Your customers will try to evaluate your storytelling credibility. Especially if the customer stories you tell seem too good to be true. Then, what do you do? How do you respond to their skepticism?
A client I am coaching carefully selected from a cadre of client stories her company had invested a lot of money in creating. Yet, each time she either sent that story to current or prospective clients, or told that story to them herself, she fell short of being convincing.
Because the stories, themselves, were unconvincing. And she didn’t believe in the stories she told. So, of course, her customers were not invested in them, either.
Your storytelling credibility starts with taking ownership of the stories you tell.
Not all associations or organizations have the budget to curate their stories, like in this particular example. And even outsourced and curated customer stories can sound too good to be true to current and prospective clients. Especially if they, themselves, have not experienced anything close to the success with your company that your storytelling talks about.
Before you tell another client success story, read it thoroughly and skeptically. From your client’s perspective. While it is a nice story, on the surface, does the story’s context really relate to that particular client’s context?
Mismatched stories create disbelief, instead of confidence, in your products, services and outcomes. If you are going to tell stories, be prepared to own the credibility of that story. Otherwise, in your current and prospective client’s eyes, you are just talking the talk.
Compelling storytelling fuels customer retention.
Taking ownership of the stories you tell means you become part of that story. After all, each story is about how working with you and your organization fuels their business growth, customer success and customer retention. The story you tell occurs over time, not within a brief time span when you try to get someone to sign a contract or sign off on a project.
Even if you are trying to close a deal and win a new customer, remember, your stories are retention-based. Which means that when you tell these stories, your clients – new and existing – expect you to remain part of their success over the long haul. Well, will you? And, if so, how?
Customers will evaluate your storytelling credibility. Wouldn’t you do the same, if you were wearing their shoes? Isn’t it time to start telling more compelling stories? The ones that reflect each customer’s reality and your role in their success?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then take action in one of these three ways.
- Engage me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event. Catalyze your mindset and skill sets!
- Book a 40-minute strategy appointment with me. Learn how to better serve your customers.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ keynote storytelling for customer retention speaking programs and workshops focus on innovative strategies and tactics for business growth, workforce profitability and professional development. She catalyzes organizations and associations, like yours, to leverage collaborative business models and a profitable workforce, to retain the customers and members you work so hard to win. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform.
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