Last summer I discovered a shop in my home town. Lovely dresses hung alongside silky scarves and shirts beautifully arranged with linen trousers in a space where you could happily hang around for a coffee. It was a place designed to spend time in, not just for buying and selling.
A collection of sunglasses in a glass cabinet caught my attention. The business-owner come and told me the amazing story of these Japanese handmade designer sunglasses.
I had no intention of buying sunglasses. She knew that, but she spent more than half an hour with me talking about design in the eighties and the unique process involved in making these amazing sunglasses by hand.
She talked about the meaning of wearing something like this, about the story of the product, the passion behind it, the woman who wears them and how she wears them.
She invited me to try on different pairs. I touched the beautifully-finished sidepieces of the sunglasses and got the feeling of wearing them. I started to love them and appreciate the craftsmanship that had gone into making them.
When I left the shop I wanted to go and tell this story to other people, to talk about this remarkable woman who was so knowledgeable about design, so passionate about her product, so eager to connect with their customers. So I did.
We know when our story is great because our customers tell their friends, their parents, their colleagues and the people around them. Great stories fly from one place to another, from one person to the next.
Stories don’t make us buy a product. What the story does is create an irresistible desire in our customers to talk about what we do.
Great stories don’t just sell – they connect and spread. Test your story with your customers; how many of them talk about it? If they do, you might be on the way to finding your great story.