There are few things that connect you to potential clients as powerfully as a Great Story. Great Stories help you build trust fast so you attract more and better business, and close it faster. And yet, in their efforts to tell stories, most people get it wrong. Here's how to take your business development stories from zero to hero.
Make the other person feel you "get" them. You want them to feel like you are talking directly to them and their situation. Do this by understanding their emotional situation (empathy) and the impact of their problem on their business. Their problem is not that they are using a boilerplate sales contract they got off the Internet. Their problem is they are not collecting cash as quickly and confidently as needed.
Talk about how you improve the clients business rather than what you did. Instead of saying you drafted a new sales contract (What you did), say your client is collecting cash faster and with greater confidence because they are using a new sales contract you drafted (impact of what you did). If you want this one to come naturally, remember that clients don't care about you. They care about how you improve their business.
Stick to making a SINGLE point. Most stories are too long and contain extraneous information. The trap people fall into is telling a narrative of the entire client engagement. Stick to ONLY what is important for the point you are making. Why the client downloaded a sales contract from the Internet may be interesting, but isn't relevant. The relevant issue is turning sales into collectable cash.
By all means, utilize valuable templates such as The Hero's Journey or Obstacle/Solution/Benefit. But focus on one obstacle, your solution to that obstacle, and the resulting benefits.
If you've read this far and still don't appreciate the power stories bring to your marketing and sales, here is a succinct @Aaron Neely post you should read.