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We all sell products and services and talk about the benefits they provide to anyone who will listen. As a buyer I have a lot of options when I am in need of a product or service; what, then, is the deciding factor in making my selection?

“Story is the connective tissue that bonds people to a leader. Story is what makes people latch on to you, want to follow you and want to do business with you. Your authentic, powerful personal story is what makes people fall in love with you” says speaker, actor and former NFL standout Bo Eason.

I always ask my clients, what differentiates your from everyone else in your profession? Normally I get the usual answers, honesty, reliability, etc. All these, in my opinion are what I call “motherhood and apple pie”. They sound nice and appealing but are the same things everyone else says.

There is only one thing that will make you different from everyone else, and that is your story.

In the paragraph I quoted from Bo Eason he used the word authentic. When writing your story, authenticity is the key to its acceptance. Don’t be afraid to share your ups and downs. All of us had struggles in our personal and business lives, make them a part of your story.

For me, my story is a work in progress; what changes is not what I did yesterday, but what has happened to me today and I share that as part of my story.

When meeting with prospects, skip the “niceties” and share your story.

Write your story and then review it; share it with your business support group. My story is between 5 and 7 minutes long and it is consistent. I don’t change my story to make it sound better to a particular prospect. No, I don’t always get a sale, but if I have the right service for the prospect and my story doesn’t open the door for a sale, then I feel I come out ahead because a “forced” sale usually results in future problems.

Relationships are best built on-a-one to one basis. Technology has changed the way we communicate with prospects and we can share some of our story in our blogs, social media, and web pages. The best clients who will stay with you for an extended period of time and will refer you to their friends are those that you met in person and developed a personal relationship with by telling your story.

Building your client base one at a time on a regular basis is the key to success…

Nick J. Petra CFP – business and marketing consultant

I look forward to meeting with you and sharing stories.

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