Business Storytelling


Storytelling is a necessity in business and brand development. If business people would realize that stories, not data, are what inspire people-- they would be less boring. Have you ever been to a meeting where you watched a PowerPoint presentation with charts and graphs, and it made you want to poke your eyes out with a pencil? Business storytelling is, not only a powerful way of connecting with clients, but it is a useful leadership tool for listening, connecting, and taking action. Compelling storytelling examples help to create an emotional bond with your customers.

Business storytelling has it’s place in social media. All companies are using social media, but not always effectively. Technology has given us many different ways to tell our message to millions of customers— instantly. Yet, many businesses are losing customers because their methods of reaching them are outdated. If you want to get people to buy your product, you need to get them listening. So, here are good business storytelling examples to tell to help you establish stronger loyalty with your clients, motivate your staff, and remind you of what you stand for. Don’t let things get dire when you can inspire!

Business Storytelling Tip #1 : Your customer’s story – In my book, The Message Of You(link is external), I call this your “Credibility Story.” This story stars your customer and should be on every website you own. Refer to this as a good business stoytelling template:

-Customer X came to you with a huge mess (describe it).
-They took advantage of your products or services.
-Now their life is so much better! They can walk, breathe, save money, and perform like Lady Gaga. (Okay, maybe not exactly like her).

Collect these stories. They are gold.

Business Storytelling Tip #2: The story of your company – Every company has a mess to success story. Take Microsoft, for example— “We started with our office in a garage and now we sell ‘office.”' Isn’t there someone else who started in a garage… oh yes, Apple. Your company didn’t launch and become an immediate success. You may not have a garage, but you have a story. What helped your company achieve its goals is the greatest story ever told… or something close to that.

Identify the story of your company and share it with your customers.

Business Storytelling Tip #3: Your Personal Heart Story — Being a CEO isn’t what identifies you as BFD. What will is your mess to success story. And if you think being a big shot Corporate Executive means you shouldn’t get personal, check out Bill Marriott’s blog (link is external). Yes, I’m referring to Mr. Marriott of the Marriott hotel chain. Rather than boasting about his well stocked minibars, he tells a deeply personal story about surviving a heart attack as well as the tragic death of his son. He’s sharing life lessons that inspire and create brand loyalty in a way that tweeting about your towels won’t.

Each of us has a heart story -- a journey from mess to success. Some of our most successful people overcame difficult beginnings. Don’t let messes define you. Use them to your advantage. You, too, can be a great Business Storyteller.