When was the last time you chose to do business with someone you felt no connection with? Telling your own story can be a powerful way of engaging new clients and customers.
I was introduced to a man at a networking event who didn’t want to be there. He said he had nothing to say, nothing to show for his life, no interest in anything. Reluctantly he gave me his business card. A week later I met his colleague at the same event and discovered that the reluctant networker is far from dull – he volunteers at a local hostel for homeless people, cycled the length of Britain to raise money for the British Lung Foundation, and is a prize-winning jive dancer.
But if you’d taken him at face value you’d have imagined a man without soul, enterprise or ambition. His website reinforced my impression of a bland business with no idea that its best assets were its people and the stories they had packed in them. People buy people – that’ll never change.
Bold beats boring
You are your most powerful sales tool – give away some of your story first and follow it up with facts and figures later.
Tell your stories with conviction and honesty and you’ll gather people around you and see your profits soar. Store them away marked ‘private’ and prospects will ignore you in favour of someone whose story makes their business unputdownable.
Whether face-to-face or as part of the language you use to create stunning copy across all your communications, these headline points will open up whole new chapters for you and make your business a bestseller:
Don’t be afraid
Use your own voice and those of your team to tell potential customers how your business was born and where it’s heading. Tell the stories of the people behind it to make everything come to life.
If you want to be a storyteller, don’t limit yourself to one way of doing this. Use experts to help you frame a campaign that uses face to face, online, print and social media to make you irresistible. Our belief is that strong stories told simply work across all platforms.
Memorable stories are much easier for potential customers to recount – arm them with a good story and they’re very likely to want to share it with others. And so the word spreads – you are human/warm/funny/approachable, so your company is likely to have that same culture and you’ll be great people to do business with.
Don’t be lazy
For years you’ve been putting together PowerPoint presentations and ‘slapping a few words on the page’. It doesn’t work and it won’t give you your difference in a crowded market. An inspiring, well-crafted story about what you do, why you do it and the impact you can have on others will set you apart. Make storytelling a tradition in your business.
Be honest, be funny (carefully) and be thoughtful
Don’t embellish, don’t over-try, don’t pretend – you’ll get found out. Your story, well told, should be good enough on its own to sell you.
Know your skills
Being able to pick up a pen doesn’t make you a writer, and bad copy full of errors and lacking spirit will let you down. Customers will translate your sloppiness as the sign of a company that doesn’t care enough to deliver great service.
Stories well told will bring punch and accuracy to your brand, creating a tone of voice for your business that will make everything you say consistent and irresistible.
Good storytelling doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re under-confident about how to express yourself in words, talk to flex. Rather than selling you our skills, we can teach you how to find and use your own authentic voice to its greatest advantage.
You are your best storyteller.