deviate the conversation, they were not a connection worth having or spending anymore energy on. Save your energy!
2. Lead them to their own EPIPHANY by presenting your elevator pitch in story form:
The reason you are passionate about what you do is because you do is because something made you decide "This is important and I can't ignore this anymore". You had an epiphany. But when we market on a day to day basis we expect people to just hear our pitch, hear about the problem we solve and have the same realisation as we did.
In your conversation; guide them through your story to have the same epiphany as you did and they will start to feel the fire you do.
Explain your own experience of when you were first exposed to the problem and it's effects:
"Well, you see, I was brought up in quite a big family. Both my mum's and dads side was big. But because of that there was always drama going on and we all felt pretty disconnected. Which meant that when I went through some really hard times in my life, I didn't really feel my family was there for me at all. The lack of support made me feel lonely"
Explain where this problem is coming up outside of your own story:
"After talking to other members of the family I learnt that they felt the same way too. And I started to notice that there are a lot of people who feel disconnected from their wider family"
Explain the solution you have:
"So the app we developed creates personalised story books where the characters faces are faces of the family members - even pets..."
Explain the result of your solution:
"... so that families that feel disconnected can have little moments of magic to connect over."
Explain the wider impact of that result and how it ties into your vision:
"And the thing is, the more of these little moments of magic we, create, the easier it becomes for these moments to override the underlying drama and create family where people feel connected to again"
REMEMBER: Always speak at their level. Your product may have loads of technical words in it but the thing is, no one cares how smart you are or how fancy your systems are. Allow your sole focus to be on creating a inspiring, human conversation (like the 7yr old you would do).
This is the exact process I will teach my clients. One of my clients took this so seriously that he ended up with too many customers! He had to start picking and choosing who he worked with!
The childlike spark in you is one of a kind and people love to jump aboard trains they're excited by the destination of. So now, get a pen and paper out and customise this to your own product. Then practice it over and over again (with a friend and in real life).
Your vision coach,
A close friend of mine contributed to writing the article "What is the ROI of a Loyal Customer?". It is absolutely mind blowing! 5.2 Million over 10 year! ( read the full article here: https://martech.zone/what-is-the-roi-of-customer-loyalty/ )
But how do you create loyaly? Loyalty comes from when people feel an emotional connection to you and your company. Emotions are what drives behaviours. So when you can establish that connection, suddenly you lift the burden of needing to constantly rely on price/time incentives or persuasion tactics to get people to keep coming back.
But how do you establish an emotional connection. People feel an emotional connection to something they believe in. "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it" - Simon Sinek. You need to communicate your purpose, your story, your vision and impact so clearly that they can sell it.
Everyone has a WHY which means every business has a WHY. In fact, yours is probably incredibly inspiring. You have something with the ability to change the world massively. But most businesses have no idea how to communicate it to their prospects (or even to their employees or venture capitalists!) so they retreat to the safe space of talking about WHAT they do, it's features & benefits etc. (running away from establising an emotional connection back into the "logical" realm).
To create an emotional connection, start with yourself
Alara is a WHY discovery coach, NLP practitioner, a Rite of Passage Facilitator and a Yoga/Meditation teacher. She specialises in helping business owners find and articulate their vision.