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How to Share Stories that Build Business Relationships – It’s all in the Frame

Posted By on Jun 14, 2013 |


Do you know how to share your message? Building relationships requires connecting on a deeper level and how you frame who you are can make a difference.  Here’s How to Be the Red Jacket in a Sea of Gray Suits!

by Leanne Hoagland Smith

When you are out busy at those business networking events  meeting new prospects, what story do you tell them? No, I am not referring to a fairy tale, but rather your own personal story that shares what you do instead of tells what you do.

Stories are a powerful way to share you message while simultaneously building the critical relationships needed in today’s business world. One of the best story tellers was Leo Burnett, founder of Burnett Advertising. He created The Jolly Green Giant, The Pillsbury Doughboy, Tony the Tiger, the Marlboro Man, Charlie the Tuna and many more.

Stories allow the inherent drama (what Burnett invented) to shine. And the more often that you can connect the prospect’s belief system (foundation for all experiences), the more success you will have with your story.

When constructing your story, follow Burnett’s advice by:

  • Making it simple
  • Making it memorable
  • Making it inviting to look at (or hear)
  • Making it fun to read (or hear)

Now, you can work smarter not harder by including your story in your framing statement, tagline, infomercial and all subsequent marketing materials.

Recently, I have been repositioning my company in the marketplace so that I can be the Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits. (Is that not a great visual?) My first 5 to 7 seconds is my framing statement that meets all of the above criteria.

Building Raving Fans while Multiplying Productivity to Profitability

Yes, it is simple and memorable. Do you know anyone else talking about Building Raving Fans? Do you get a visual image of people standing up and cheering?

Yes, it is inviting to hear because of the words Multiplying, Productivity and Profitability.

Finally, when said with enthusiasm that comes naturally from the passion that I feel for this story, it is fun to hear.

When constructing this new framing statement, I also used the tried and trued A.I.D.A. model. I have found that this marketing model for developing good copy is extremely powerful.

  • A = Attention – You must get your prospects’ attention.
  • I = Interest – You must capture your prospects’ interest.
  • D = Desire – You must develop desire by making an emotional connection with your prospects.
  • A = Action – You must include a call to action.

Returning to my framing statement as an example, Building Raving Fans, does get most people’s attention because no on else is painting this type of picture. Remember, people hear words, but think in pictures. That is why story telling is so powerful.

Besides the Building Raving Fans, the use of the words Productivity and Profitability create interest because productivity and profitability are key issues for businesses owners. Do you know of any business owner who is seeking to increase sales does not want to improve productivity and profitability?

Desire comes from the incredibly powerful word Multiplying. The use of numbers or words that imply numbers such as double and triple have people doing some mental math in their heads. They start computing the affect that your product or service can deliver for them. I have emotionalized my story for them by creating the What’s In It For Me?

The call to action in my framing statement is subtlety implied due to the words multiplying and profitability. However, as I finish my 30 second infomercial, I make a direct call to action such as: Call me (or Let’s talk) so that you can join my other clients who have multiplied their profits.

Another aspect of this sales coaching tip is whatever your story, make sure you share it and not just tell it. How you delivery it is extremely critical.

Allow your passion to shine through so that suspects, to prospects to qualified prospects want to run up not just walk up to you to talk with you. And is not that what business is all about? People talking belly to belly in their ongoing efforts to increase sales?

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is the Heurist for the Next Generation of Talent Management. She supports her clients by uniting and aligning human capital to organizational development. This approach catapults her clients ahead of the flow as it generates more sustainable results. Leanne is an executive coach, speaker and Author of Be the Red Jacket in a Sea of Gray Suits. http://www.processspecialist.com