Be the Fairy Godmother Not the Princess

Your goal should be to guide your customer to success

Your customers don’t care about your business or how long you have been around.

They are neither interested in your achievements nor any other of your business’s milestones.

They care about what you can do for them.

Everyone is on their own journey. We want to be successful and happy. In the story of our own lives, we are the hero.

We are the main character in our own life while everyone else is a supporting character.

It’s not about your product or service, but it’s about what your customer wants to achieve.

If you are not going to help your customer on their journey to happiness and success, they don’t care about you.

Companies often advertise about all the things they have achieved and how long ago they were established.

If you have a DIY store and your customer wants to buy a hammer, how does it help him that your business was established in 1963?

The story that starts in 1963 is about your business, and you are the hero for founding it and realizing that there was a gap in the market when you were just 16.

In your customer’s story, he is building a coffee table and needs a hammer to help him on his journey to happiness and fulfilment.

Building something useful with his own hands will give him a sense of accomplishment. The fact that your business is turning 50 is irrelevant in his story.

One day he’ll tell his grandkids that he built the coffee table with his bare hands because he didn’t have money to buy one. In that story, he was the hero. That is the only story that the customer cares about. His own.

Lead your customer to success

Your goal should be to guide your customer to success.

You are the fairy godmother, not the princess.

You are Yoda, not Luke Skywalker.

You are Mr Miyagi, not the Karate Kid.

You are Dumbledore, not Harry Potter.

You need to figure out how to get your customer to happily ever after.

Every story is not an epic blockbuster. Most stories are simple.

I woke up this morning starving. I googled “breakfast near me” and found Sam’s Diner, had a delicious breakfast and lived happily ever after. Till lunch, of course!

Google is one of the greatest guides of all time. Whenever we have a problem, we simply ask Google. If we lost, don’t know what to eat or need a pick line for that cute girl in the coffee shop, we just ask Google.

Google is always there for us and guides us to success. When the cute girl rejects us, we ask it how to feel better, and Google will recommend a movie, ice cream or a book on self-confidence.

Think about how you can guide your customer to success.

If you sell lounge furniture — don’t tell your customer how soft your couches are. Tell them how relaxed they will feel after sitting on them.

If you sell cars — don’t tell them how fast the car is or any other technical specification. Tell them how the car will make them feel young or successful.

Think about what happily ever after means for your customer.

Do they care that the leather was hand-stitched or that it’s so soft that their worries will melt away?

Look at your website or marketing material and see how many times you talk about yourself and how much you talk about your customer.

Highlight the problem

Your customer’s problems are the villain in the story.

In some stories, the villain is obvious and known from the beginning.

In many stories, the villain is not always obvious and may only be identified right at the end. There may also be other characters that you think are the villain but turn on not to be.

It can all be very confusing. That’s why it’s your job to clarify the problem. Make the villain obvious to your customer.

The customer may not know that he needs your company’s product because he doesn’t understand the problems he faces.

You need to highlight these obstacles to him before you can offer a solution.

We didn’t know that we needed 50 flavours of ice cream until Ben and Jerry told us, and we didn’t realize that we needed premium ice cream until Häagen-Dazs informed us that it was missing from our lives.

Most people didn’t realize that cheap vanilla ice cream was the villain preventing them from being happy.

Your customer might not realize the obstacles that are coming between them and their happiness. It’s your job to explain how your company will help them reach this nirvana.

Help them overcome their obstacles

Now that your customers know the problem, you need to tell them how you will help them overcome this.

They may realize that they are overweight and unhealthy. This realization will reduce their self-esteem and prevent them from being fit enough to play with their grandkids.

You need to hone in on the problem and offer a solution for each target market. Your tool may be the solution to everything, but you will confuse your customer if they don’t know that you are talking to them.

Yes, your gym membership will help the scrawny high school kid overcome the bullies in school. It will help the granddad to be fit enough to play with his grandkids. It will also help the middle-aged divorcee find a new husband.

The solution may be the same — more exercise, but the problems they face are all very different.

You need to tell each of them how you will help them overcome their unique problems.

Thankfully today’s modern advertising is far more targeted than most traditional advertising. You can now quickly and cheaply craft your message for different age groups, genders and a variety of other interests.

Think about how you will help them overcome their problem and adjust your messaging accordingly, whether in person or through your marketing material.

Just focus on their problems. The scrawny kid being doesn’t care when your gym was established or why it’s the best. He only cares about how you will help him stand up to his bullies.

Your customers greatest fear

You’ve explained to your customer what’s standing between them and success. You’ve also explained how you can help them overcome this obstacle.

There is one last problem, though.

They are dreadfully afraid of failing.

You need to help them overcome this fear before they will purchase your product.

If a customer buys your ice cream and doesn’t enjoy it — they have failed.

If a customer joins your gym and doesn’t lose weight — they have failed.

Most customers would rather not try if the risk of failing is too high.

You need to put in place safety measure to ensure that your customer never fails.

These can be money-back guarantees, trials, or other ways to ensure the customer that you will catch them if they fall.

When a customer buys your product, he is trusting you to lead him to success.

When the ice cream parlour offers you a chance to taste the ice cream before you buy, they show you it’s safe, and the path to success is assured.

When the gym offers you a month of free personal training, you feel like you have someone to ensure you succeed.

Offering guarantees, training and trials reduce the fear of failure from your customers point of view.

If they can’t overcome this fear of failure, they won’t make the purchase in the first place.

Happily ever after

If you can lead your customer to success, he will come to you again and again to guide him on his journeys.

He will tell his friends about you so that you can help them on their journeys as well.

All you have to do is highlight their problems and guide them to the solution while avoiding failure.

Just remember that you are not the hero, so stop telling your customers how great you are. Tell them how great you will make them.

Further Reading

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell

The links above are affiliate links that support my writing and provide further insight into the topic.

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