Way back in December 2015 I wrote my first ever Blog.
It was in the gap between Christmas an New Year and Kate and I were busy thinking about how we were finally going to make our full time move to live in our dream home in Scotland.
We'd had the house for 18 months by then and had been leading a split life between England and Scotland, which was gradually becoming more exhausting and was doing nothing towards helping us achieve the goal of the full time move.
We decided on a strategy that I had used many times with organisations that I worked with - the notion of doing 'A Year of Saying YES!' In our case this meant a year where we would consider every opportunity that came our way through the prism of how much it would help us to move to Scotland full time. A key part of this strategy is that you need to hold yourself to account by spreading the word as far as you can and by doing so enlisting the help and support of others. And so, my Blog 'A Year of Saying YES - A Story of Life, Love and Business' was created!
Many of you know this story and the tales that followed as it has become a part of the 'folklore' around how we came to move here and is often included in our events and programmes.
I have known for many, many years that one of the differentiators in the Change Management Model that I created and used in Public Sector Organisations over the last 30 years has been my ability to 'take staff with me' on the change journey. I do this by making complex things simple and using stories and metaphors to help bring things to life for them - engaging their emotions to help smooth the change process. So, when embarking on this mammoth personal project to create a brand new business, in a new country, for a new customer base I knew from the start that our stories would form a key pillar in our strategy.
Since my very first day of Business Networking here in Scotland I have given people glimpses into my story - right from childhood through to present day. This has helped me to build relationships with my peers and my customers more quickly and more deeply. These stories grab people like nothing else I have known. They have helped us to capture, direct and sustain the attention of people and have been one of the strongest tools in helping us on our journey from 'Unknown to Expert' here.
With each networking meeting I would fine tune the stories to reflect the responses that I was receiving, and I would add new elements or remove others that didn't help to make those connections with people.
My self imposed launch strategy, (of "Meet 1000 People Business Networking”) before my first live event here, became a story in it's own right. I very quickly found that people were able to share my stories on my behalf and after a very short while I would only have to launch into the 'Year of Saying YES' story and complete strangers would pick up the mantle and say' Oh, you're the woman who has moved here from England...?' or ‘Oh, you're the one who is trying to meet 1000 people in 8 weeks?'!
In my events too I would use elements of my personal journey to exemplify how the skills that I have gathered over the years have worked for me. In turn, people would come up to me and reflect back to me how those stories helped them to see what they needed to do next. So my stories have provided a valuable teaching tool in themselves.
PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE FIRST
You will have all heard the phrase 'People Buy People First' and it has never been more true than in the current market. This being the case our ability to build proper two dimensional relationships with our customers as quickly as possible is a vital element to our success. Stories will do this for you every time.
Whether you are just starting out (like I was here) or you have been in business for a while, your stories are the thing that will attract, engage and inspire your ideal customer. They will engage the emotions of your customers and carry you along your journey from 'Unknown To Expert' - through being 'One of Many' and on to being 'One of Few' and to your ultimate destination of being 'The One and Only' - that they have to work with no matter what.
Your stories are what make you stand out!
All this week in our Facebook Group we are focusing all week on Storytelling in your business. So, my question to you is simple:
Are you harnessing the power of your story to help connect with your customers and grow your business?
If not, isn't it time you started?
Have a great week!
If you’re ready to take the next step with your business and want to work smarter not harder - contact me and we can arrange a FREE strategy call to help you get the Clarity you need and create a realistic Plan of Action to achieve your Goals. Don’t just wonder what happened; Make Things Happen, join me and turn your Ideas Into Action!