As people settle into the New Year, this is often the time of year to look at travel and holiday plans. In fact, even as I was starting to write this, an old friend from my university days in the UK Facebooked me to ask if she could come and stay this summer! So it must be true.
Let me ask you this – when you start to plan a trip to an exotic location, is it the journey or the destination that motivates you the most? Now I happen to be a little weird in that I do enjoy the travel part (provided I’m not in a middle seat in economy and that there are no delays!). But if I had to choose between the journey or the ultimate destination, it’s the latter that’s going to win my vote each time. The journey is necessary so I always try to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. But the journey is only enjoyable (and bearable at times) because I know ultimately where I’m headed and how good it’s going to be once I get there.
So what on earth does all of this have to do with growing a business?
I’ve been hearing a common theme a lot recently from clients – “Vanessa, how do I explain to potential clients what I do?”
And typically when I hear this it means that you’re trying to sell the journey and not the destination. Just imagine wanting to spend a week on a tropical island and all you get to hear instead is:
- Your plane will be a Boeing 747
- There are a million and a half rivets on a Boeing 747
- We have 2 flights per day and each flight can carry in excess of 500 passengers
- Flight time will be 5 hours 27 minutes
- The aircraft is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of up to 570 mph
- We have a crew of 15 to take care of you
- You need to arrive at the airport with plenty of time for security checks
- And so on….
Who in their right mind would be really excited about this (apart from plane enthusiasts I guess…)? Wouldn’t it be more exciting to talk about the tropical island, how great it will feel when you arrive there, what the experience will be like and how you’ll benefit from spending a week there?
So my question to you is when you’re speaking to potential clients, whether in direct conversations or on your website and other marketing materials, are you speaking about the plane or the tropical island? I challenge you in your next conversations to explore the tropical island instead with potential clients and see what changes as a result.