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Have you ever stopped to think about the moment when you first meet someone? You’ll notice that if they tell you a personal story you can relate to, you immediately like them, or at least remember them more easily. Isn’t that true?

Well, the same happens with businesses.

Anybody can parrot facts; and sometimes, within the same industry, there won’t be much that differentiates one company from another in terms of the terms and concepts they talk about. But if there’s a connection between you and your potential client, you’ll automatically stand out from the pack. You’ll also grab their attention from the beginning, instead of requiring several different touchpoints to do so. Once you have them hooked, you can share more about your solution, and what your business can do for them.

Explore your story through questions like:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • Was it an idea you had always talked about with your dad?
  • Have you always enjoyed taking pictures and are now a photographer?
  • Are you the product of a broken home, so you became a marriage counselor?

Other great stories you can tell revolve around clients that have worked with you, such as:

  • What is a particular challenge a client of yours was facing, and how did they feel about it?
  • What was a big idea or insight that came after a meeting with a client, but had nothing to do with what you were discussing?
  • Was there something unexpected you dealt with while working with a client, and if so, how did you deal with it?

Finally, my favorite types of stories are those that have to do with your customer’s own journeys, such as:

  • Who is the great evil monster in your customer’s story (i.e., their problem, which you can solve)?
  • What were some of the weapons people have made up to defeat this villain, which are completely useless?
  • What is the magic sword that can defeat this enemy?
  • Who are the allies you must bring along to end your quest with victory?

These stories give meaning and purpose to what you do. You’re no longer one of the millions of people who get in their car during rush hour in the morning just because they have bills to pay. You’re suddenly a person who became successful because what you do means more than generating revenue for your business. This will give you a competitive advantage, especially over bigger companies with unlimited budgets.

Sharing your story can also inspire people and call them to action. People will often tailor their behavior according to how they’re feeling. Also, stories are easier to remember. You can tell someone about all the acronyms and buzzwords in your industry, or you can tell them that because of your experience you know exactly how they’re feeling and how you can get them to where they want to be.

Telling your story is a component of conducting business that benefits both sides: You as a business, because you get to close on a sale or sign up a client; and the client, because they were on the market for a service or product and were able to obtain it from someone they connected deeply with. It’s also part of developing your social intelligence.

So, never forget to tell stories about who you are and why you’re here. It’ll pay off in the long run.

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