The Reasons Why Your Unique Story Can Increase Your Profits!
Everyone loves a good story. It’s better than a sales pitch because your story is unique to you, while your sales pitch is probably very similar to the pitch your prospect just heard yesterday, delivered by one of your competitors.
“Those who tell the stories rule society.” Plato, 427-347 B.C.
Plato understood the concept, even if he didn’t always follow his own advice. Don’t preach. Don’t teach. Just tell your story and you’ll captivate your audience. Here are just a few ways that telling your story will generate new business and increase your profits.
Think of your story as a conversation starter. Sometimes it’s hard to get the ball rolling. You can break the ice by telling a story about how your company got its name or how your company’s annual team-building event has made a real difference in the cohesiveness of your team.
As you tell your story, you’re likely to discover some area of common ground that you have with your prospect. You might, for example, mention a college that it turns out the prospect or the prospect’s children attended. Or you might indicate that you’re a ski buff and it turns out that they are, too. It could be anything, because anything, no matter how small, can be a point of mutual interest.
Think hard about your differentiators because those are what makes you stand out. Every single one of your competitors will say that they have experience and expertise. That kind of statement holds no weight whatsoever. What does? Let’s say you’ve been in business for 20 years and many of your first clients and first employees are still with you. That’s more impactful. Certifications are a dime a dozen, so don’t go that route. But “great Workplace” or “Best Employer” awards are far more personal. Make those part of your story.
People, You Know
People buy from people they know. If you need a carpenter for a unique home renovation project you’re contemplating, do you go straight to the yellow pages (online of course) or do you start asking around, asking people you know? And the people you know, they know other people. Someone you contacted might say: “Gee. I don’t know any great carpenters, but my neighbor had a beautiful corner curio cupboard built by a local carpenter. I can get you that name.” Even if there are 6 degrees of separation, it still feels better than an unknown entity from the yellow pages. If you do a bit of research, you might find a connection to your prospect. LinkedIn is fantastic for that kind of research. Weave that connection into your story.
People You Like
Similarly, people buy from people they like. Think about the people you hire to perform services around your house: gardeners, housekeepers, plumbers, electricians. Think about the people you buy from cars, insurance, flowers. I’d bet that you purchase goods and services from people you like, even if they’re a bit farther away. The flower shop that’s a 15-minute drive where the owner remembers your name and always smiles versus the shop around the corner where the clerk never smiles at you. So when you tell your story, but less effort into sounding professional and more push into being upbeat and friendly. It will pay off.
Storytelling is not new. Neither is storytelling a best-kept marketing secret anymore. Marketing companies have been emphasizing the value of a good story for years now. And yet, in my personal experience, few companies have really embraced the concept. So if you do, that will become one of your real differentiators. And you will see tangible results in the form of improved sales metrics and bottom-line profits.