Stories are personal, they resonate, you see the real people behind the business, not some nameless corporation, the people who do the work, and are accountable for the decisions and outcomes.
Facts never change anything, but stories can.
Martin Luther King did not recite a list of the facts surrounding the deprivations and discrimination of the American negro in his 1963 speech, he told us of his dreams, and changed the world.
Facts are boring, stores are listened to, part of our DNA, we listen to stories and relate to them into old age.
As a kid Dad read to us from what became known as ‘The weekend book’. A book he had been given as a kid, of the Greek legends. I saw that book again for the first time in probably 40 years last weekend. My sister had it carefully stored, as it is now falling apart from almost 100 years of love and use. She has kept the family tradition alive by reading the stories to my niece, who is as familiar and engaged with them as I was at her age. As I turned the pages, every page, story and picture was as familiar as if 55 years had not passed and I was 10 again, listening to my dad reading them.
Stories allow you to differentiate in an emotive and highly engaging way. Your story is yours, not your competitions, yours. They can be used to give potential customers a reason to go nowhere else, they give you a personality that cannot be erased with a cheaper price, or a hyperbolic sales pitch.
I am currently working with a medium sized printer, a 60 year old business founded by the current MD’s father in the mid 50’s. In a recent move of premises, sitting in the corner was the original little printing press that he had used to start the business, about to be sent to the tip. Aloud, I wondered at the stories it could tell if it could talk. That press now holds pride of place in the foyer of the new premises.
We trust those we know, and we get to know people by hearing, understanding and relating to their stories. Facts simply do not build trust, they bring enlightenment, and understanding, but not trust.
Tell your stories, you may be surprised at who is interested.