A is for Accept
This is our first stop in the 3-part ABC starter to the use of “Story” in business. This article first appeared in the Women’s Enterprise Centre.
I’d like you to accept that stories work on all levels and that they help you ‘sell as you tell’. Whether the message you are working to get across is about influence, personal persuasion, selling a physical product, your service or an idea-stories help.
You know from your own human experience that the attention we set aside for stories is embedded in our DNA. We learn about the world from early childhood and as we grow we find ourselves choosing from candidates to commercial brands, based on the story!
Stories have the power to keep our attention in a noisy world. They help us simplify large or complex chunks of information. This means the listener can absorb more, differentiate among competitors and keep a mind calm enough to make a decision, if this is the goal.
Story encourages recall. In today’s marketplace – being memorable is pure gold.
Now the second and activating piece on the power of story:
Can you accept that your personal story is of value and people will want to read or hear it?
I can report that for more than 25 years as a writer of marketing materials, every project began with a close examination of the strengths and the secrets of an organization or a person. Ultimately it led to building a compelling and memorable story.
Your story helps people get to know, like or trust you. The details help them identify with you and to remember you.
Build your own story. Privately, write out as much detail as you can of your own story. Your values, how you chose your work, your passions and your ‘why’s in life and work. The result may yield surprise or affirmation.
To connect well with others in business or community it is good to know thyself and to trust that others want, in fact, need to hear your story.
Next time: B for business relevance and the types of stories you’ll want to have at the ready.
Helena Kaufman creates content and coaches business bloggers through her Vancouver-based service, Story Market. It’s her passion. She brings in 25 years of experience in public relations and an award-winning writing career. “It all starts with a story,” she says. Learn more: helenakaufman.com