Updated: Oct 13
You sit down for a nice dinner with friends. You’re excited to catch up and have a good meal. Then it happens. We all have that one friend. You know, the one who is so excited to tell their story that they end up with a wad of partially chewed food in their puffed up cheek and remnants of the spinach and artichoke dip stuck on their front tooth. They have a great story to tell, really good news, and you want to be happy for them...you want to listen; but all you can do is attempt to shield your drink from the meal droplets spewing from their mouth as they speak. Let’s hope you aren’t that friend!
The worst part is that your friend is so wrapped up in telling their story that they aren’t even aware that they look like Alvin the chipmunk, and their story is now as painful to listen to as “The Chipmunk Christmas Song.” Unfortunately, just like the friend with food-stuffed chipmunk cheeks at the dinner table, businesses may not be aware when they are chewing with their mouths full while trying to tell their stories. These stories that may convey positive product attributes and benefits for their customers are lost because customers are distracted and disgusted with the business spewing their chewed up food! Unfortunately, many people and business owners are not even aware of their mistakes...mistakes that are costing them business! A study done by the Harvard Business Review with over 5,000 participants in 10 different investigations showed that "even though most people believe they are self-aware, self-awareness is a truly rare quality. Only 10-15% of study participants fit this criteria." It might seem like a small thing, but this lack of awareness for what seems like a trivial, annoying habit is turning away customers, leaving them with a bad taste for your business and causing them to look the other way when you tell your story.
Imagine having to lay off five employees right before the start of the holiday season. These employees have to go home and tell their families that because sales are down, they won’t be getting their Christmas bonus this year and they won’t be heading back to their job after the holidays. Children won’t have presents under the tree, holiday dinners won’t be the same, and most importantly...the joy of the holiday season will be replaced with daunting, overwhelming stress to find work. You, the business owner, can’t help but feel responsible. Where did you go wrong? Did something slip under the radar? What mistake weren’t you aware of? How did your unawareness affect sales, your professional reputation and ultimately the wellbeing of your employees and their families. Sounds like the “Nightmare before Christmas.” But there is hope! You can solve the problem and become the business that everyone wants at their table. Stop chewing with your mouth full, listen and tell your story in an appealing way. 1. Know your customers. Be aware of their preferences and their dislikes. 2. Tailor your story to meet your customers needs. Be truthful with your target market. 3. Tell your story with passion and excitement, but don’t become so consumed with telling it that you lose sight of your customers needs and wants. 4. Make sure that your story is told with purpose, clarity and relevant details. 5. Give your customers time to digest your story before you spew out more. When awareness increases, so will sales. Your business will be viewed positively and you can create meaningful relationships with customers...ones that you can sustain. You'll have happy employees who will proudly share your story! It will become second nature to them.
So how does your business increase its awareness and stop this etiquette disaster? Find yourself an honest accountability person...someone who will tell the truth, help you overcome your weaknesses and help you to tell your story the right way!
A business coach is the perfect way to fix this! If you want to learn more about increasing awareness, please reach out to me! I can help you take your story to PREMIUM!
Check out www.startthemo.com for more about what we do.
Seth Lewis is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Momentum U (www.momentum-u.com). Seth and the team help business owners understand the parts of momentum so they can leverage it in their business. His approach is the perfect blend of mindset work combined with a strategy in an 8-week online course that includes LIVE coaching. Seth holds an Executive MBA from Villanova University, is a mentor to MBA students, board member, and author to the upcoming book (Dec 2020) Momentum: The Investment You’ve Been Missing.
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