Professional storytelling is a lost art in search of being found. Customers are hungry for great customer success stories. Particularly in the wild frontiers of the emerging industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) business and technological ecosystem.
Ponder whether your current storytelling truly showcases how you create, deliver and drive value throughout client organizations.
Otherwise, you are not professional storytelling; you are bragging. Do you know the difference?
For starters, professional storytelling focuses on the success of your clients.
Regardless of whether you sell, make or do, the emphasis of professional storytelling is what you can do for clients. Unfortunately, professional bragging is all about you: how great your company, products, features and benefits are. End of story.
After all is said and done, professional storytelling leaves current and prospective customers asking: “What’s Next?” Professional bragging merely leaves customers saying: “So What?”
Next, professional storytelling anticipates the client journey.
On one hand, a client-centric story invites customers on a shared journey you both take, together. On the other hand, professional bragging merely lists your own, self-focused exploits. Which format is more engaging? Ask yourself: which story leads to “What’s Next?” compared with “So What?”
Ultimately, not every prospective customer is interested in doing business with you simply because you are a rock-star seller, engineer, coder, consultant. Clients hire you to tell their stories, not yours.
Ponder the client-centric human story of the client journey. Then, compare with the self-centered nature of professional bragging.
Finally, professional storytelling is a collective epic saga with all the details left in. The focus is customer retention.
You invite clients on a dynamic, exciting customer lifecycle journey where they expect better and better customer experiences. This collaboration is one that you (and they) hope is a never-ending, glorious story- no matter what. Not only are there bumps in the road from Point A to Point Z. Also, you and your customers sometimes choose inappropriate pathways. No matter what, your story showcases how you both communicated and collaborated while continuously heading towards “What’s Next?”
The moral of the professionally-told story showcases every aspect of creating a loyal and retained customer, vested in working with you long-term.
Alternatively, professional bragging leaves out those ugly details and honest reflections about what really happened. Instead, the focus is doing (and saying) whatever it takes to win business or deliver a project. As a result, gaping potholes in the story are smoothed out or completely omitted. Amazingly, no wrong directions are taken in an unrealistic, straight-line pathway from Point A to Point B. Your sanitized bragging is just “So What?”
Within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem, professional storytelling focuses on sustainable customer success.
The major thrust of industrial IoT storytelling is customer success for customer retention. How did the heroes and heroines learn from their successes, mistakes and, yes, even failures?
What is the human side of the technological and engineering story?
Quite frankly, the transparency of IIoT professional storytelling makes many sales professionals uncomfortable. Why? Because industrial IoT storytelling combines story telling art with scientific and technological domain area expertise.
Transparency and honesty are critical components of industrial IoT professional storytelling. What is involved is more than creating yet another business case. Rather, the goal is to humanize the customer journey.
Would you like to create the type of industrial Internet of Things stories that convert prospective customers into retained and collaborative clients?
Take the next steps. Contact me to not only create your strategy. I’ll be honored to create your content and tell your compelling customer success stories, too.
Babette Ten Haken is a storyteller, speaker, facilitator and corporate strategist. She humanizes the Voice of the Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Trained as a scientist and certified as a DFSS Green Belt and Voice of the Customer practitioner, she focuses clients on customer success stories that lead to customer loyalty and retention. Contact her to conduct a workshop and speak at your next meeting.
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