By Pat Henneberry
Pat Henneberry is vice president of global learning and development at Hearts On Fire. She also is founder of The Jewelry Coach, a sales training community for jewelers.

Your customers no longer want just your product or service; being the best sales professional isn’t going to cut it.

They want to know who’s doing what, and why. In other words, they want your story--and you need a hero to tell it.

It’s tempting to make your business, or you (the sales associate), the hero of your story. We are the best jeweler in town, I have all my certifications and I can do a triathlon as I grade your diamond at the same time! Many businesses promote their owner or even the brands they carry more than focusing on their customer.

But what if your customer was the hero of your story? What if the benefits you provide took center stage?

Here are five questions to get your story started.

I recommend you sit down with your staff and walk through these questions together. Have someone take notes. It could be a very interesting exercise …

1. What is your hero’s (customer’s) power?
Something sets your hero apart from the supporting cast. They can do something unique that the others can’t. What do you help your customers do? What powers do you give that lifts them above their competition? Is it diamonds, watches, your services, what?

2. How did your hero (customer) become “super?”
Some superheroes are born; others get their powers from an extraordinary experience. In the story of your customer, there is a moment when they realized you were the answer they were looking for. Can you describe those moments? You have them everyday. Sit down with your store and find them.

3. What threatens your hero (customer)?
All heroes have a weakness. A flaw creates drama and anticipation: will it be our hero’s undoing? Your customers have weaknesses too; they’re only human. What’s stopping them reaching their full potential and how will you get them there?

4. What drives your hero (customer) to do good?
Superheroes gain their powers for a reason: to perform a greater good. They have an inner bell that chimes with your product or service. What is their driving force? Is it that you have been around for three generations? That you are locally owned? That you are on a local charity board that they donate to? What drives your customers to do good?

5. Who’s the bad guy?
A hero is only a hero if they have a villain with whom to battle. They stand for everything your hero (customer) fights against. So, what great wrong do you help people put right? Was it that the competition did your customer wrong? Was it that your customer hasn’t bought his wife a diamond in 20 years?

There you have it--a hero in five simple steps.

If anything, I think this exsercise will generate some great conversation at your next store meeting.

Pat Henneberry is vice president of global learning and development at Hearts On Fire. She also is founder of The Jewelry Coach, a sales training community for jewelers. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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