Lock in your message with a well-told story
When you think about it, you realize that we spend our lives telling stories. It’s how we group our life experiences. Families create multigenerational traditions by passing down stories. When we meet a new friend, we get to know each other by telling stories. We even gossip in stories.
Why? Because stories are layered with meaning, both explicit and subtle. That’s what makes them memorable — their texture and nuances. Aesop sure understood this. How many years ago did you first hear the tale of the tortoise and the hare? Stories, in the forms of fables and parables, have been used for centuries to educate and influence. Why? Because we remember what engages us. Which is exactly why stories are such a powerful sales technique.
Every business has a story to tell. If you don’t know what your story is, you just need to listen a little better. Listen to your customers. Listen to your employees. Find your most successful salesperson. I guarantee you they have been telling your story.
What makes a compelling story? Usually there is a main character we can relate to. A problem they must overcome. And, of course, a fitting ending. But what if I told you a story, and from the very beginning, you already knew the ending? Would you stay interested as I told it? Probably not.
That’s a mistake many marketers make. They rush to tell the ending because they can’t wait to spout off the benefits of their wares. They don’t trust their own story, and in jumping the gun, they ruin it. Skilled storytellers don’t bombard their audience with the moral of the story. They let the story do its job.
Your potential customers are waiting. It’s story time!
Drew McLellan is Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group and the author of “99.3 Random Acts of Marketing.” He can be reached at Drew@MclellanMarketing.com.