Craft Your Signature Story and Capture Your Prospect's Imagination

by Britton Manasco | Jul 16, 2013 | Content Strategy

Want to separate your signal from all the noise and get the full attention of senior decision makers?

Then bring them striking and distinctive insights -- new perspectives that offer a new way of looking at their world. Signature Story

You have to present a Signature Story that addresses the breakdown your buyer may be experiencing -– and the breakthrough solution that can address it.

So what is a Signature Story? It’s a far-reaching narrative that cuts across the stages of a buyer’s decision cycle.

Your Signature Story should offer a proven path forward. It should reflect your vision of what lies ahead.

But the success of your story, more than anything, revolves around its ability to motivate a buyer to change. You have to vividly clarify the potential consequences of sticking to the present state.

With this in mind, here are three key criteria to keep in mind when developing your Signature Story.

  • Provoke, Engage and Clarify. The only way you’ll get attention is by offering a new perspective that speaks to the key concerns and interests of your targeted decision maker. You have to offer valuable insights -- revealing risks and opportunities that were previously unknown (or insufficiently understood).
  • Create a Sense of Urgency. It’s tempting to leap ahead to the great promise associated with your solution. But that won’t get you where you want to go. You have to create urgency by clarifying why the current state is somehow risky and unacceptable. You have to get to the hidden costs and consequences of the problem.
  • Craft through Consensus. It doesn’t matter how compelling your message is if your product, marketing and selling teams aren’t unified and bought in. And they aren’t going to buy in unless they participate in the actual creation of your story.  You want to get your key stakeholders and influencers in a room and drive consensus.

Ultimately, your Signature Story lays a foundation for creating an array of messaging assets -– assets that support both demand generation and sales outreach campaigns.Indeed, you'll create actionable assets that your people will actually use.

This is a far more cost effective and better performing approach than creating content in a vacuum, especially considering that 80% of today's assets go unused by sales in the field, according to the American Marketing Association.

Instead, you'll create an expansive story that's fully modular, making it easy to make it relevant. You can unbundle and repackage your story -- creating content for many different interactions and conversations.

But it’s important to keep in mind that it's not your story alone. When you craft a story that captures the imagination of your buyers, it becomes theirs as well.