Are you sitting comfortably?

Then we’ll begin…

Given that storytelling is something very close to my heart, I thought I’d expand upon the concept

When we say ‘tell’ a story, we don’t mean ‘make up a tale’ of course; what we mean is that what you say about your business can be made considerably more accessible if it’s related to something that has actually happened. I’ll give you an example:

I am a home owner and I have a boiler. If that boiler breaks (hopefully I’m not tempting fate here), I will need a plumber. When looking for a plumber I will want to know that said professional is knowledgeable, qualified, competent and experienced. Obviously I will check that he or she is registered with the relevant governing bodies and I will almost certainly visit their website or social media pages to get an idea of how their previous clients feel about them.

Now it may be that this plumber is extremely good at their job and, to demonstrate their capabilities, they may have included some form of discourse on the subject of plumbing on their website “in order to fix the sprocket onto the flimflam, one must first disengage the badger screw…” and so on.

Guess what: I don’t care. As you can probably tell from the above, I don’t understand plumbing; I’m a mere word monkey after all, and have never had cause to learn where the badger screw goes. However, if I were to read a story on this plumber’s website, one that tells me how the company has helped somebody, then perhaps I would be more responsive.

You see, this is the secret – clients don’t generally want to know what you can do. They want to know what you can do FOR THEM.

That then is the key to good story telling: making your company the hero in a tale of woe that ultimately has a happy ending. The single mother’s boiler breaks down on Christmas Eve, her regular plumber would charge a hefty call out fee, but this company came out within 4 hours, fixed the problem and charged a reasonable fee, thus saving Christmas for the woman and her (we must assume thoroughly adorable) children. This story tells me that the plumber has the best interests of his or her clients as heart and I can safely assume that if they take that much care of one client, they’ll take that much care of me.

Of course every profession is different and stories don’t come as easily to some as they do to others, but we all have them. My words have never saved Christmas and nor are they likely to, but they have taken my clients’ marketing to the next level, generating compliments from their existing customers and earning them the chance to speak to prospects they might not otherwise have met.

So remember to tell your story, regardless of what it might be and stick to the following points:

1) keep it honest – don’t elaborate or make up details

2) focus on the ending – a good rule is that 30% of the story should ‘set the scene’, 10% should describe what you actually did and 60% should explain how this helped the client.

3) try to get customers to give testimonials to back up the story wherever possible – testimonials demonstrate trust

Good luck with your story telling, and I’ll see you again soon

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