The Mythical Pony
Storytelling is in my blood. It all began when my grandmother would tell me all about the pony that we were going to get. He would live in the garage behind our house. And oh, the fun we were going to have. I was going to be the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood. His name was JoJo.
Of course, I never got JoJo. My mythical pony was much better, though. He didn’t need to be brushed, fed, watered or cleaned up after. I realize now how that story gave me a vision of a future and how happy my imagination could make me.
Storytelling has done wonders for me. As a trial lawyer I learned early on that the key to success in the courtroom was not great speaking ability. It was great storytelling ability. Each case had to have a story. If I could take my facts and weave them into a story I was more likely to get the attention, trust and empathy I was looking for from the jury.
It wasn’t long and people started to acknowledge my storytelling skills outside of the courtroom. I would be asked to convey a story about a situation that occurred, or events that took place. The more than happened the more my confidence grew.
By telling stories to people about events, it drew them into my life. I recognized that by getting my potential clients or prospects to tell me about themselves, it drew me into their lives. When people share facts, they are giving the other person a little piece of their life. They are entrusting them with personal details.
Smart business people build on that. Sharing some personal fact in a conversational way, woven into a little story is an act of friendship. Knowing how to do it well is an art.
Whether you are good at it or not, it can always be refined. Use stories to illustrate, teach and form a bond of trust. Then ask your prospect to share something with you. It doesn’t have to be monumental. Just learn to ask the right questions and you are on your way.