(Cathy Maday) Once Upon a Time...
by Cathy Maday | Sept 25, 2012
Joe was fuming! "Our system is FAR superior to CompetitorX! Why in the world are our customers and prospects choosing their piece of crap?! It doesn't make any g-damn sense. Their piece of garbage doesn't have [this feature] and it's can't do [that function] and people complain that CompetitorX's service sucks! So HOW are they getting new business?! Why can't our prospects see that we have the BEST system on the market to help them dramatically increase their revenue?!
I knew he wasn't going to like my response. I said calmly, "They don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care. [pause] Instead of giving your prospects a demo that shows how fabulous your product is and telling them all the data about features, functions, and metrics, what if you told them a story? And then asked them questions about THEIR business goals and challenges. What if you took more time to really show them that you care about their needs AND THEN showed them how awesome your system is? People don't BUY or make decisions based on logic. We buy based on emotion and we justify with logic."
Joe took a deep breath and slumped back into his chair. "You're right. We think we're so smart and that everyone else is so stupid. It's time we get off our high horse and start showing our customers and prospects how important they are--like we used to."
When is the last time you took a couple minutes in your meeting to tell a story?
At Wingspan Coaching, we work with a lot of engineers and technology professionals who tend to rely on IQ, data, logic and facts. I can really relate to Penny on Big Bang Theory!
Storytelling is Important
When you want to get heard, you want to influence outcomes and people, and you want to generate buy-in on your ideas or solutions, data and logic will only get you so far. Human beings make decisions based on EMOTION. And when you learn how to tap into their emotions, they can relate with you on a human level and it's amazing how much you can accomplish while strengthening your relationships.
Story telling is becoming more and more important in our marketing and sales conversations, as well as our day-to-day interactions with our colleagues and team members.
"Telling stories in business helps increase trust and respect in your professional relationships"
Telling stories in business helps:
- clients/prospects/team members "get it."
- you give bad news. You're there to solve problems and bad news is always part of the process
- people visualize and "test drive" your idea/solution before buying into it
- bridge the gap between you and the listener--our animation and realness remind us, and them, that there's a real person behind the engineering degree
- establish rapport and credibility--when you're telling your stories, they realize that you know what you're talking about.
- connect emotion with information--facts, figures and concepts alone do not inspire a person to action
- address all types of learners (auditory, visual, kinesthetic)
- increase your perceived value in the marketplace and the work place
- you advance to positions of power while finding your work fulfilling.
- The best leaders are always the best communicators--they are:
1) self assured
3) confident in contributing their ideas
3) able to articulate solutions clearly and convincingly
4) fantastic at developing and maintaining positive relationships
5) more often coming from a place of self leadership (vs. victim, villain, martyr)
What are your stories? Where can you begin to use them in your every day?
If you're not confident in your story telling skills, we can help! Give us a call or shoot us an email to learn more! 704-281-3111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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About Cathy Maday
Wingspan Coaching provides motivated business leaders with tools to achieve higher levels of individual, team and business performance. Their proven coaching, training, and leadership development solutions deliver real-world strategies and practical hacks for greater profit in business and life. Founded by Cathy Maday and headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Wingspan Coaching has served entrepreneurs, large corporations and the Energy and Utility industry for nine years. http://www.wingspancoaching.com/
About Chia-Li Chien
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY!” Succession Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs. She is Chief Strategist of Value Growth Institute dedicated to helping private business owners increase the value of their firms. She is the award-winning author of Show Me The Money and faculty member of American Management Association. Her blog and newsletter was named a top small business resource by the New York Times “You’re the Boss” blog.