What story are you living in your business? What character do you play? How about your clients? In his book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, Christopher Booker says that all stories boil down into the following key themes:
- Overcoming the Monster
- Journey and Return
- Rags to Riches
The Story of Business
Our daily successes and failures make up the stories of our lives. Alas, without conflict there would be no plot, and that wouldn’t be very interesting, now would it? We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes, and the best stories years down the line are generally the ones that are funny, amazing, or even bitter-sweet in hindsight, despite the fact that they were not enjoyable to live through whilst they were happening.
What is the current story of your client and their business? If they are currently living through tragedy, how can you help change the story? Often it comes down to the perceptions the characters have of themselves and their circumstances. Adding a little perspective can often offer an amazing plot twist that results in a much happier ending.
An All-Star Cast
Who are the characters? Does the client see herself as Cinderella, always toiling away just to be unappreciated? Become the Fairy Godmother, offering gifts of wisdom that can stretch a dollar in magical ways.
Is your client Ebenezer Scrooge, feeling like he needs to scrounge every penny and hold the world at arm’s length because everyone is trying to take advantage? Be the Ghost of Christmas Past, and show him how meaningful relationships can improve financial abundance while also making the experience of life more fulfilling and rewarding.
Is your client an orphan with no prospects living in the woods with only the shirt on his back? Be the wizard that shows him the true value and potential within him, empowering him to pull a sword from a stone.
Writing Happy Endings
All of this is possible. As entrepreneurs, we need to put less focus on delivering our products and more energy into developing real connections with our clients through our shared human experience. The art of storytelling is an ancient as language itself, and is ingrained in our ancestral DNA. Each of us has our own unique communication style, and we will each communicate at different levels of effectiveness with different clients. It is up to you to learn and practice your story telling. To make your product or service stand out from the rest, create and tell your story. Stories connect people. They elicit emotions, and positive emotions drive sales.
By making our clients more successful, we partner with them on the journey to success and profit.