How to use your failures to make your prospects trust and adore you
We’ve all heard speakers talk about their successes: the multiple businesses they started and sold for millions of dollars; the everyday mansion and the one they use on vacation; the lovely, loving family. Good stuff.
But the experts we can really relate to are the ones who are equally open about sharing their failures: the businesses that sucked up enormous amounts of time and money before folding; the car they lived in for a time; the family relationships they almost (or actually) destroyed.
The fact is, it’s going to be hard for your ideal clients to feel they can trust you if your experiences appear to be wildly different than theirs. On the other hand, if you can genuinely demonstrate you’ve “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt,” you’ll have gone a long way toward making it easy for them to know, like, and trust you.
So when you go into storytelling mode, here are some guidelines that will enable you to get the most out of those stories.
- When you talk about any sort of failure – whether it’s due to lack of planning, inaction, or whatever – use yourself as an example of what not to do. Sharing a story in which you screwed up and recovered makes for a strong connection between you and your listener.
- When you talk about successes, make sure your clients have the starring roles. In other words, feature your clients’ successful outcomes.
- DO share with your prospect how your expert guidance paved the way for those successes.
- Tell your prospects what you did to create success for your client, but not how you did it. (Thanks to Fabienne Frederickson for this brilliant marketing strategy.)
What sort of stories have you told on yourself that ultimately connected you with people you were thrilled to have as clients? How has courageously acknowledging your failures tapped the power of the “know, like, trust” factor in attracting ideal clients to you?
(BTW, thanks to Paul Keller for posting his image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in business development, courage and tagged comfort zone, effectiveness. Bookmark the permalink.