What is so good about knowing your story and having it at the ready?
I attended a network meeting where all of us could take one minute to say who we were/what we did.
The first guy gets up. “Hi my name is John. I’m with XYZ Solar Company. We are number one in solar in San Diego…” He then proceeds to give the features and benefits of his company for the next 50 seconds.
Then he sits down. Next guy stands up.
“Hi, my name is Jim with Jim’s Gym. We have over 50,000 square feet of…” and then he also spends his remaining moments telling of his company’s features and benefits. And then he sits down.
Then woman stood up.
“I was an eight-year-old little girl, asleep in my bed when my dad ran into my bedroom and pulled me out because our house was on fire. We stood in the street and watched it burn down and it was devastating. We lived on a trailer in our property after that. One day, a man in a suit came up, talked to my dad, and when they were done, I saw my dad give the man a handshake with an unusual amount of sincerity. I said to my dad, Who was that, daddy?
Our insurance agent, he said. And he’s going to give us our house back.
Months later the day came we were moving back into our house. It was so exciting. Sure enough, that man came back. I saw my dad talking to him and once again, he gave him that same sincere handshake. Only this time, he also gave him a hug.
I watched as he walked away. I’m going to be an insurance agent one day, I thought to myself.
So if you’d like an insurance agent who really cares, my name is Sally, and I hope you’ll give me a call.”
Then she sat down.
The room broke into applause. “That was awesome!” someone said. If I wasn’t convinced of the power of story over features and benefits before, I was then. There wasn’t one person that wasn’t moved by what Sally said. The sound of a small community room breaking into applause—when no one expected it—still rings in my ears.
I did not include the features and benefits that both John and Jim spoke that day, not because I didn’t want to, but because I couldn’t. I couldn’t remember a thing they said. Ah but Sally…I remember every word.