Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Think of your potential client as a character

A test: identify the need.
Telling corporate stories is all the rage these days. Whatever that means to you, one aspect of story can be relevant as you think about potential clients or customers.

In a work of fiction, the protagonist is propelled along -- motivated -- by some strong need or desire. A writer at Delancey Place notes:
The key to any relationship is to understand clearly what the other person wants. This is true whether that person is a spouse, an employee, a boss, or a friend. It is a task that is made more difficult by the fact that many people don't truly understand what it is they want, or have many wants that contradict or compete with each other. But that difficulty does not lessen the importance of understanding those wants, both within yourself and within those people that are most important to you.
The writer quotes David Corbett, author of The Art of Character:
"There may be no more important question to ask of a character than: What does she want in this scene, in this chapter, in this story? Thinking more globally, one should ask what she wants from her life -- has she achieved it? If not, why not? If so, what now?"
So what is the compelling need of the person with whom you want to do business? The correct answer is usually not the most obvious one.

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