"Nobody cares about storage," said the woman standing up at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association conference at a question-and-answer session four years ago. "What possible stories would people tell about us?"
I was sitting on the other side of the room and knew this was an opportunity I couldn't refuse to share a story. I stood up and replied:
"Storage saved my marriage! You see, I'm the kind of person that likes to save everything I've ever had--my old baseball-card collection, my science project from sixth grade, college textbooks, everything. My wife saves nothing. If it weren't for our storage, we'd be in big trouble.
"It's not about the product," I continued. "It's about how it makes people feel and telling great stories!"
I've always believed in the adage, "Tell, don't sell." Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone loves a good story. (If you don't believe me, look at the popularity of the movie business, the ultimate storytellers.)
Because everybody loves a good story, if you want to sell your product to customers, your vision to investors, or your ideas to the world, you've got to recognize the power and importance of great storytelling. We recently launched storytellit, a free tool to help you tell your business's stories across the social Web. Check it out, and start telling your stories today.
In the meantime, here are 13 quotes on storytelling to help inspire you!
Robert McKee may have said that storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today, but I'd say that storytelling has always been the best tool to communicate ideas, persuade others, and get what you want. That woman at the marketing conference turned out to be an employee of Extra Space Storage, by the way, a publicly traded company that's been a Likeable client for the last three years.
Tell, don't sell.