• What is the STORY of your business and why should we care?

    As a professor, communication coach and trainer, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who are vetting their business ideas to see if those concepts have “legs”. More often than not, the focus is primarily around personal vision aligned with a business idea, and, of course, can it make a profit based on the current market and trends. Something fundamental is missing from the equation: The absolute necessity of being able to articulate why your business matters…. (drumroll) to the CUSTOMER. Sure, we can describe our credibility through our skills and expertise. We can differentiate our features from our benefits, which is at least a start, and we can identify how we might stand out in the market. But this compelling WHY FACTOR is often omitted.

    Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why” and subsequent viral TED talk of 2009 is still being referenced today. He dared us to look at the “WHY” of we do before communicating “HOW” we do it and “WHAT” it is. When the WHY comes first, your concept is revealed from the inside out. The point is – we (the customer) have to believe what you (the business creator) believe. There has to be an essential truth we buy into. When we viscerally and emotionally grasp the way you solve our problem or meet our need, then HOW you do that and WHAT it is, become almost a given.

    So, how do you make it matter to us, your customer? One way is to have a really compelling business story. Here are some suggestions for crafting yours:

    • Share a unique discovery you’ve made that highlights a problem begging for a solution. Give us a character facing a challenge and depict him/her so well that we actually visualize it. Embellish it with some colorful, descriptive details (albeit, concisely!) so the scene is more vivid and somehow familiar.
    • Take that character on a journey to success that meets the challenge so well, we actually feel relief when you get us there.  Then it becomes an “I’ll have what she’s having” kind of moment.
    • Add a little surprise element because… well, who doesn’t like surprises. They help us to remember you and that is an essential part of customer retention.

    With a well-crafted, concise business story, you can gain confidence in your networking ability, have a clearer marketing platform and some compelling content and messaging. Once you’ve crafted your main story, you have a template with which to build a repertoire of ways to speak directly to the needs and wants of your customers.  Just be sure you keep listening to them so you stay current on what those needs and wants are.

    Create an unbeatable story with a big dose of an honest heart and we’ll find value that we can’t live without.

    WHY not?

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident communicators who can inspire action with unique style and a powerful strategy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the SUNY/Levin Institute in NYC where she teaches entrepreneurial business and at New York Institute of Technology where she teaches speech communication. Wendy specializes in LeadershipTraining and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

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