People. Buy. Stories. And your story is enough.

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iStock_000009319083LargeRoger and Chris had just patented a swimming pool interior surface when sat down across the table from me.  “We’re READY, finally, to start promoting the heck out of our business!!”

The truth was they had been ready long before the patent.  Because their story was enough without it.  And your story is enough without that new this or better that you’re waiting for.

Ron bitched on the phone for five minutes about how people just weren’t understanding why his work was worth the premium he was charging.

The truth was he was talking about features, not telling his story.  What do you talk about?

Their problems, the problem I see so often, is companies promote features, they don’t tell their story.

Features don’t make you different, your story does.  And properly told, your story is enough.

The Absolute Best Thing About Adding Storytelling to Your Marketing:

Do a good job telling your story and just being who you really are is enough.  How does that sit with you?  At the risk of sounding like Mister Rogers, who you are right now IS ENOUGH.  Really.  There’s still work to be done, plenty, but work telling YOUR story — accurately communicating who you are and authentically demonstrating your difference — not shouting about features.  Do this, and struggle turns into flow.  Because:

You don’t have to spend energy pretending.  Trying to be something you aren’t is easy to spot, especially on the internet.

When you compete on YOUR story you don’t have to spend money out-shouting the other guys shouting about the same features everybody’s shouting about. How nice, no more shouting!!

You start attracting customers who are a better fit because you’re transmitting a clearer picture of who you are! (How cool is that?!)

The results are wonderful, even magical.  Your closing rate goes up.  You spend less money because you’re changing words; telling your story doesn’t depend on placing a larger ad or having a bigger trade show booth.  It’s different WORDS! A better strategy is telling YOUR story and then BEING your story. Much more fun and satisfying.  Much less expensive too.

Storytelling, Your Most Powerful Tool

It’s true.  Lisa Cron in her book “Wired for Story,” tells us “Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience reveal that our brain is hardwired to respond to story; the pleasure we derive from a tale well told is nature’s way of seducing us into paying attention to it.”

Our brains got hardwired over the tens of thousands of years we’ve been telling each other stories to preserve life lessons, not to mention preserving your life (Don’t eat the red berries!).

Nancy Duarte tells us in her book “Resonate,” “As we move rapidly toward a future of improved connections between people, cross-pollinated creativity and digital effects, stories still represent the most compelling platforms we have for managing our imaginations — and our infinite data.”  Nancy helped Steve Jobs develop his new product presentation style, by the way.

Story is in our DNA — maybe it should be in your marketing??

Then there’s me, when we get the client’s story right, good things happen.  When we don’t, crickets.  Like some law of nature.  Water boils at 212 degrees and people respond to stories.  It just is what it is.  So maybe storytelling should be in your marketing??

Then there’s you.  When you get a prospect on the phone or in a demo, good things happen, right?  Why?  Because people understand, because they remember, because it feels right.

BECAUSE.  THEY.  “GET.”   YOUR.  STORY.

So here’s the goal: 

Find and distill that vibe people get on the phone or in the demo and move it much earlier in the sales cycle.  

Can you imagine what would happen if people heard your story on the very first page of your website they landed on, instead of waiting to hear it on a phone call or demo?? (Hint: You’d end up with more phone calls and demos.)

Tell Your Story and Everything Changes

This is also true.  Storytelling is an amazing leverage point because:

It taps into something primal and basic.

It doesn’t rely on a bigger ad or splashier this or that.  It relies on different words.

 

Remember Roger and Chris and their patented swimming pool interior surface?  I realized their salespeople should talk about the new surface, and their marketing better tell their story.  Because homeowners don’t trust contractors.  And because these two guys built their company around the ethic of customers first that came from Roger’s background in the retail pool business and an ethic of quality first and last that came from Chris’s custom home-building experience.  This happened to be a unique combination in their marketplace.

We told their story and people responded, immediately. Doubling sales.  And doubling again.  And again.

What gets people to buy from YOU:

People buy what your product means.  They’ll buy if it feels right.

Features don’t communicate meaning and feeling.  Your story does.

It’s as simple as that.  People.  Buy.  Stories. And your story is enough.

 The Catch:

Your story has to be true, it has to be an authentic representation of why you’re different and the customer experience that follows needs to be consistent with the story you tell.

Ron (Remember Ron?) came to me frustrated with the results of his marketing, but with a photograph he believed captured the passion of his company’s work.  We overhauled a postcard that was generating close to zero results.  We kept the photograph, changed the headline and told his story on the back. And, sent to a much more qualified list of people.  When his wife first saw it she said we hadn’t changed it at all.  After about 20 seconds with the postcard she realized we completely changed all of it.

It struck a chord; it didn’t sound like any other postcard from a firm like his.  It told his story.  Authentically.  And everything that happened behind the postcard held true to the story it told.

As a result, he added more new customers in three months than he had the previous two years.

From a postcard.

Hmm. . .you’re this far into the page. . .maybe you should watch my video:


Start telling YOUR story.  It’s enough.

Do you agree?  Then start reading some books about it or hire someone or just do something.  But start.  It’s worth it.

Breathe power in to your stories!

Write to or call Hamilton on (480) 948-0029 today.