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 corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs.
- Download my new checklist and worksheet: Six Professional Development Targets to Hit each Month.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column of this blog. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken‘s One Millimeter Mindset™ Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs are created for organizations and associations who want to catalyze stakeholder success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, pay grades and levels of education. Her programs are forged from her background as a STEM professional in clinical research, new product development, market research and sales. Find out more right here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
Image source: iStock