The Power of Storytelling in Business


*Storytelling “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown

#2 "After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. ”* Taken directly from Dave Kerpen’s 11 Simple Concepts to becoming a Better Leader *

February 2013, I went to a sales presentation for a startup company, that had excellent service but was poorly presented. I am going to be kind and not tell you the name of the company. This is the article I wrote the day after that presentation.

The issue I had was they spent 40 minutes telling us about numbers and how much we could make by helping them build their business but nothing about why they created their business and how the service really works. Twice the CEO started to say it was for personal reasons he created this service, and he wanted to help people. He never follows through with making me see his vision.

The most critical marketing tool gives you a way to express your vision. That I, the listener, understand why you are so passionate about what you are selling to me. Tell me a story!

I went to bed thinking about all the ways I could help them fix their problem, and the next morning as I had my morning coffee while IPad surfing (before I start the day) I came across Dave Kerpen’s article. The second concept (see above) jumped out at me. I put my cup down and yelled out, YES! My poor assistant might have had a heart attack ( I need to check on her later to make sure she is alive).

To be honest, I didn’t even finish the article before I started writing this.Why did point #2 * hit me like Thor's Hammer! Because it’s true; storytelling is the most powerful way we connect and convey our ideas. The most powerful way to get someone on your side or get your point across is to tell a story.

Take a minute and think about the best teacher or mentor you had; what was their teaching style? 85% of you will say they told stories. Facts and figures are essential, but if I cannot connect to those, I don’t care about them.

I keep thinking about the film “The Mirror Has Two Faces” in which Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, both Columbia University professors, are looking for love. Barbra’s character (Rose) is a great teacher; her classroom is always filled, and Jeff’s (Gregory) is the class you hate to take. He is a nice guy and quite brilliant, just a lousy communicator. When he asks her this a straightforward question.. 1# ”How do you make them stay?” She later gives us the answer.. 2#“ Tell me a Story.” If you click the two links, you will see the two different types of educators. But the point is clear-When you want to engage you need to tell a story, Jeff’s character figure it out and his class was the better for it. #(Math Class). Now if I could get the CEO from last night's presentation to figure it out, I would be happy.

What does that have to do with marketing? Everything!!!! If you want someone to believe in your idea or product, you need to engage them. Tell a story. Stories are illustrative, easy to memory, and allows the presenter to create stronger emotional bonds with the audience. It makes the listener feel you believe in what you are saying to them. If I believe in you, I will do business with you. It is that simple.

So, the thought of the day is, ask yourself, What does your product or service mean to you? Tell Me a Story!

# Youtube videos are linked here. One of the videos has some language please use headphone if you are near children.

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