What kind of story do you tell about your company? If you want to attract more clients, it helps to tell tales about your service, and focus not on the truth, but on what people believe.
Seth Godin speaks to this phenomenon when he tells us a story about a few entrepreneurs who came up with a great business plan in the 1980s. “They bought some name-brand stereo speakers and packed them into a U-Haul truck,” he wrote in All Marketers Are Liars. “Then they parked the truck behind a dorm at Harvard and started whispering, ‘Pssst… Hey! You wanna buy some speakers?’ While they never actually said that the speakers were stolen, it seemed to passersby that they were—and so had to be a great bargain. Harvard students shouldn’t have fallen for this. Of course, they did—in droves. The entrepreneurs sold out in no time. The story the students told themselves made the purchase incredibly appealing, even if the speakers cost about what they would have at the local stereo store. The local store spent plenty of money on advertising and real estate. These entrepreneurs made it easy for people to tell themselves a story. They both sold speakers for the same price. Who won?