Whether it’s a memorable movie, a favorite childhood tale read aloud, a family legacy shared by a relative, an inspiring story related by a pro, or your best friend saying , “Wait ‘till you hear THIS!” on the other end of the phone, stories have been a part of our lives practically since the day we were born. There’s an excitement that wells up inside you when it comes to stories, an eagerness to know more, isn’t there? Stories are just that powerful in the business world, too — if you learn how to use them!
The majority do business just like everyone else – in the same old, ordinary ho-hum way. Those who have the Best Business Minds mindset know that it’s vital to be memorable and stand out from the crowd. Professional speakers use personal stories to create “sizzle” (attraction) and generate customer loyalty. Few business professionals in other fields take full of advantage of this amazingly useful strategy.
Stories come a variety of shapes, sizes and styles and can be used in a number of ways. There are stories about the lessons you learned from overcoming obstacles, stories about the origin of your business, case studies that tell how you’ve helped your customers and stories about your philosophy of business. Your stories can be used in biographies, introductions, marketing materials, presentations, articles and much more.
For example, the right story can transform your next networking experience. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a business card shoved at us by an eager entrepreneur working the crowd. They talk about their product or service without taking a breath, let alone bothering to learn anything about us! This behavior gets that person the exact opposite of the response they want – they are seen as rude, and most of the time their card gets tossed away. Here’s the contrast: Nancy S. was recently at a networking meeting and met a lady showing her beautiful handmade purses. When Nancy saw her goods, she thought that they were nice but didn’t really pay that much attention. Then she and the purse lady began to talk. Once she related her love for sewing and how growing up she just couldn’t wait to get her foot on that sewing machine pedal, Nancy had a new interest and fondness for her products. In fact, she’ll never forget her!
For an example of a great story that totally sold one of us on choosing this attorney over five others, read the Bright Business Story by Jason Aufdemeur.
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You don’t need to be a master speaker or have ‘glamorous’ experiences in order to create meaningful stories that help your business. Our two examples above are both ordinary people who are simply being authentic and sharing their passions. They know what their current and potential customers want and value the most. You probably do, too. Choose stories that connect with those wants and values and you’ll be amazed at what happens!