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Who are those ladies behind the curtain?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

If you’re interested in a peek under the hood of Marketing Mentor, this post is for you.

Last week’s tip took much longer to write than usual. What readers actually received was a complete rewrite of the original tip I sent to my "testers" — the 5 colleagues who generously provide much-needed feedback to me every week. (BTW, if you’d like to be part of that group, send an email message to me at ilise at marketing-mentor dot com and I’ll tell you how it all works.)

Anyway, here is the original tip and Colleen’s question to me that I was having trouble answering. I thought I’d throw it out to the blog, to see what you all have to say. So please comment.

Here’s my original tip:

Last week, when I gave my presentation, "Is Your Personality Preventing Your From Moving Ahead?" for the RGD Ontario, I suggested telling success stories to describe how what you do helps your clients.

Afterward, a few people asked me the same question: how can I tell success stories without bragging?

Here’s what I said: focus on the facts.

If you say that something you created won an award, that’s a fact, isn’t it?

If something you wrote or designed achieved a 20% response, that is also a fact, even if saying it feels like bragging to you.

If I tell you that I drank champagne with a client recently to celebrate the biggest job he’s ever won — and he got it as a result of a cold call, is that bragging?

And if I say he won it because I taught him how to make those cold calls, is that bragging?

And what if I say this: "A client won his biggest job yet because of a cold call and he credits my mentoring for teaching him how to do it right." Is that bragging?

Here’s Colleen’s response:

(Is there a better way to) ramp up to a statement like that? If I can see the progression, it might not seem like such a sell. Right now, it feels inorganic: like you’re selling (which you are, but it seemed to me like you wanted to say the selling can be invisible.)

The only way I can see this line working organically is if someone has specifically said, "I hate cold calls. I can’t imagine you’d be able to teach *me* to do them."

And then you could reply, "I don’t know. That’s what another client of mine said two months ago. But last week, he…"

Like that. It’s the windup. Out of nowhere, all the lines feel bizarre to me. In the right context, they can all work.

What do you think?

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