Everyone loves a good story! Stories have been told for thousands of years dating back to the beginning of time. We document events which then become stories that are repeated and shared. As children we asked our caretakers to read us stories from books that were created from some persons experience or imagination. We love to hear and to tell them and in this day and age of social media we love to share, post and comment on the stories we read.
There is something about telling a story that continues to capture an audience. Comedians tell stories, motivational speakers tell stories, teachers and leaders tell stories to help their respective audiences understand their message and to elicit the correct response. Comedians want you to laugh at the punchline of their jokes. Motivational speakers want you to feel emotion as a call to action. Leaders want their followers to understand the repercussions of inaction in order to sway them to take the appropriate action.
Today it seems that time is in short supply. Whether we are at home trying to take care of our responsibilities and families or attending to our ever growing plate of responsibilities at work, time is not abundant. Do more with less is the expectation on all fronts. So how do we successfully sell ourselves and our brands to customers fighting the same problem? How do we make the most of the allotted time we have and the few moments that our audiences will grant us? Stories. Stories make people stop and take a pause. We click on stories in our news feeds because we want to be in the know. We stop and read the headlines on the doorstep newspaper because most of us are social creatures with an insatiable need to know. We just can’t leave a good story alone.
Social media is a way for us to share what we do and sell in a story. If someone reads that my company sells insurance they may not care because they already have insurance and let’s face it, it it ain’t broke….. If however that same person reads that my CEO went to the home of one of our insureds on a holiday because their home burned down (true story by the way), they are likely to wonder why their insurance agent didn’t do the same for them or someone they know. Chances of us getting a new customer after an event like that are much higher because they read a story that impacted them in a much different manner than a black and white newspaper ad.
Sell what you do to people in a format that appeals not to their wallet or even strictly to their needs but to their emotions. By doing so in a fashion that shows that your character runs deeper than your logo and stronger than the staple on the contract, people will take notice. People love a good story and by changing the way you present yourself you’ll likely change the outcome of your efforts.