There are two things about branding and marketing that you know are true:
- Differentiation is key
- People love to hear stories
In fact, stories are the most powerful means of not just bouncing words off of someones skull, but actually tapping into their emotions. Make the story about how you are different while also evoking true emotions and you will have truly created a bond, a bond of differentiation.
Software startup superstar, Russel Brunson, refers to this process as building an “epiphany bridge.” The epiphany is the moment in time that you, the storyteller, had that “aha” experience that lead you to draw some dramatic conclusion, or take some bold action. Like becoming an interior designer, or focusing on a particular type of design, or working in a particular way.
The “bridge” is the link between your own emotions and those of the listener. It is also designed to break through what Brunson calls the “false beliefs” of the listener. Assuming that the listener in this case is a prospect for your design services, the ultimate goal of your epiphany bridge would be to share with someone a story of how you came to know that the very same thing they hold a false belief about, was instantly destroyed.
Your Prospects’ False Beliefs
The first part of this exercise is to identify the likely “false beliefs” that your prospective clients might hold. Brunson breaks these down into three categories:
- The Vehicle – meaning the overall solution that you’re proposing, in this case, hiring an interior designer. (Preferably you!)
- An example of a false belief here would be someone wondering if they even need an interior designer, or whether they can do it online (Modsy) or whether they could ever convey their vision to another person.
- Internal – meaning beliefs they hold about themselves that might not allow an interior design project to succeed.
- Do they travel too much? Change their mind too often? Tried it before and it didn’t work?
- External – meaning a project would take too much time or cost too much or the finished result would be disappointing.
Even without these categories, just making a list of all the reasons you can think of why a prospective client might (falsely) believe a project won’t work will help you to create your epiphany bridge.
Your Epiphany Bridge
Now you’re ready to start working on your story, and the goal of that story is to break the three top false beliefs of your prospect in one (emotional) fell swoop. Your top three will include one from each category above. In the end, you would come up with a story of how you yourself were once in their position and had an “aha” moment. (You can also tell the story of how one of your previous clients was in their position and had an “aha” moment.)
For example, you might tell the story of how you were once talking to a person who:
- Thought they could do their own interior design
- Tried a designer before and it didn’t “work“
- Would cost too much
Your story would then break these false beliefs by telling a story of someone who had experienced exactly that same thing, only to realize…
- They would never have the time or resources to do the job right
- Projects that don’t “work” are because they don’t have the clear plan that you offer
- Total costs of working with you are within their budget
With this story in hand, and possibly a dozen variations, you don’t have to rely on the old sales method of handling objections. Rather, you just tell stories.
And everyone loves a good story!