James: I’d like to know what you think some of the biggest mistakes are that people are making when they do try and incorporate story into their selling.
Will: Yeah. So the way I look at it is, well, one of the first mistakes I’ll mention is telling stories from one side, or from one person. So a lot of the clients we work with, when they start trying to use stories, it really is a lot about them, or their company, and with the view of just telling the story, and really explaining how they came to be, what drove the company, and things like that. So the number one mistake is telling a story from one point of view. So what I mean by that is, it’s always good to have other points of views, other customer stories. General stories, even, you know, just analogies and different sources that we can use to talk about what we’re trying to talk about.
The number one goal is to always be looking at what kind of stories you’re telling, from whose perspective – I think working backwards from that and trying to have a bit of a mix when you actually go out there and present your business.
James: Right. When we were talking to Valerie Khoo, she even has a book on the different types of stories that you can tell about your business. So really, that’s the major point – there are different stories to tell. I guess it’s also common where someone tells that story about the founder and they’re kind of making them or the company the hero. And one of the other episodes we had was about making the customer the hero and you being the guide instead.
Will: Yeah, exactly right. That’s a great way of telling a story, because it really helps your potential customers or future customers to relate to other people in their situation, rather than just a company.
And I think that brings along a really good point as well, which is the second common mistake that I always see. And it’s, you know, when you tell a story, a lot of the time it’s a historical story, like how the company got started. What people tend to do, what companies tend to do, is be very factual-based. So they go, we started in 1998; we did this; it took us two years to achieve this. Whereas if you can bring some emotion to it, it’s a really good way of telling the story but not in a very gray or bland way. It really brings a human element back to it and gets people relating to what you’re going through, what your business is actually going through.
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