How to Get People to Actually Understand You and Your Product
Startups, especially new ones, are in a unique position in that they are asking prospective customers to buy into an idea and a product that most people probably don’t know or understand. The majority of consumers are usually pretty happy with the brands they are currently buying into and won’t be looking out for new solutions; even if those products or services promise a cheaper and ultimately superior alternative to what they’ve already got.
It takes a lot to capture people’s interest and shift it into a new direction. It takes creating more than simple awareness. Instead, you need to foster real genuine empathy for your product, the people behind it, and the story from your founding to your product launch and all the trials and tribulations in between.
Whitney Sales, creator of The Sales Method and a preeminent authority on everything it takes to get people buying into a new product, spoke recently on the frameworks she felt were necessary to get any startup’s sales kicked into overdrive. It’s an incredibly worthwhile read with a wealth of detail on how to get your sales started, and Sales is very clear that it all starts with a good origin story.
Before you have beta testers and early adopters to validate and determine your product’s value, all you have is your company and the story of its progress. This tale, this origin story, is the only explanatory framework you need to get people on board with your product and your business.
As Sales puts it, “The inception of any company is inevitably linked to the challenge the founder first faced and addressed. This part of the narrative is too often forgotten and it’s key to connecting with a customer.” People connect to a struggle and that’s the unique narrative advantage that startups have over the most well-established of brands and businesses.
There’s a reason why all the best stories are built around some kind of conflict. Startups have a built-in connection to this kind of story. A conflict of overcoming obscurity, of establishing yourself in a crowded marketplace against all odds.
By tapping into that narrative and sharing the people behind that story; you can build a relationship with each and every customer. There’s no better way to get them on your side and invested in your product.
Whitney Sales points out that most startups get too caught up in the growth hustle and lose track of what it really takes to build a customer base. They want to embody the romantic, old-school mystique — the Glengarry Glen Ross image — and they don’t realize that the game of customer growth has changed. The startups of today are built on transparency and honesty, not smoke and mirrors and deceptive sales tactics. Startups are based in values and beliefs — emotions and connection. That’s how you build not just a large audience, but a loyal one too.
That’s how you build a customer base that understands you, your product, and the promise you are making to them deeply and intuitively. Don’t let the power of your own story go to waste; start telling it now.