Storytelling is not just for campfires.
Stories told the right way can increase revenue. Stories paint a picture of what it’s like to do business with you. They evoke emotions and solidify consumers’ connection with your business.
As a company, your brand has DNA. It’s the story of how you got to where you are: Your team, your intent, your struggles, your triumphs…everything that made your business what it is today. Every single day there’s a story to be told. It’s there amidst your customers, your employees and how they come together to create something unique.
One of the best things about storytelling for business is that it isn’t a dry data dump. Stories are how buyers emotionally connect with sellers. Your business is full of stories that stimulate imaginations. Marketing genius Seth Godin says, “Stories are shortcuts. We’re too overwhelmed by all the data to discover the details.”
Richard Fouts of Gartner culminated their research of those companies who do storytelling well, into a 3-step process:
- Start with the end of the story. Be very clear. A good example is “We help you buy”. Buyers are lured by results first, details second. When you offer assistance without any strings attached, people want to know more.
- Support your story with credible truths. Buyers relate to “someone like them”. Use stats and make stories authentic and believable. Buyers need facts to build a case on your behalf. One of the best kinds of stories to tell is about customers’ experience. How can you find and develop these stories? 2 simple ways:
- Leverage your employees’ knowledge and day-to-day experiences with your customers.
- Listen and engage with your customers on Social Media.
- End your story with the right call-to-action. Know where your story lands in the customer buying cycle. If you want to generate interest in your brand, your call-to-action should reveal how you did it for someone just like them. If your goal is to close more sales, illustrate the experiences of how others who’ve gone before them have fared.
I can’t tell how many dealership websites and Social marketing I see where the message is something generic. Generic will not get the job done in today’s online, noise-filled ecosystem. Having been in the car business all my life, I know that every dealership has a specific DNA. Your “brand” is comprised of personality, image, core competencies and characteristics. The impressions you make as well as the words people use to describe your company to others are the basic framework of your brand.
Define everything unique about your store and then take your company’s story “on the road”. Integrate your story with your Social Media marketing and start blogging about your store’s DNA. People will connect with you on a deeper level because stories demand an emotional investment. Stories bring energy to your message and compel people to take action.
“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”
Your story is what differentiates you from every one else. Learn to tell it well and you’ll be heard and recognized above all the endless noise.