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Let me tell you a story

Over the last couple of weeks the benefit of telling stories (not untruths of course) has come up in various different guises.  The great thing about telling a story is that it tends to have a beginning, middle and end.  It usually has a purpose, some structure and is therefore more easily remembered by the listener.  The listener can use his/her imagination to relate to the story which then takes on its own uniqueness personal to them.


·         It came up as a piece of advice I gave to someone wishing to get more referrals out of networking.  There is power when you can tell a story of how you have overcome a client’s problem with a proven solution.

·         It also came up as a good way for another client to get a particular message across in a webvert. A story conveys the somewhat boring uniqueness of his product by illustrating the benefits to one particular customer.

·         It was evident in Diana’s memorial concert.  The testimonials, in between the music, from those who had felt supported by her genuine empathy, moved even the most sceptical; I included.

·         And I have just reconnected with an old school friend via Facebook.  The last time we saw each other was when we were 16.  In three emails a piece we are patching together the last 29 years in instalments.  It’s great fun!  As each piece of information comes out there are links to the past and the present that makes the story telling fun as well as memorable.  In his words “better than a TV soap… look forward to the next episode.”

·         Then of course there has been Live Earth this weekend …. 

I know that it might take a little thinking about but what stories you can tell me that have made a difference either to you or to your clients?

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  1. MY favourite is regarding the motorcycle parts distributor I work with.
    He buys a really low cost key fob off of me, and has had it designed with the Italian colours to reflect the fact that thats his core business.
    There are so many stories he has told me about how he gains business by giving these things away.

    One was where a chap had bought a second hand bike, and the spare keys for the bike were on one of his key fobs. The chap used the information on the key fob and contacted my customer to ask about an expensive spare part, and ordered it the same day….nearly three hundred pounds worth of profit from a simple 30p key fob.


  2. Can you tell me why ‘not untruths of course’? I’m sure marketing tells lots of untruths, yet the message is still powerful.
    At Toastmasters ( we’re guided to communicate generally via stories to get our message across. Guess it’s how we learned as children, it’s the easiest way to assimilate and we can interpret how we want to, just like any metaphor.


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