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  • Eric Salas, Montgomery Skyline, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery Chamber, MGMChamber, Montgomery Alabama
  • Small Business Briefcase - Your story = Success

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    Everyone has a story, but what is your story to win business? Whether you are closing a deal with a client or communicating a new company strategy, your story could become your biggest asset. 
     
    As a journalist, I write and read a lot of news stories, and I know most people prefer stories they can identify with or that inspire them. A good reporter knows that the secret ingredient to storytelling is to prove to your audience how a story affects them.
     
    If you’re looking for some good examples of how this works, look no further than your TV. Television commercials have become es­sential ways to tell memorable stories for businesses. Companies are cleverly engaging customers with information, education and entertainment in 60 seconds or less. If the story is told well, we crave their products, and we believe we can’t live without them, all while feeling this isn’t something we’re being actively “sold,” but something that could change our life.
     
    In the same way, a relatable story can sell your business. Think about this: You are sitting in a conference room and you have to chose between the old PowerPoint presentation filled with facts and statistics on drug addiction or hearing from a parent who al­most lost her child to an overdose and how a company’s program or product saved their child’s life. The choice if pretty obvious, and it proves stories matter.
     
    But not just any story. People gravitate toward stories that are authentic. For example, on the popular show “American Idol,” the producers write stories that introduce you to the contestants. Each Idol becomes a character and their circumstance becomes relatable. By the time the performances start, you’re cheering for your favorite Idol to win. The same technique could help you win new clients and customers.
     
    GET STARTED: STEPS ON HOW TO TELL 5 YOUR STORY FOR BUSINESS
     
    STEP 1: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
    You don’t have to know exactly who’s in the room but you must know the common factor that brings you together. What is their challenge? How can you help?
     
    STEP 2: DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
    Once you know who’s in the room, define your why. What is your message and why should they listen?  What is your exper­tise?  How can you use it to reach your audience?
     
    STEP 3: CONNECT
    Get to the heart of your audience by sharing a personal sto­ry. You don’t have to get graphic or go overboard with “TMI,” but you should be personal. The more people connect to your story, the more they begin to know, like and trust you. They invited you to address their audience for a reason.
     
    STEP 4: LEAD THEM TO THE NEXT STEP
    Now that your audience is on the edge of their seats, give them a call to action. By now, they should be ready to buy your prod­uct or buy into your idea and write the check!

    STEP 5: THE BOTTOM LINE IS “FACTS TELL, STORIES SELL”
    Ditch the old PowerPoint presentations filled with company jargon and connect your passion to your purpose. Engage your audience by sharing your story.
     
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