Cys Bronner, BNI Executive Director recounts lessons learned from Sandra Hart, Director of European Affairs and Executive Director who knows that people emotionally connect to stories and this is what makes stories memorable.
I’m Cys Bronner, Executive Director of BNI’s Greater Los Angeles regions – BNI4Success.
Today I want to share a lesson learned from Sandra Hart. Sandra runs BNI in 19 counties of Ireland. Of course, BNI is Ireland’s leading business referral organization, she is also BNI’s Director of European Affairs
One of my favorite sayings in BNI is Facts tell. Stories sell. It’s quite the marketing insight – so much so that companies spend millions of dollars on writing campaigns and focus groups
I went to University in Dublin; a favorite greeting there is “What’s the story?” Sometimes the greeting is shortened to “Story?”
When you think about it, we love hearing and telling stories. Human history is built upon stories. Stories—and the morals, traditions, and history through them—were passed on around campfires. Now we have great speakers who mesmerize audiences with their stories—empowering others with their experiences.
Sandra had the opportunity to be at an event with Bear Grylls, who is a British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor, and honorary lieutenant-colonel, and, outside his military career, an adventurer, writer, television presenter and businessman.
She remembers hearing Bear Grillis years ago speak of his adventures; it was as if I was with him on the journey.
Can you imagine networking without stories? When your referral partners are armed with great stories about your business—stories that connect them to the emotion driving your business and the experience you provide—it is much easier for them to refer you.
So what exactly do you need in a story to make it one that others will be able to easily retell?
I have solid 4 items for you:
- The first is Have a beginning, middle and an end with a call to action
- After that, you’ll need to Have a hero (usually you!)
- It’s also important to Paint a picture of the situation and provide details
- Lastly, Provide a way to emotionally connect.
A story must emotionally engage the listener: make the reader cry, laugh, be disgusted, angry, horrified. Whatever you make the listener feel will be what is remembered and passed on.
Remember this simple axiom: Facts tell; stories sell! Tell stories when you are networking, doing presentations and are engaged in 1-to-1 meetings. And help others around you to pass those stories on. Remember word-of-mouth marketing is about words coming out of other people’s mouths.
They may as well be your words—your stories.
In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results.
Questions? Feel free to call Actionsteps4Success Founder and BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word of mouth marketing work for you