Our title may seem like a silly question, but the resounding answer for too many of us is "not nearly well enough".

You would probably be shocked at how much time we spend analyzing our consulting practice, questioning what our agency members need in order to be more successful, running "what if" scenarios, looking for opportunities to improve. We humbly believe we understand our business more than most. And we should; that's the business we're in.

However, no matter how well you know your business, you can always know it better and will always get better as a result of the introspection. We experienced this ourselves as we went through the process of putting together a marketing video about how we work with benefits and insurance agencies. The purpose of our video is to help those who aren't familiar with us to better understand what we do and how they might benefit from working with us (check it out here if you haven't seen it yet).

Obviously, a critical part of the creative process is the writing of the script, the story we want to tell about ourselves. What we learned is that understanding your business is one thing, having to explain it in a short script forces a whole new level of understanding. I can tell you, as well as we thought we already knew our business, we gained an even better understanding for having gone through the process of producing the video.

And, whether or not you want to create such a video for your own agency, you would get similar benefit from making sure you can tell your story more effectively. After all, if you don't really understand it, you can't explain it, and if you can't explain it, your prospects will never understand.

As with most anything that brings progress, telling your story starts with asking and answering the right questions. The questions we were asked during the creation of the video made us think about our business in-depth around key areas; they made us put ourselves in the seats of our prospects/clients and prompted healthy conversations about how we deliver value and about how to articulate that message.

Here are a few questions that may help you find a better understanding of your own business and help you start crafting a more effective story.

  1. What questions do your prospects have that are taking them out searching for answers?
  2. What questions are prospects asking based on assumptions they already have about what you do?
  3. What questions SHOULD prospects be asking if they had a better understanding of how you can really help?
  4. What needs do your prospects have, with which you can help, that they likely don't yet see themselves?
  5. What tangible (financial and operational) benefits can your prospects/clients receive from working with you?
  6. What harm may come to their business if they ignore their existing problems?
  7. What is it about how you operate that ensures the client receives the value they want/need?

This is the perfect time of year to be reflecting on the answers to these questions. But don't sit down and answer them by yourself. Use the questions to drive some of the most powerful conversations/debates that may ever take place amongst your team.

Photo by sifotography