Customers trust a guide who has a plan. (Read Story Strategy Element 3: Guide to learn about your role as the guide) We need to lay out a simple plan of action for them to take, before they’re able to be ready to invest in what we’re offering. Actually making a purchase is a huge step, especially if our products or services are more than $100. What your customer is looking for is a clear plan that you’ve laid out for them that takes away any confusion they may have about how you do business with them. AKA the plan.
In almost every story, the guide gives the hero a plan, or a bit of information, or a few steps that they can use to get the job done. People are looking for a philosophy they can embody or a series of steps they can take to solve their problems.
There are 2 types of plans: The Process Plan and The Agreement Plan. Each of these plans will earn trust and offer our customers a clear path to stability which greatly increases the chance they will make a purchase with us. (Read The 2 Types Of Plans Your Customer Needs To Make The Purchase to learn more)
The bottom line is that plans create clarity and a sense of security which, our little human brains absolutely LOVE.
Have 3 phases/stages/steps to get your customer from their problem to their solution. If we were on a hike and we had to cross a creek and I say “Let’s go!” and you say “I don’t wanna get wet.”And I say “There’s a stone here, here, and here. That’s how we’re gonna cross this creek.” You’re much more likely to follow me and cross the creek.
Plans can take many shapes and forms, but all effective plans do one of two things: they either clarify how somebody can do business with us or they remove the sense of risk somebody might have if they’re considering investing in our products/services. Not having a plan is a guaranteed way to confuse your customers. After our potential customers listen to us on our social medias or visit our website or read an email from us, they’re all wondering the same thing: what do you want me to do now? If we don’t guide them, they experience a little confusion, and they use that confusion as an excuse to not do business with us.
Not having a plan is a guaranteed way to confuse your customers.
The fact that we want them to place an order is not enough information to motivate them. If we’re selling a bookcase a customer can install in their living room, they hover over that “Buy Now” button subconsciously wondering whether it will work for them, how hard it will be to install, and whether it will sit unopened in the garage in boxes like the last thing they bought.
But when we spell out how easy this whole thing is and let them know they can get started in 3 easy steps, they are more likely to place an order. We must tell them to…
1. Measure your space.
2. Order the bookcase that will fit this space.
3. Install it in minutes using basic tools.
Even though these steps may seem blatantly obvious to us, they aren’t obvious to our customers. Our brains want to conserve as much energy as possible, so forcing your customers to guess these steps or search hard for them will result in them looking elsewhere. Placing stones in the creek greatly increases the chance they will cross the creek with you.
Click below to learn more about the Story Strategy and the other elements that go into making your brand story irresistible to your audience.
What Is The Story Strategy?
Story Strategy Element 1: Character
Story Strategy Element 2: Problem
Story Strategy Element 3: Guide
Story Strategy Element 5: Call-To-Action
Story Strategy Element 6: Failure
Story Strategy Element 7: Success
Story Strategy Element 4: Plan