Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to make a connection.
Why Telling Business Stories Works
Telling business stories can help people consider new possibilities, broaden their knowledge, think outside the box... and therefore deepen their understanding. When you tell a story (vs. listing product facts and specifics that most of us are really good at ignoring), you have an opportunity to develop rapport and build relationships as you demonstrate your unique talents/abilities and therefore establish you as a trusted partner/expert.
Especially if your business is selling, you want to tell stories that will create memories; especially if you can entertain and engage your audience. And when your business stories are remembered, they will sell your services for you (word of mouth) for days, months and even years down the road.
4 Important Goals When Writing Business Stories That Will Sell Your Services For You:
1. Have More Than One Story
Business stories can help people expand what they think or know... or you can help people focus on a specific area of your business depending on your objective. One story creates a connection; multiple stories provide depth and understanding. All you need to know is:
- Who is your audience?
- What do they know?
- What is your purpose?
Mix it up. Try to add as much diversity to your story portfolio as possible. Every story adds to the quilt of understanding.
Example: You don't only drink Coke at a picnic. So, Coke commercials show people enjoying the soft drink in many different times, places -- at work and at play.
2. Start With the End in Mind
Know what you want to achieve - what is your one goal? To reach that goal, what is the gap you have to close that will benefit your customer? Is it awareness? Is it safety? Is it decreased risk or cost?
Helping your customer achieve their goal will help you achieve your business goal. Their job isn't to buy your product/service; they have a need and you have to show them how your product/service will improve their situation.
3. Bottom-line Your Message
If you start by introducing lots of background information before you get to the problem and solution, your audience will move on before you get to your important message.
Instead, bottom-line your message. Tell/show them why your business story is interesting -- then they will stay with you and listen attentively as you establish appropriate background.
4. Use Your Business Stories Everywhere
Use your stories everywhere: online, in print and in video. Post your stories on your website homepage, in presentation decks and sales collateral, proposals, letters, brochures -- even build commercials around stories.
Conclusion: Find Stories In Your Feedback and Testimonials
Use the feedback you receive from clients, suppliers, consumer rating services -- even competitors and create business stories. There is no source of positive information that should be overlooked -- just judge your source respectfully and appropriately based on your audience.
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