I wrote about the first concept to becoming a better leader which was to become a better listener. For today, let’s go into the 2nd of 11 Simple Concepts of becoming a better leader by Dave Kerpen. Here is a quote that is true in every sense of the word; “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown
Leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video – storytelling wins customers.
Why should your businesses care about storytelling?
Dave believes that storytelling is important because people don’t care about you. It’s really important to truly listen because people would rather talk about themselves.
Storytelling is much more effective than going through data or any kind of sales pitch. It connects people, and gets people engaged and interested. The reason why people love going to the movies and reading books is because we love to be engaged by stories. Whether you are at a boardroom talking to your staff, or pitching to a prospect or putting content out there to the world, storytelling can bring your business alive. It can help you connect with your audience. And it can eventually persuade people.
What makes a good story?
When Dave thinks about storytelling, he goes to the analogy of a movie, book or television show. If he is crafting a story, he wants to think like a director or an author. Stories should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The story should also have some conflict and have at least one, preferably more, interesting characters that people can believe in.
Your ability to take a piece of history and turn it into a story has to do with applying the traditional elements of storytelling with what really happens. You need to be truthful, but you can embellish a little bit. Make the characters come alive. Make sure you set the stage and build a story that resonates with people.
Storytelling today is a lot easier, cheaper and a lot less of a risk. With today’s technology, if it doesn’t resonate with people, you can re-cut it or try something new. We can all keep practicing storytelling until we get it right. In your growth to become a better leader, try different ways that you can share your story.
In business, here is a great question to consider when it comes to storytelling. How do you cross over from storytelling to selling?
Some of the most successful business books of all time at their core are a collection of stories. Although Likeable Business is a business book and Dave is a business owner, to him it’s like social media you can use all the best content in the world, but if it doesn’t drive sales, none of it matters.
It’s the same with storytelling. You can be the best storyteller in the world, but if you’re a business owner and you are telling that story and you are not converting people to becoming customers, then it’s virtually meaningless.
The process of taking people from actively listening to a story to actively listening to a sales pitch has to be subtle. If you’ve done a good job with prospecting and listening, then this process can be natural. But if you have the wrong people in the room and they don’t have a need for what you sell, then the best story in the world is not going to mean anything.
The first step is making sure you’ve done your homework, you’ve listened and you’ve prospected right. The next step is to help to connect the dots for people from the start.
As powerful as your story is, it still needs to convey I can solve your problems. Your overall goal isn’t to become the best storyteller in the world, but to grow your business. You’re going to develop a story that helps people connect the dots between what their problems are and how you can solve them.
Now think about all of your experiences and lessons learned throughout your life and business career and use storytelling the next time you are with your customers and team, to get over the point or the message you want to make.
Thanks again for reading this post and becoming a better leader and if you received some value from this content and if you have more tips to add, Please like and share with others and make a comment.
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**Concepts and quotes taken from David Kerpen, co-founder and CEO of Likeable, NY Times best-selling author and keynote speaker.