Are you frustrated that you’re not getting more from your website? After all, everyone keeps quoting the stats that 94% of B2B buyers begin their journey online. And, if you hang out with me for more than 10 minutes, you’ll be reminded of the Corporate Executive Board’s research that buyers are over 70% of the way through their decision making process before engaging a vendor or sales rep.
So, why does your message seem to fall on deaf ears? Why aren’t you getting more from your website?
I think we need to answer one core question.
Who Is the Audience For Your Website?
This sounds like a simple question. However, visit most websites and you’d think they wrote the content for themselves, not for their prospects and clients.
As I evaluate websites and sales collateral, the one thing I consistently notice is that they all read like this:
Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, You.
Most webcopy is all about them.
- How long they’ve been in business.
- How many service awards they’ve won.
- How quickly they pick up the phone.
- How involved they are in the local community.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Aren’t these the things that our clients want? Aren’t they the things that differentiate us from our competitors?”
The answer is yes. But… these things are relevant at the end of the story, not the beginning.
Here’s the problem. If you want to capture the attention and heart of the prospect, you need to identify with their world first.
You and Your Company Are Not the Hero, Your Prospect Is
In the book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, Donald Miller shows us that every engaging movie or book has a formula. There is a hero, a villain , and a guide. You want to be a guide to your prospects and clients. Therefore, you need to make them the hero.
How do you make them a hero? Simple. You begin by identifying what they want. Then, you determine what villain is standing in the way. Then you position your company as the guide to help them overcome the villain and get what they want.
You see this formula in every successful blockbuster. (Note, the unsuccessful movies don’t follow this formula and they flop.)
- Hero: Luke Skywalker’s parent’s get killed. He gets drawn into a bigger story and he’s quickly over his head.
- Villain: What’s standing in Luke’s way? He has a huge enemy, Darth Vader.
- Guide: Obi Wan Kenobi steps in a as a guide and shows him the way of the force.
Do You Want To Be the Hero Or the Guide?
Ultimately, you want your business to be the guide to help clients achieve their goals. If this is the case, you need to make your clients the hero.
How does this happen?
It begins with a simple mindset shift: “Going forward, we aren’t going to write about ourselves first. We’re going to write to our prospects. We’ll speak to their goals and the villains that stand in the way. Then, we’ll position ourselves as the guide.
Instead of our website copy reading like this: “Me, me, me, me, me, me, you” we will change it to read:
- You (Hero!)
- Your goals and aspirations
- Your challenges in meeting these goals (Villain)
- Us as your guide to a better place
This fundamental shift opens a whole new world in how we communicate with our prospects. It begins on your website and sales collateral. It filters out through your sales team in how they communicate face-to-face and on LinkedIn. Leadership supports this by driving change in how we think about prospects and clients.