Why Your Business Has To Be “Remarkable”

By Eric Keiles of Square 2 Marketing, a proud sponsor of the WPO

WPO business leaders are known for their great desire to grow their companies. When it comes to growth, most people think of leaning into marketing and/or sales. But would it shock you to know that in today’s world of business, that growth has more to do with your company’s story than anything else?

Differentiation is the key concept.  The business author, Seth Godin, created the story of the Purple Cow to illustrate how critical it is that your company stand out. If you see some brown cows, you don’t notice them after a while.  But if you see a PURPLE COW, you stop the car, jump out, take photos, post to social, call your friends, text your buddies, etc.  He actually used the word “remarkable” to describe how important it is to stand out. If your company has nothing interesting to say, please don’t spend any money on marketing.  You are just going to look and sound like all of your competitors.

Many of the companies I see today promote stories that are far from remarkable. Most are marketing “brown cows” and subsequently are invisible in their space. But in fact, most of those companies are great at what they do, but the challenge is they absolutely stink at storytelling. That’s not to say they’re not successful - they are for the most part.  But they are not growing nearly as fast as their CEOs would like.

Here’s how being remarkable fuels your growth faster than any innovative marketing tactic or high-flying sales rep.

What It Means To Be Remarkable

To have a differentiated business means people are talking about it because it is so “remarkable”. It has to fulfil two criteria: 1) you do something that no other company can claim to do and 2) you do it in a way that is so interesting, someone would be prompted to tell a buddy. It’s your job as the leader of your organization to challenge your team to create a business whose story is “remarkable”. 

How To Get Your Company To Be Remarkable

It’s not easy. At Square 2, we’ve spent months and, in some cases, years working on aspects of our company that positions it as “remarkable”. You should expect to exert a similar effort at your business.

There is framework you can use to help move your company to remarkable.

1) Start with a deep understanding of who your prospects are and profile your best customers. Include as many details as possible when you create these profiles that we call “personas”. Here’s an example you can consider.

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2) Next identify all the pains, challenges or issues your prospects are dealing with as it relates to your products or services. Please remember that no purchase is ever made unless it makes a pain or problem go away!

3) Then map the solutions to those prospect pains.

4) This is where the rubber meets the road. Just because you have solutions to prospects’ and clients’ problems, it’s not enough.  The solutions must be…remarkable.  Take those solutions and reposition them so that they are remarkable (remember the two criteria above!). Here’s an exercise called Edgecrafting that helps you and your team push those solutions as far as possible without going over an edge. For more on this process, click here.

Telling That Remarkable Story in Your Marketing

Now that you have some remarkable elements to our business you should consider transforming these elements into a remarkable story that everyone in the company can easily tell, in the same way, every time. This story has to be told in 10 seconds on our website home page. This story has to be emotional, compelling and disruptive.

Consider these transformative examples from fellow entrepreneurs.

Arbill is a company that sells safety products. Their team used to promote the massive selection of safety products they offer. Today they talk about “Getting Everyone Home Safely Every Night”.  Who would you rather do business with, a firm that wants to sell you something or one that helps your people get home safely each night???

Legacy Armour is a software company that provide digital archives for all of your important documents.   Their CEO used to talk about the importance of technical security of your documents. Today she talks about “Leaving A Legacy For Your Family”.  A completely different and emotionally connecting message.

You need a similar story for your company.

Telling That Remarkable Story In Sales

It’s not enough to have a great website with a great message.  You have to make sure that everyone in the company, and especially your sales team, is telling the same story, in exactly the same way. How many times have you been on calls with sales reps and you don’t even recognize the company they’re talking about? The best way to ensure everyone is telling the same story in the same way is to create a documented, visual and remarkable, buyers’ journey.

Build that process into your CRM, train everyone on the process, and equip the sales team with the tools they need to execute the process as designed.  Then work with them over time to ensure they know exactly what to do and when to do it. The outcome of this effort will move the needle. Shorter sales cycles, higher close rates, larger deals with better customers and you should be able to do more revenue with the same, or even fewer sales reps.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Making Sure That Story Is Authentic

Finally, I leave you with one additional thought. Today, prospects can sniff out an inauthentic story a mile away. Brands who don’t walk the walk get shut down. In some cases, they get publicly exposed or are rendered irrelevant in their market. While this is more common with B2C brands, I encourage you to make sure that whatever story you’re telling, you’re also living that story back at the office.

If you’re making promises with a focus on simply closing deals, it won’t be long before the hollow promises catch up with you. Instead, weave what makes you remarkable into the fabric of your company. Lean into it, embrace it and make sure everyone in the entire organization understands and shares your vision.

Once you get that level of buy in, your company can soar to new levels and you’ll look back on the steps you took to elevate your business from ordinary to extraordinary as a major milestone in the company’s lifecycle.

We’ve seen it over and over again. To learn more about how Square 2 helps companies grow, click here.

About Eric Keiles:

If you've ever felt the frustration of not having enough sales, not having enough people to pick up the phone and call you, not have enough people visit your website, and not have enough opportunities to do business, Eric Keiles has been there.  The founder of 9 businesses, he experienced exactly the same scenario you may have come across one time or another, while operating your business. 

Eric Keiles is a leading sales and marketing strategist focused on pioneering a new marketing methodology. Eric, along with his business partner Mike Lieberman, coined the concept, Reality Marketing™ to describe how businesses can utilize cost effective inbound marketing tactics to achieve dramatic revenue growth.  They are leading the revolution in how entrepreneurs change the way they think about marketing their companies.  Marketing Sherpa has called the duo “original and contrarian marketers”. Their firm, Square 2 Marketing, was named the “Inbound Agency of the Year” by HubSpot in 2013 and 2015.

He is also the co-author of the popular books Smash The Funnel, Fire Your Sales Team Today and Reality Marketing Revolution. Eric is also the editor of a weekly e-newsletter reaching almost 20,000 business owners and entrepreneurs focusing on this topic.

See Eric at the WPO Annual Conference in Montreal, Quebec, May 4-6!