Many years ago we lost a client as one of the new business partners didn’t like me. Paraphrasing his words, he couldn’t get a handle on me and simply didn’t have the level of trust his partner had in our ability.
Having helped the original partner significantly grow, this hurt. But it also made me reflect and think.
One of the biggest barriers to a sale is trust. Trust in you and trust that you’ll deliver what you promise. Without both, no matter how good your product or service, people simply won’t buy.
But it extends further. People want to know who you are. You have to open yourself up and let people into parts of your life.
Every prospect is thinking.
- Can you solve my problem?
- Why should I do business with you?
- Can I trust you to deliver?
- And arguably, most importantly, do I like you, are you credible and do I vibe with your value system?
They may not voice the thoughts. But they’re there.
So how do you quickly become relatable and establish credibility?
You may have heard of the hero’s journey.
If not, it’s one of the major archetypes we all innately understand. The story of how the protagonist battles the odds and some major handicap to finally triumph. If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll know exactly what I mean with Luke Skywalker and his battle and ultimate triumph over the Empire.
Or Frodo in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
Every one of you has overcome some adversity to get where you are. But you probably think it’s not interesting. But it is.
Telling your personal hero’s journey can have a very powerful effect on your audience because it allows others to peek behind the curtain and get a feeling for who you really are.
We use ours at the beginning of every speaking gig, sales presentation and our written marketing material.
Highlighting our own struggles and how we’ve pushed through helps people relate to us. It also establishes our credibility. We’ve been where you are and can help you move forward.
Now in case you’re wondering, this is what we say.
“I’d spent 20 years in IT at the big end of town. Starting with highly technical roles, then sales, sales and senior management.
In 2000 after the dot com bust, found myself without a job. My last act with my employer was to close the division down and fire 25 of my staff. If you’ve ever been in this position you’ll know just how gut wrenching this is.
Looking around for another position in IT I kept being told I was either too senior, too general or too old – at 40. So I decided to become a consultant! I had no clients and no track record.
Barbara had recently moved here from Switzerland and while she had managed large teams and travel budgets of over $20M, had to start at the bottom of the travel game.
Money was tight and we were going backwards, fast.
The solution? Get part time jobs while we built up the business.
The thought of stacking supermarket shelves left me cold. Barbara saw an ad looking for house cleaners and said she was willing, but only if I was too.
One day I’m cleaning a home and chatting with the owner – an expatriate MD for a multi-national. I mentioned we were starting a business consultancy and cleaning while we built it up.
A week later I was in his office talking to him about business. I put him on our newsletter list.
A year went by and the constant drip feed of articles worked. I got a call from his national sales manager needing help with sales issues.
We ended up working very closely with the MD for about a year. At the time they were doing around $3M in sales and wanted to get to the $10M mark.
A few years went by and I suddenly got a call out of the blue from the MD who told me they’d broken the $11.5M mark and credited a lot of their success to the foundational work we’d done with them all those years ago.
Since then we’ve worked with businesses in over 40 industries. They range from solo professionals to multi-nationals. Many of whom have become market leaders in their fields.
What this gives us is an extremely broad range of experience. As legendary marketer, Jay Abraham points out, most innovation comes from outside your industry. Something that’s worked elsewhere but never applied in your field.”
So what’s your hero’s journey?
I can assure you, you have one.
Struggling to tease it out? We’re every good at eliciting it. Give Rashid a call on 0414 913 334 and get the ball rolling.