"The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in."
--- Harold Goddard
Do you love stories? Do you ever get into a good book and find that everything else around you is blocked out? The story reels you in and you become a part of the plot, the action, and the outcome.
Using stories in business can have the same effect on your customers and your employees. In fact, storytelling is a great tool for all business leaders to use to bring others to your business as well as to how you view your business.
"We can tell people abstract rules of thumb which we have derived from prior experiences, but it is very difficult for other people to learn from these. We have difficulty remembering such abstractions, but we can more easily remember a good story. Stories give life to past experience. Stories make the events in memory memorable to others and to ourselves. This is one of the reasons why people like to tell stories."
--- Roger C. Shank
Storytelling has been used for thousands of years. It is an ideal way to explain something without lecturing or boring someone to death. For example, you can advise someone that the person who keeps going at a steady pace without giving up, wins. Or, you can read them the story about the tortoise and the hare, which has a much greater impact.
You can tell a customer that you offer great customer service, or you can tell them of a time when Joe Smith had a difficult time installing a sign purchased from you and you and two other guys drove 50 miles to his jobsite to help him.
"I will tell you something about stories. They aren't just entertainment. Don't be fooled. They are all we have, you see. All we have to fight off illness and death."
--- Leslie Marmon Silko
Keeping a file of your best business stories is a smart idea. These can be used in promotional items, at trade shows, on sales calls, or at employee barbeques. You don't have to rely on memory, but have a tickler file that helps your brain cells to kick into gear.
"If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life."
--- Jean Houston
Unlike a good John Grisham novel, your stories need to be truthful and not fabricated in any way. They need to be real, involving real people and real circumstances. If you don't have any, then now is the time to begin jotting down real scenarios. Look for success stories in your business. Read the comments from customers. Ask your team members for help with this as well.
"Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact."
--- Robert McKee
For help with building up your list of stories to tell, read case studies from other businesses. Look for ideas that apply to your business and see if the same things have happened in your business life as well. Pick up some business magazines such as Entrepreneur, Inc., and Forbes, and see if they help to switch any lights on.
Most of all make the stories fun and entertaining for your audience so that they leave a lasting impression.
Digital Technologies and the Apparel Decorator, Part II
By Johnny Shell
In Part II of this series, we're looking at laser transfers, dye sublimation, heat-applied vinyl, and print-and-cut media.
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A Fresh Look at PSA Media: Tips to Streamline Your Signshop
By Jennifer Chagnon
As advances in inkjet technologies continue to move forward, so does the availability of new printers, media and inks. Stay on ahead of the curve by keeping in touch with the new products.
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Church signs for the UK:
"Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the Snake, and the Snake didn't have a leg to stand on"
"Down in the Mouth? Come in for a Faith Lift"
"As You Pass this Little Church, Be Sure to Plan a Visit, So at Last When You're Carried In, God Won't Ask, 'Who Is It?'"
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