Stories aren’t just for kids, they’re for your business.
Who can’t remember being a child and holding a large seashell up to your ear to hear the ocean? It’s great for kids, but it’s a myth. Actually what we here when the shell is cupped to our ear is the ambient noise where are at the time reverberating through the channels of the shell. But for those of us with small children, or grandchildren it’s a fun thing to do!
However, it gets to a very important point in marketing and in business conversations. When we share our company message, or story there’s a good chance the client/customer doesn’t hear exactly what we are saying. We may be saying something really important, but the client often hears something totally different. This is why our message in sales, marketing, brand positioning, and deals need to be as simple as possible.
Think about a professor or teacher who asks the class to write a 20-page paper. Everyone goes, “Ugh!” However, let’s say you write the 20-page paper and the professor then asks you to use that paper to write a 5-page paper on the same subject. It’s incredibly harder to say more with less. You have to cut out the ambient noise, fluff and BS. The professor is trying to get her students to communicate the heart of the first paper with fewer words.
The human brain can process a clear, cogent, simple message better than a complex, long, and often repetitive one. We want to make sure the customer/client or co-worker understands exactly what we are saying. So our message needs to be tight, full of strong content, but not overwhelming with a lot of distracting information (noise). Try it with your emails, office correspondence, sales proposals, and conversations with your team, clients and customers. You will be amazed at the response when you follow up with good active listening skills (e.g. clarification) that insure your message is being heard and understood.
One more thing, a simple message is not the same as the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Instead, it takes a lot of time, thought and research. To craft a simple, but compelling brand identity, sales pitch, blog, or social media post is infinitely harder and anything, but stupid. Give it a shot and see what you think. (Image: Quora.com)
Charlie Carter, WebSpeak Media