In 1902, the Washington Post published a cartoon of then-president Theodore Roosevelt sparing the life of a mother bear and her cub. The cartoon was so successful that it inspired a toy that American children still love: the Teddy Bear.

Before the Teddy Bear surged in popularity in the early 1900s, Americans primarily viewed bears as monsters. But when the toy took off, the idea of bears seemed much less frightening. Sure, real bears were still scary, but the Teddy Bear offered a different spin on that story.

The Teddy Bear took something that had a negative connotation and made it something lovable. It turned something monstrous into something cuddly. 

What this means for your sales

As business leaders, it can be easy to view our products, services, or industry in a somewhat negative light, such as by using the term “boring” in relation to what you offer. 

For many industries, the products or services sold are traditionally viewed as boring. And, as people in those industries, if we believe what we offer is boring, so will our customers. This will make it a lot more difficult to even ask for a sale, much less close one.

So, like the Teddy Bear did with the bear, let’s flip the narrative. Let’s reframe how we think about our offerings–from something negative (boring) into something positive (helpful).

Here are four ways to do that.

1. Ask, “Is my industry really boring, or is it just boring to me? 

What’s boring to thee might not be to me.

For industries that specialize in marketing to a very specific niche, this is especially true.

Maybe your company creates software that helps accountants balance the books. That might not be a product you initially think of as exciting, but for the accountant who loves making sure every aspect of their job is running smoothly, your software could be very exciting. Because it helps them solve a problem.

But you may be thinking, yes, but it’s still a boring industry to me. To shift your mindset on that, consider this next point…

2. Keep in mind that helpful stuff isn’t boring

Getting problems solved may not necessarily be exciting, but it certainly isn’t boring. It provides value. It offers the chance to improve your customers’ lives. And it does this by addressing a specific problem.

3. Know the problem you solve

Your company solves an overarching problem that most of your customers have. Know what this is. 

I think, for most of us, solving problems is exciting (or at the very least, enjoyable). So, include the problem your product or service solves in your sales conversations and marketing materials.

4. Consider what customer success looks like

What are the benefits of using your product or service? What does it look like for your customer to have their problem resolved? 

It’s imperative to know what success looks like for your customers. Will they save time or money? Will they be less stressed? Will they be able to do their job better?

When you understand what these successes are, you’re less likely to consider your product or service boring.

And once you flip the narrative, you set yourself up to be a better salesperson. Flipping the narrative worked for the Teddy Bear, and I think it will work for you. 

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