Telling a Story That Matters

Greetings.  If you're like most companies in today's challenging economy, you know how hard it is to win a competitive bid.  More and more competitors seem to be going after the same business and seemingly offering more, charging less, and trying to "Wow!" customers with superlatives and promises.  What's a company to do?  Well you could start by telling a more powerful story.  A story that takes you way beyond products, services, solutions, and features to a compelling picture of what the customer's world will look like with you as their partner.  Based on a clearer understanding of their current needs, their future dreams, and the results they need to achieve.  A story fueled by vision and innovation, but flexible enough to change as their world surely will in the next three to five years.  A story with the customer as the main character, and you and your partners playing the essential "supporting roles" that enable success.

It's not that much different than the great stories we all read as children or that we still enjoy as adults.  Stories that kept us on the edge of our seats (or our bed) until they ended–smiling with delight or hoping for more.  Stories that followed a clear pattern and then, at just the right moment, offered us a remarkable twist or turn.  Something unexpected that mattered more than we could have ever imagined.

So take a moment to think about some of your favorite stories and what made them special.  Maybe it was the subject, the story line, or the setting.  Maybe it was the characters, or the build up to a powerful surprise, or simply the images created in your mind.  Or maybe it was all of these, working in perfect combination.  Then think about using these strengths as you craft your own "unique" proposal.

And if you're looking for a wonderful story to spark your thinking, you might really enjoy The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  It's a work that defies definition–(Is it a book, a graphic novel, a story unlike any other, a movie on the printed page?)–and impossible to put down.  

Hugo Cabret

We succeed in winning business by capturing the imagination of those we hope to serve, and by telling a compelling story of their future success.  Maybe it's time for you and the geniuses you work with to start reading together.  It may be your secret weapon in telling the stories you need to tell.


One thought on “Telling a Story That Matters

  1. Telling a story is such a powerful method of grabbing a person’s attention. I have been learning a lot about pitching in front of investors and I have discovered that telling a story is really effective in grabbing their attention.

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