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When crafting a message about your product or service, it can be difficult to approach it from your customer’s perspective. You might get stuck in the 'features' –  talking about yourself – rather than expressing the benefits of your product – the positive outcomes for your customer.

This shift from talking about the features of your product to talking about its benefits is called laddering – and parents do it all the time.

If you think you’re talking about yourself, ask “why?” like a three-year-old until you get to the ultimate benefit. This is the message at the top of the ladder.

Here’s an example you may deal with every morning:

Presenters at WE FOR SHE Kelowna

On April 13, I joined some of the biggest names in gender diversity to speak to over 300 high school students from across SD23, including Catalyst Canada and the Minerva Foundation. So how did we all end up there?

From one student, Caitlin Kingsmill, who attended the 2016 WE FOR SHE event in Vancouver and wanted to share its inspirational message with other students back home.

Entrepreneurship is hard. Excuse me, not hard. It’s mind changing, life shifting, mood swinging, energy draining, hard. You’re out there, embracing risk to give life to a whole new business. Every day, you’re out there, pitching for opportunities. No matter how much of a great speaker you are, that’s a tough challenge.

So, make your life easy by relying on structure, whenever you can. Having a ready-to-go pitch deck, is a simple way to ease communication and improve efficiency, at all levels: impromptu meetings, funding rounds, account and media relations and so on.

As an entrepreneur, you’re at the front line of business. You have to make good decisions, be confident in your abilities and anticipate change. Business ownership is a mental game – do you possess the right mindset to succeed?
Entrepreneurs are recognized for their skill sets and have long been studied for their adaptability and risk-taking. The entrepreneurial mindset is a sought-after set of traits.

This is our first stop in the 3-part ABC starter to the use of "Story" in business

I’d like you to accept that stories work on all levels and that they help you ‘sell as you tell’. Whether the message you are working to get across is about influence, personal persuasion, selling a physical product, your service or an idea-stories help.

You know from your own human experience that the attention we set aside for stories is embedded in our DNA. We learn about the world from early childhood and as we grow we find ourselves choosing from candidates to commercial brands, based on the story!

Baseball cards, tea cozies, stamps—humans love to collect things. Even time pressed entrepreneurs may find the time to acquire a collection of antique dolls or ceramic frogs. Business cards, however are not simply for collection. After you leave that networking event, it is essential that you follow up. Otherwise all you’ve done is stuff your pockets, purse or briefcase with worthless bits of fancy paper.