You wouldn’t see Luke Skywalker fighting the galaxy if Gandalf had been his sage instead of Obi Wan Kenobi. In fact, the idea of Gandalf inspiring Luke to accept his call to adventure is downright laughable. When it comes to motivating a hero to become a hero, it takes the right kind of mentor. A mentor that understands the hero’s world, talks the hero’s language and, most importantly, speaks to the same fears that the hero keeps within.
Through the right sage, the hero is born.
It seems like common sense. But why aren’t we utilizing this monomythical trope in our sales conversations? If we want to make the biggest impact in our conversations with leads, then we need to start understanding our leads to such an extent that our sage advice reaches them to the most personal level. That means relating to their unique world, speaking their "language" and engaging with the fears and conflicts that they have been waiting for the push to face themselves.
To prepare for a life changing sales strategy, we need to create buyer personas and the hero’s journey that we will lead them through.
Think about it this way: Every great story ends with a hero returning to their normal life with some kind of reward that will improve their life and the lives of those around them. But in the beginning of the story, the hero was just an Average Joe and didn’t even have the knowledge that this reward existed in the world. What it took was a call to adventure that revealed a path towards their reward and a personal sage to inspire them to plunge into the unknown to get it.
Sound familiar? It should. This is the entire journey of inbound marketing. Your Target Audience doesn’t know that your brand’s product can change their lives. They discover your brand through organic search, paid advertising or some other way. At first they are fearful to make a change, but through the guidance of your marketing and sales strategies you motivate them to dive into uncertainty and come out on the other side having changed from your product.
But the same mentorship doesn’t work for every prospect navigating your web content. You can’t approach a Hercules the same way as a you can approach a Marty McFly; just as as you can’t approach the CEO of a 50+ employee digital marketing agency the same way you approach the Marketing Director of a small teamed tech innovation company.
You need to transform your sage to be the right fit for each persona that enters your marketing funnel.
How do you do this?
First you need to learn how to harness your inner sage so that you can guide your lead through their own personal hero's journey over the course of your sales conversations. Then, you need to align with your marketing team to conduct studies, collect data and create a unique, hero-driven buyer persona. And this strategy doesn't just fit the narrative of storytelling, it fits into human psychology.
Here’s how to become The Ancient One/Gandalf/Obi Wan Kenobi/ et al. for your Buyer Persona.
1) Build Rapport through active listening
You should be easy to talk to. Your conversation needs to start by building a relationship. By actively listening, you should be able to press deep questions that uncover your lead's goals and fears. These will help you when you're crafting a story for them. Don't just say, "my product can help with that." You'll sound too eager, and you're not quite allowing them the opportunity for self-discovery, the key to brand loyalty and advocacy.
2) Paint a picture of the new world with your service
Once you know the hero your lead wants to become and the fears that are holding her back from becoming that hero, you're ready to craft a new world that resonates with the lead. A world where her troubles are no more, where she has the courage to face her fears and achieve her dreams. Your job is to paint that picture. Create this world and then walk your lead through it, deliberately touching on each of the 12 steps of the hero's journey. This is conversational, so you'll be asking questions and offering guidance along the way. Let her come to the decision stage on her own volition. Don't scare her off with an offer she's not ready to face.
3) Create a plan for success built on a foundation of trust
When the time comes for your lead to face "the ordeal," her biggest fears, converting to a buyer, you need to have a plan ready. When a hero enters the cave with the dragon, he has a plan to defeat it. A plan that is generally provided by the mentor. Remember in Star Wars, a New Hope when Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star. He did it by remembering Obi-Wan Kenobi's advice. He used the force. Give your lead a plan to destroy her own death star. Give her the force she needs to purchase your offer, and stick with her even after she converts.
4) Create unique, hero-driven buyer personas
This step is absolutely key to inspiring the buyer within each of your different prospects every time. Crafting detailed personas that can identify your leads based on their form-generated information and journey through your website's content will guarantee that when you reach out, you know whether to be a Morpheus for a Neo or a Dumbledore for a Harry Potter. Your persona is everything when it comes to successful sales and marketing alignment. If you're not building personas it's time to get started. If you are using personas, it's time to upgrade your worksheet and give it the hero-focused qualities that will make it easy for you to create content and connections that move.
Your persona worksheet should mirror the unique hero's journey that turns an Average Joe into a brand hero and advocate. A journey that looks like this:
Each stage of the marketing funnel can be broken down into the cyclical structure of the historically pervasive narrative structure — The Hero's Journey. That means that each stage takes a unique approach in content creation in order to embolden and advance a prospect from awareness to advocacy. But what's even greater is that this structure and your hero-driven persona worksheet will allow you to easily create impactful hero's journeys for each one of your personas. This turns your marketing and sales content into exclusive user experiences that speak to the desires and psychological narratives that are most effective in converting leads, closing sales, and creating brand promoters that will continue to sell your service long after you talked with them as an Obi Wan.
If you want to beef up your user experience and create lasting, impactful marketing and sales campaigns that focus on the brand hero within your prospects, you can download the Hero's Persona Worksheet that we use here at Story Block, for free:
If you want to know more about creating hyper-hero-focused personas and the proven impact that they have on marketing and sales, you can read more about it at the link below. Or, hero, if you want to choose a different road, you can learn about what it takes to write marketing content that reflects the resonating psychology of the Hero's Journey.
Choose your Adventure: