College is a really big buying decision, and it can teach us a lot about buying decisions in our business, and why it’s important to not just give information, but connect to wants, desires and fears. And potentially, to help people discover wants they didn’t even know they have (like bespoke librarians!)
Why is that important for business?
When making a sales or onboarding presentation, it can be interesting to notice what businesses (or colleges) decide to highlight. With colleges, you are speaking to prospective freshman and, often, their parents about one of the biggest decisions they will make, and you have the opportunity to speak to all of their wants and desires and fears. But if you focus instead purely on information – like tuition and financial aid – you miss an opportunity to connect on an emotional level. And ultimately, these are emotional decisions.
These conversations are an opportunity to reflect your values. Too often, in a misguided perception of what people actually care about, we miss an opportunity to demonstrate these values and help people connect to them. You want to always make clear: “if you walk away from this meeting remembering nothing else, remember this.”
There’s a difference between knowledge – which is useful and important – and giving someone the feeling of being part of something. You need both. Stories are a great way to demonstrate your values for people – they confirm parts of your culture that information might not be able to.
It’s important not to forget that you are talking to humans who have wants, desires and fears, and sometimes those wants, desires and fears often sound like things 5-year olds say. If you can speak to those first, these conversations will be more successful.
What story do you want to tell?
So, that’s our story… now, we want to hear yours!
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