Want More Customers? Stop Being Their Hero


Like our favourite movie characters, we all have challenges, overcome obstacles, fall in love and embark on new adventures, albeit with much less glamour, singing and drama. Every single person on this Earth is the centre of their own universe and the recurring hero in their own story.

But, all of that changes when you start a business, because now you’re not the hero. Your customer is.

When I first heard Donald Miller talk about this concept, my mind was blown a teeny bit. Because, while it makes a lot of sense, this role shift isn’t necessarily as obvious as you might think.

You only have to read a few small business websites to see that it’s hard to shake this 'hero' mentality. Often, we think our customers want to hear about how good we are. We tell our visitors stories of our achievements, our long history, our team, what we do, and how much better we are than our competitors. When brands are trying to play the hero role, they sound a bit like this—

“We make the world’s best banana split.”

“We’re a world class team of professionals.”

“We’ve been installing roof tiles for 50 years.”

“We’re five time national SINTAC champions.”

With these types of statements we position ourselves at the centre of the story, as the hero. 

Only, our customers could care less. They don’t want to be saved by a hero, they want to be the hero. What they’re missing is the ingredient to get them from where they are, to where they want to be. And, just like in every good story, they need a trusty mentor to help them get there— a Dumbledore to their Harry, a Yoda to their Luke, or Gandalf to their Frodo.

So, while your brand may not be the hero in your customer’s story, you do have a role to play— and it’s that of the trusted guide or mentor. 

If you’re ready, here are 4 ways to flip the script, and start channelling your inner yoda on your website—

1. Call out their challenges

Show your customers that you understand their biggest challenges by stating them in your website copy. This needs to go deeper than ‘I need a lawnmower’, consider why they need it— what is the lawnmower helping them to achieve? Do they want to lay claim to the nicest lawn on the block? Or are they afraid their friends will come over and see their garden in shambles? What’s their real, underlying goal behind their purchase?

2. Show them how it works

Everyone loves a proven methodology or system, and as a mentor, it’s your job to map out how you’re going to guide your customer to their desired end result. Do you have a process or framework you can highlight on your website? Share it with your customers to alleviate their concerns and help them to understand how you will take them from point A to point B.

3. Show them what they can expect

Whenever we buy anything, from shampoo to dog treats, we’re always buying a better version of ourselves. As customers, we always want to know what results we can expect and understand what sort of transformation we might have if we follow the process set out for us. If you can get your hands on them, try to include case studies, reviews or testimonials that explain how you have transformed your customers’ lives on your website. These are so much more valuable than reviews that just say how great you are.

4. Challenge them!

I am the first to admit I have always struggled with asking for a sale. But, if you don’t ask you will never receive! If you know you can help your potential customers, then invite them to take action with a specific step. On your website, this might look like asking them to download a free resource, join an email challenge, buy something or schedule an appointment. Whether it’s a free or paid item, don’t beat around the bush. Challenge your customers to take that next step with you as their guide, using a direct and specific call to action.

Ready to be a guide, instead of a hero? It’s a little shift in thinking, that will have a massive impact on how you write and speak with your customers. Try out one of the four action points above and let me know your results in the comments.

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