In my work I talk a lot about stories. But what exactly do I mean? Here are a few tips I have learned along the way about telling great stories and the benefits this approach can bring to you and your business:
- Great stories sell. Finding the great story in your organisation or about yourself is key first step in any marketing or communication plan. The story then tends to reveal inherent and obvious promotional opportunities.
- Great stories are genuine. The bonus of this approach is that the key selling points are authentic and the benefits are real. This instantly raises the comfort factor for the seller because they feel confident about what they are offering.
- Great stories are a delicate balance between fact and aspiration. You need to present who you are and what you have achieved as a case for where you want to go and who you want to be.
- Great stories are drafted from the audience’s perspective. What do your customers or potential clients want to hear about you? What will motivate them to act? What will stick in their minds about you or your organisation?
Stories can take different forms and can be drawn from a range of sources. A company needs internal stories to support staff development and culture plus external stories to sell organisational key messages to relevant audiences. The stories may focus on the achievement of one strong leader or on the commitment of many working towards a shared goal. In some cases the stories are obvious yet in others it may require more strategic questioning to tease out the threads and pull them together as effective messages.
In my view, a carefully crafted story with memorable key messages will always be a more effective form of communication than a list of services could ever be.
Can you think of organisations or people who are telling a great story? Let me know by leaving a comment.