Tell a story!

by David Wimblett on April 23, 2012 · 1 comment

I’m sure that we have all heard the saying, ‘Facts tell, stories sell’ and know that ‘People buy people’. So why is it that at networking events most people go straight into selling mode?  Well, I think I might just have the answer and it was given to me by someone who was in the audience of a workshop I gave just last week.  They came up to me afterwards and thanked me for helping them to understand the subject. They said I made it so easy and make things so real; my stories were such brilliant examples and they just wished that they had loads of stories like me.

It wasn’t until the next day that it hit me!  It wasn’t that the person didn’t have any stories – we all have tons of stories – it was the fact that they didn’t know how to tell them.  Maybe, even more so, that they didn’t believe that their stories were that interesting, so people wouldn’t want to listen.

People have listened to stories from the beginning of time and every week we all listen in awe to stories being told on the radio, on the television, and in the papers.  Great story tellers come in all shapes and sizes from Shakespeare to Ronnie Corbet!  But, and this is the key, are all of the stories they tell out of this world?  No – in fact some are pretty boring when you strip away all of the gloss.  It’s the story telling that grips us: the words, the passion, the pictures we make in our mind.

We all have stories tucked away in our heads.  Stories that would be far more interesting to the people we meet than the boring facts we bombard them with.  What we need to do is to get them out and practise telling them.  How about this for an idea?  List five things that have happened to you in the last couple of months and work a story around them.  Practise them.  Then, next time you are out networking, instead of telling the people how many years you have been in business, how many offices you have, tell them a great story about how you have helped a customer.

And remember, it doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering story; it just needs to be interesting and told with passion.  It needs to have a reason to be told; a little like this one!

David Wimblett
David Wimblett – author, business success mentor and BNI Area Director for London North West. Director of 7 Training who offer so much more than just theory.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Linda Parkinson-Hardman April 23, 2012 at 13:12

‘Tis true, a good story serves to illustrate what you are trying to say and how you come across in business. Thanks for the timely reminder David.

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