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A simple way to get your business noticed

A simple way to get your business noticed

January 13, 2011

Want to get yourself noticed? Want to make sure you stand out from your competition?

It's not as complicated or as big of a deal as you may assume. In fact, the answers you're looking for maybe a lot closer than you think.

I'll tell you how to find them in a moment'

But first I need to give you some background.

In our office recently, we've been asking ourselves some of the same hard-hitting questions we ask our clients. So we asked ourselves one of our favorites: What do we do better than anyone else when working with clients? And we came up with some very interesting answers.

We do a good job of turning around companies, helping owners find a balance between work and family, putting systems and processes in place so the business can actually run on its own and we do a good job of launching new brands, but there's one area that we really shine'

We're able to spot the story.

What do I mean by that? Every business, whether it's small, mid-size or large has a story to tell. Each one has a unique story about how it operates or what it does that makes it different from any other company. However, very few companies are able to tell it well or tell it in such a way that gets them noticed.

 

Take Subway for example. For years, it was another sandwich chain that competed mostly on price. That was until a franchise owner told one of the company's ad executives about one college student who came in every day for lunch and was losing dramatic amounts of weight while eating Subway's sandwiches.

Just about everybody knows that student: Jared.

He became a household name and his story became Subway's story of how it serves fresh, nutritional meals for health-conscious customers.

It wasn't a huge change the company had to make. It was a relatively small story that was sitting right in front of them in their restaurant. In fact, the company thought it was so insignificant that it wanted nothing to do with the story. But the ad agency insisted that they test it.

What the ad agency did next is important. They demonstrated it in a big way by showing dramatic before and after images of Jared who went from weighing 425 pounds to just over 200 pounds and holding his old 60-inch waist pants.

 

Markita Andrews spotted a story that inspired others and as a result she holds the world record for the number of Girl Scout cookies ever sold. And she won a free trip around the world!

Here's another great example from one of the world's greatest saleswomen, Markita Andrews ' who was actually an 8-year-old girl at the time selling Girl Scout cookies.

Markita sold $80,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies in just 5 years ' the most anyone has ever sold. How did she do it?

She started with a story.

At 8 years old, Markita always wanted to travel around the world. Unable to afford such a trip, her mother, who was recently divorced at the time, said she would work hard to put Markita through college so she could get an education and get a job someday so they could travel around the world together.

But Markita got to take that trip with her mother much sooner than expected. Because at the time, the Girl Scouts was also offering an Around the World Trip for the person who sold the most Girl Scout cookies.

Every day after school, Markita donned her Girl Scout uniform and went knocking on doors ' not to sell cookies that they could get anywhere. Rather, she asked people to invest in her story.

'Hi, I have a dream,' she would tell people at the door. 'I'm earning a trip around the world for me and my mom by merchandising Girl Scout cookies. Would you like to invest in one dozen or two dozen boxes of cookies?'

People loved it. They wanted to see her succeed. And they were inspired by her story.

Markita sold 3,526 boxes that year to win the grand prize. Since then she's sold more than 42,000 boxes of cookies, spoken at sales conventions across the country, starred in a Disney movie about her adventure and has co-authored the best seller, How to Sell More Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers ... And Everything Else.

What made her different?

She spotted a story to tell that set her apart from every other Girl Scout selling cookies.

What's your story? What's the story your customers are telling others about you? What story can you tell in a dramatic way that will set you apart from your competitors?

It may be a lot closer than you think.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon

Jon Goldman, President