Why Revealing Your Embarrassing Mistakes is the Fastest Way to Increase Sales -  Vistage Executive Street Blog

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Why Revealing Your Embarrassing Mistakes is the Fastest Way to Increase Sales

I know.  It is totally counter-intuitive to ask you to drag out the embarrassing stories to increase sales.  You would much prefer to forget them yourself – much less tell your prospective customers about the horrific event that left you humiliated.  There are reasons why it is a good idea.

Sales are largely built on trust.  The sales lead is suspicious of your company, product and any sales message you send to them.  The most effective way to turn that suspicion around is to tell a story.

The Human Connection

In the digital world where marketing automation is rapidly gaining a larger share of business budgets, your sales leads crave a human connection to those who provide products and services to them.  Deepening the customer relationship is the primary goal of the lead nurturing process.  You want the sales lead to connect with your message.  No other communication engages the mind of the reader more than an honest story…especially when the story confesses of mistakes you have made in the past.

In our eBook, “The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales”, we outline a step-by-step process of combining email campaigns and content pieces that address the customer’s pain.  Whether your content is an article, video, case study or special report – add power to the content by telling a story.  Although mistake confessions are powerful, they are far from the only way to use stories.

In Cialdini’s book, “Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion”, he lists the weapons of influence.  One of them is social proof.  Tell a story about a company that was suffering pain prior to purchasing your product or service.  Encourage the reader by also telling about the pain relief experienced after purchasing from you.  The story will help them see the benefit in terms they can understand.

The Power of Story

Our minds think in relative terms.  What may seem perfectly simple to you can easily confuse the sales lead and send them clicking away.  A story can help the reader suspend their natural disbelief.  When you talk about the prospect’s pain in a way that stimulates emotion, they will listen.  When you tell a story, the reader suspends disbelief in your sales message and focuses on the human story.

People buy first based on emotion.  Then they justify their decision based on logic.  Even the totally analytical executive follows this pattern.  When your sales lead sinks into critical thinking, feelings are suspended, they begin asking “what if”  and can often lead to procrastination.

Think for the Sales Lead

If you have done your homework, you have clearly identified your ideal client.  You know the demographics, psychographics, geographics and technographics of the customers you would want to duplicate.  Your content is most powerful when it speaks directly the composite persona of that single ideal client.

Think about “a day in the life” of your ideal client and select a story that will stir the reader’s emotions.  Offer the promise of pain resolution they will experience after purchasing from you.  Use words from their environment.  You can use analogies, metaphors and picture words that relate to their world.  Paint vivid pictures in their mind with stories.

Dig into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) on a regular basis to see if any aspect of your ideal client has changed.  The more you know about them, the more your content piece will touch on emotions and motivate them to take action for resolving their pain.

You may have begun reading this article with serious doubt that anyone would be interested in hearing about your struggles.  The shocking truth is it may be the ONLY thing they want to know about.  We all know that any person who has achieved success left a string of failures in their wake.

Share your story with sales leads as part of your email marketing.  Learn how other businesses have harnessed the power of good content from our Sales Growth eBook series.