The Devil's Advocate where Al Pacino's character smiles at the camera, knowing that he has the protagonist by the short hairs, communicates what we all know to be true. Social media, for example, is a place where one can portray an image of virtually anything and there is always someone to come along and believe it. Business ventures are no different, presenting a visage of who they are and what they provide and yes, there will be those who come along and believe it for a while. But then, the truth is revealed and rarely is there a happy ending.
Businesses can, in fact, use social media to communicate their products and services and hilariously, there will always be the proprietor who thinks that his/her service will "change the world." Rarely does the world actually change simply because someone who has believed his/her own press releases says it will. The last two election cycles should prove that reality.
Here are a few tips to telling your story that will lend credibility to your message, aid in customer loyalty and eventually, build your business.
1. Know your limitations. Sounds simple enough, but amazingly it is often unattainable. In the excitement to gain a new client or up-sell an existing client, the tendency is to promise the moon, but deliver a box of rocks instead.
2. Set realistic expectations. When communicating your story, ensure that the client is fully aware of what you plan to deliver and when. For example, if your delivery network approximation is two weeks, don't say "ten days" - ten days does not two weeks make. You'll end up with an angry FORMER client.
3. Sell to your strengths. Your restaurant specializes in stromboli, sell the heck out of stromboli. Tell the story of how it's made, what care goes into choosing the ingredients, how you developed the recipe...you get the picture.
4. Give examples. Rather than boast about yourself, allow your history, your customers to help you tell your story. Share positive feedback you've received and do so in a manner that relates the features and benefits of your products and services.
Always remember that it is your story, not the story told by a romance novelist. Sustained growth requires that you tell your story often and accurately.
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