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What an iPad commercial can teach real estate agents like me about values, beliefs and story-telling

Fizzy with iridescent insights and wildly interesting is how I’d describe the Steve Jobs biography.  It’s a plutonium mine of Ah Ha reminders, brow lifting inspirations and enlightenments.

Let me share one example of what I’m talking about. . .

Don’t Tell and Self-Focus Sell. Show and Story-Tell

In Chapter Thirty-Eight Jobs obsesses over TV commercials for his newly announced iPad.  The struggle tussled around how to best market communicate the essence of this new magical and revolutionary iPad device.

After considering numerous traditional approaches, manifesto mashpups and lifestyle paths, Jobs opted for a simple approach.  Steve decided that the iPad commercials would not be about the device, but about what cool and useful things you, me and our friends could do with a thin new iPad.

Lush pictures and mood-music stimulate our imaginations, weaving a seductive story, each story unique and relevant personal to each viewer.

Apple doesn’t blather tech specs or other kinds of telling and self-focused selling.  Instead, the focus is on the consumer.  Apple shares the story of personal possibility and all the new and wonderful things we could do if we owned an iPad. The commercial is all about us.

No telling and selling, only sharing and storytelling.

These days, we’re all looking for solutions, not sales pitches.

Blatant self-promoters, braggarts and bullshiters are shunned. What I learned from the thinking behind this TV commercial is that I should rethink the focus of how I present myself.  There’s no doubt that an all-about-them-focused story-telling approach is way more attractive and relevant than a self-focused-all-about-me telling and selling approach.

So, how can I better all-about-them-focused stories?

Thinking it through. My internal Beliefs and Values create the soul of my success.

My internal Beliefs and Values motivate and shape my behaviors.  My behaviors (on and offline) reveal who I am, what I’m about and what’s important to me.  In this era of everyone’s-watching and everything-we-do-online-lives-forever, our easily observed behaviors tell our stories for us.  The question is this.  Are my behaviors telling an attractive story, ala the iPad commercial?  Or do my behaviors blunt opportunity because I’m telling and self-focused selling?

Without examining our Values and Beliefs and how we present ourselves, we’ll struggle to earn trust, Top of Mind Awareness and relevance. Once we make appropriate adjustments, we’ll rise above the uninformed, apathetic, average and ordinary.

In what areas can you think differently about what makes you different?

In what ways can you better story-tell your value proposition?

Cheers and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit



  1. Coldwell Banker El Paso

    November 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Brilliant; so true! Show clients how you can help them find their dream home don't just tell them.

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