Do you tell uncomfortable business stories to your clients and colleagues? Or, do you prefer comfortable stories, where clients always hear how your products and services will live up to their expectations? And everyone always lives happily ever-after?
Also, when you tell these preferable, comfortable, and predictable, stories, what are you thinking to yourself? Are you hoping the story you tell your clients actually is true? Because, from your perspective, the story you tell sounds too good to be true.
If you are skeptical about your too-perfect storytelling, do you think your clients trust the comfortable stories you tell? Because you are not invested in the enduring value of the stories you tell.
Telling uncomfortable business stories addresses a key, often unstated, component impacting client retention: skepticism.
Let’s face it. Any buyer considering doing first-time business with just about any new supplier expects the acquisition story to be full of fairy-tale storytelling. Stories about happy clients, perfect outcomes and business growth. These stories all sound the same to the buying committee, even if that buying committee is a committee of one.
And, equally, let’s face it. I can’t think of any buyer who ever contracts to do business with a new supplier who anticipates being disappointed or experiencing a disaster with products and services.
However, experienced and confident buyers, sellers and makers of the stuff bought and sold move beyond pretty fairy tale storytelling and pitching. Because they are clearly focused on the long-term benefits of making that initial buying or investment decision. Also, they are realistic about what happens in that post-sale continuum. That time is when the stuff that looks good on paper hits the reality of workplace application and continuous change.
Consequently, the real-deal storytellers and buyers and sellers and makers of what is bought and sold tell uncomfortable business stories. Because uncomfortable business stories are about how they have their clients’ (and each other’s) backs, when things do not go as smoothly and perfectly as anticipated.
These are the uncomfortable business stories that clients, partners, investors, stakeholders and colleagues really need to hear. About the stuff they really need to know. So they trust that you will have their back so they can get to where they need to go.
- What type of business stories do you tell: comfortable or uncomfortable?
- Do you trust the stories you tell? Or do you rely on telling stories which have no relation to what you, yourself, encounter in your daily endeavors with clients, colleagues and investors?
Start telling the stories clients, investors, partners and colleagues really need to hear. Let’s get you to where you need to go. Together. Move one millimeter forward, beyond comfortable stories. Start attracting clients who are co-invested in the long-term value you bring to their table.
- Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs, workshops or Voice of the Customer storytelling master classes. Contact me right here.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs leverage purpose-driven value differentiation through storytelling, to create and retain successful employees and clients. Find out more about Babette’s professional story here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform as well as this website. Contact Babette here.
Image source: Adobe Stock