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What works in Hollywood can now work in business

What works in Hollywood can now work in business

May 02, 2012

You may not realize it, but your customers are heroes. Really.

Some may not have sacrificed their lives like our soldiers, firefighters, or police officers, but they're heroes nonetheless. Why? Because with every decision they've made to do business with you they've had to go through a transformation ' some more dramatic than others ' to come to the decision that they need your product or service.

GO HERE and download a model now.

Hollywood has produced hundreds of blockbusters showing heroes overcoming all kinds of incredible odds and finally fighting through it to win the day.

Luke Skywalker, Rocky Balboa, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Superman come to mind. Each one began his journey in humble ways and never intended to perform any great deeds. Yet, each one was faced with decisions that ultimately changed their lives and became a hero because of the adversity each one had to overcome. Your customers go through the same transformation.

It's called the 'Hero's Journey' and nearly every great story illustrates this dramatic transformation in one way or another.

Not many people are using this in their marketing and you won't find this in any course. The good news is that you have an incredible opportunity because this same model already made Hollywood billions of dollars and I'm convinced that it can boost the revenue of your business too. I'll show you how. Plus, I'll share with you a model to help you build your own 'Hero's Journey''

First, I realize most business owners don't view their customers as heroes. But think about it for a moment. You're asking your customers to make a significant decision every time they buy. You're asking them to give you their hard-earned money rather than spending it on something else. Often, they have to go through an internal process wrestling with whether to purchase for you or whether to make the purchase at all. Some may even have to change their habits to make the purchase.

A gym owner may ask someone to change his or her lifestyle and exercise several times a week. A landscaper may ask someone to change his or her vision of their yard. An advisor may ask someone to give up his or her idea of how to operate only to find out it was wrong.

In many cases, we're asking our customers to make dramatic life-changing decisions. Yet all we can come up with is, 'How would you like to pay for that?' What a joke! Is it any wonder that our conversion rates are so low?

The secret is to show your prospects that you understand the dramatic changes you're asking them to make. How? Turn your customers into heroes. Show the journey that others have made before them, and prove how much better off they are as a result.

Need proof? We recently ran a promotion for a client that shows how his prospects have changed their lives and gotten out of debt using his services. Ordinary people with tens of thousands of dollars of debt successfully made the transformation as he shows in his promotion -- and as a result the response on his marketing jumped from 2% to 10% as of this week. That's incredible!

Most promotion campaigns are lucky to get as much as a 1.5% response rate. How did we do it? We showed the dramatic change his customers experienced by illustrating 2 primary steps of the Hero's Journey. In other words, we took his customers through the Hero's Journey who were facing tough dilemmas, like trying to figure out how to pay for retirement, how to save for college and how to get out from under a pile of debt. And we showed how they battled through those gut-wrenching situations to come out on top.

Everyone loves stories like these. Yet, few companies bother to tell them ' and those that do don't tell them very well.

In fact, many business owners will make themselves out to be the heroes of their own stories, showing how they overcame great odds to follow their dream. That's nice. But imagine showing a customer who overcame incredible obstacles using your product or service to finally make the change he or she always desired. Which story do you think will appeal more to your prospects?

Here's a challenge: Take a look at your marketing materials right now. Count how many times you use the words 'I,' 'we,' 'us' and 'our.' You'll be shocked at how self-aggrandizing you are. Instead, you want to use the words, 'you' and 'your' as much as possible so your attention is focused on the prospect.

Why? Because your prospects don't care about you. Sorry but it's true. That's why they would much rather want to find out about someone just like themselves and their experience using your product.

To help you create your own story, follow the 8 steps below. We also have available a tool you can use called the Hero's Journey Model you can download at no charge. To get yours, GO HERE.

Here's the 8-Step Hero's Journey Model to help guide you'

1. Who is your main character? It all starts with a likeable character ' someone just like your prospects. Everyone can identify with young Luke Skywalker who worked hard, loved his family but wanted something more in his life. And everyone can identify with Rocky, who felt frustrated that he couldn't do more with his life. Which one of your customers has a dramatic story to tell that other prospects can identify with? Remember, the character you choose should be just like your customers. They should share the same frustrations, challenges, desires and dreams. For example, if we were trying to market to landscapers, our main character would be a young man starting a lawn mowing company. As he adds more customers, his business continues to grow.

