Often, an organization’s or association’s business cases fall short of telling the entire story. When stories engage customers and members, it’s because they hear their own, familiar voices in the story.
Traditionally, storytelling is a marketing, sales or PR function. And, traditionally, marketing, sales and PR focus on justifying, to customers, their investment in your products and services in anticipation of a benefit received from said products and services.
When you read that dispassionate, narrative description I wrote, above, did you get excited? Me neither. Because I used the type of voice which yields a business case, not a story. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Stop expecting them to get jazzed reading a business case.
First, the purpose of business cases is to drive customer acquisition. As a result, the story, or business case, focuses on how your service teams solve a current customer’s problem. Then, end of story. Hard stop. Consequently, that abrupt ending stops short of where customers need to go.
When business cases are product and service focused, instead of stakeholder-focused, they fall short of entirely reflecting the customer’s voice.
Often, the real-deal stories which reflect the voice of the customer’s stakeholders reside with STEM professionals and left brain thinkers in your organization. Consider that these are the folks who invent new products, processes and services. And deliver and implement new products and services within the customer’s complex environment. Then, these technical and engineering stakeholders update, upgrade and maintain software infrastructure and intelligent machine interfaces.
Do you know who they are? And, more importantly, do you understand what they are saying?
In my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers workshops, we break down communication barriers between functional silos. Because some of the best stories that I know, and tell, include everyone across the organization. No one’s voice is marginalized, when creating a storytelling culture becomes part of your human capital strategy. Then, everyone’s collective voices are co-invested in getting your customers to where they need to go.
Involving stakeholders in storytelling creates more than a business or use case.
In my experience working with clients, there is no better way to catalyze cross-functional and cross- educational communication than by co-creating stories, together. Regardless of job title, pay grade or level of education. Talk about a vehicle for employee experience that drives customer experience.
Because stakeholders (yours and your customers’) just may not see themselves in the business cases you currently showcase. As a result, they become skeptical. Then, sales cycles, as well as beta adoption of new services and products, become lengthy or stalled. Discover your stories so the “story” can take your customers to where they need to go.
Learn more there.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
I am an extroverted STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. I catalyze professionals to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organizations. Better serve each other first so you better serve your clients together. One millimeter at a time. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s professional comfort zones My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
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