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LV Creative - Using storytelling to increase sales

Not so long ago, I strolled into a local boutique and sifted through a handful of typical house keys attached to chains. I compared the letters etched into the metal, pronounced one “perfect”, handed the clerk $40, and left with a birthday gift for a very good friend.

So pause. You’ve read all the features of the gift:

  • Metal house key
  • Etched letters
  • Chain

And you’re thinking I must have lost my damn mind to pay $40 for something that’s sold for a couple bucks at a hardware store.

The thing is, I wasn’t just buying a key. I was buying a story.

I bought a Giving Key.

The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key is unique and carries a message like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key, they give it away and then send us the story of their key being paid forward.

By purchasing the key, I was associating both myself and my friend with a worthwhile cause, an uplifting message, and the potential to help someone in the future. I purchased the opportunity to tell the story to my friend and to let her tell it to others going forward. My $40 bought entrance into a community of like-minded people.

It ceased to be a key and became a physical manifestation of my values and a vehicle for a story I wanted to tell. And $40 seemed like a steal.

Business owners make this mistake all the time. We list a set of features, and because we are experts in our own subject, the tangible benefits of employing them are clear to us.

But our customers aren’t experts in our subjects, and to them it reads like a basic laundry list. And if all they read are features, they’ll start comparing on price.

Customers want to buy the story. They want to see how your product is going to help them become more. How does your service fit into their value system? Can they picture themselves in your tribe? Hiring you is a reflection on what they deem important so give them a solid story to tell and a clear reason to back you.

As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Get clear on why you are in business and figure out how to permeate that why through all your products and services.

Create your brand’s mythology, grow your tribe, raise your bottom line.

What stories are you telling? Share in the comments.

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