2. Who is the enemy? Every great story has an enemy ' someone or something that's trying to keep your main character from fulfilling his dream. For Luke Skywalker, it was Darth Vader. For Rocky Balboa, it was Apollo Creed. For Superman, it was the arch-villain, Lex Luther. Who or what is the enemy of your prospects? Is it government? Big banks? Conventional wisdom? Interestingly, many times your enemies were once your friends. Take our landscaper, his employees may leave the company and become some of his fiercest competitors.

3. What's the call to adventure? At every point in a story, the main character is faced with a decision: follow the call for adventure and step forth into the unknown or return to life as it was before. This marks the beginning of the dramatic transformation your character must pass through. For Luke Skywalker, he had to decide whether he was going to fight Darth Vader and his galactic empire. Rocky faced the decision of whether to fight the world boxing champion, Apollo Creed. What changes are you asking your customers to make? Do they need to change their thinking? Do they need to alter their lifestyle? For instance, a landscaper may aspire to be an entrepreneur but in order to grow he must learn how to hire the right people and market the business so he can work on the business, not in it every day.

4. What's holding back your main character? For every dilemma facing your character there are dozens of very good reasons why they shouldn't answer the call to adventure. That's why heroes are heroes -- because they chose to follow the adventure, even though they could have said no. Luke Skywalker didn't have to risk his life fighting Darth Vader. Rocky didn't have to take on the world's best boxer. What held your main character back from buying right away? Was he or she concerned about the price? Whether you could deliver on your promises? Did it sound too good to be true? Address them in your Hero's Journey. Be honest and show the objections and concerns your character had to overcome. In the case of a landscaper, he may feel caught in a vicious circle of feeling that he needs to add more sales to hire more people but if he doesn't add more people he can't increase sales.

5. Who is the wise mentor who will guide your main character? Every great hero has a wise mentor. Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan Kenobi to guide him. Rocky had his manager Mickey in his corner. Harry Potter had Albus Dumbledore. Who is the mentor who helped guide your main character through the difficult decisions he or she had to make? Was it you? A salesperson? Another customer? For our clients, I'm happy to say that they turn to us for mentoring and coaching as we work with them to help grow their companies.

6. What trials and tribulations await? Once a hero makes the decision to change, the adventure begins. This is where the action occurs as the hero struggles to overcome one battle after another. Luke Skywalker and rebel fighters struggled in their battle against a much more powerful Darth Vader and his army. Rocky fought round-after-round against a much quicker and stronger opponent. What adversity did your main character face? What obstacles do your customers face when doing business with you? Most landscapers for example know how to do the work outside the office, but they struggle managing the business, hiring people and promoting their services.

7. How did your main character apply your solutions or ideas? Take Luke Skywalker for example. He had to learn how to use 'The Force' to help him defeat Darth Vader. Rocky had to learn how to become quicker in the ring so he could compete with Apollo Creed. How do your customers use your products or ideas to help them improve their lives? For example, one of our clients, Agronomic Lawn Management owned by Craig and Chris Ziegler, took action and tested an advertorial in a local newspaper to help increase sales. They saw a tremendous boost in sales, which brings me to my next point'

8. What was the result? When we reach the end of the journey, the main character is hailed as the hero. Luke Skywalker is credited with delivering the final shot to blow up the Death Star when all the other options failed. Rocky is still standing after going toe-to-toe with the champion of the world for 15 rounds when everyone else said it couldn't be done. What dramatic result did your main character experience? How can you demonstrate his or her success? For example, Chris and Craig Ziegler increased its company's customers 22% in just four months to 1,050 from 864 and increased its sales 44% to $612,000 from $426,000 on an annualized basis.

Use these 8 steps to build your own Hero's Journey. You can use the story in your testimonials, in dramatic before-and-after stories, in your sales pitches, in a video, on your website, in a case study, in an ad and so on.

The Hero's Journey is a powerful story-telling tool that's been around for years but not many businesses are using it ' yet! Try it. And be sure to download the Hero's Journey Model as you build your own dramatic story when you GO HERE.

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

Jon

Jon Goldman, President