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Your Bait is for the Fish – Not for You

BaitThe most recent session of the Vienna Women Business Owner Mastermind Group focused on incorporating our individual business story in the heart piece of our business websites. We invited the talented business writer Jan Whiteley to speak to the group about crafting a compelling business story. Of course our group members are all well-versed in telling people what we do. The previous months we had explored our Simon Sinek WHYs, so we thought that this was just the logical extension the version of our individual WHYs and an easy check on our year-long business building agenda. We were in for a surprise!

Come to think of it, the expression of my personal passion may not necessarily be the answer to my client’s needs and desires. My vision of building “communication bridges between people” and releasing “positive energy in a world full of possibilities and choice to powerfully benefit humankind” may get me out of bed and ready to excitedly dive into my work every morning but it may not be a motivator for my individual clients and not at all their reason for looking for a coach or leadership trainer.

Rather, my clients experience roadblocks in their professional lives that they are unable to remove or circumnavigate on their own. They may be stuck in a dysfunctional team and are looking for ways to cope, or they may just have been promoted from a technical management job to a leadership position and they fill ill-equipped to create alignment between divisions and don’t know how to move from managing projects to leading people.

The perspective from which we tell stories to connect with others is immensely important in almost all aspects of our lives where we want to create buy-in and alignment. What about this project or request will resonate most with the person that I want to enroll? What excites them and what is their desire that my project may satisfy?

Here is an exercise that you do to see how well your offering and a respective story aligns with what your audience is hungry for:

  1. Write “What if …” questions that reflect your audience’s most pressing desires on individual sticky notes. Example: “What if … my team members would be able to meet all the ambitious deadlines that the executive suite has laid out for us?” or “What if … I was able to unlock all the hidden talents and strengths in my team and we would collaborate effectively and create the next breakthrough for our organization?” or “What if … I could create a work environment for my organization where everyone feels invited to bring forth new ideas?”
  2. For each sticky note, think of your offering that can turn the What If question into an I Can statement. Write your response on another sticky note and match it with the What If sticky note.
  3. See which match stands out the most for you and and whether the associated service/product offering represents the core of what you have to offer.
  4. If you identify a clear match and if it does fall into the sweet spot of offer, create a compelling story around it.

Some women in my group found that they had far too many different “What if … ” questions and some struggled to even create “What if … ” questions that could easily be matched with their core business offering. Needless to say, the exercise gave food for thought around our core business stories and how we communicate what we have to offer so it attracts the ideal client.

Figuring out what your ideal clients are looking for and what their ideal world is missing that you can provide will always be work in progress. The business landscape keeps changing and so do the needs and wants of your clients. Staying in touch with what moves your ideal clients and crafting a business offering that will resonate with your ideal services seekers will go a long way to ensure your business story and your offerings stay current and relevant.

What does your most compelling What If … and I Can … pair look like?

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