Storytelling To Attract Clients

by | May 13, 2024 | Business Development

To attract right-fit clients, don’t just use facts to tell when you can use stories to sell. Agency owners who attract right-fit clients are typically great storytellers.

“Trying to influence people by using words to appeal to their intellect isn’t enough,” says author Dr. Paul Homoly. “We need stories.”

I caught up with Homoly in Phoenix when he delivered a keynote address on his trademarked “StorySelling” approach at a conference.

Here are five ways Homoly shared to improve your client-attracting stories:

Keep stories short.A good way to think about stories is to picture an artist at a street fair who’s perched on a stool, wearing a beret,” says Homoly. “He has an easel, drawing pencils, or a handful of dry erase markers, and for 20 bucks, he’ll draw your caricature. A few lines here, a few curves there, and the artist captures the gist of the features that make you distinct. Your mind fills in the rest of the details. Great stories are oral caricatures. A few visual and emotional words paint just enough of the picture for your mind to fill in the missing elements.”

Keep stories character-centered, not plot-centered. “The stories you tell should reveal more about how the characters feel and less about the specific details of what happened to and around them,” says Homoly. “Your stories don’t need fancy plots or tons of details about the surroundings. They do need believable characters whom the listeners can picture and relate to.”

Keep stories in the present tense, if appropriate.You’ve probably noticed that many great stories are told in the present tense,” says Homoly. “That is done on purpose, because it helps you experience the story as if it’s happening right now. Switching to present tense draws the listener into the story, because your verbs are active and your language is more alive. I’m reliving it in the moment as I tell it, as opposed to narrating the past. Reliving the events in your story makes it easier for you to feel it, which makes it easy for your listeners to feel it too.”

Keep stories visual. “When done well, the language of your story creates images in your audience’s mind,” says Homoly.  “You’ll discover that well-told stories are an auditory and visual experience for the listener. Listeners are actually picturing your points, which means they’re fully engaged, which means they’re giving you their full attention.”

Keep stories emotional to you. “It’s important to select stories that are emotional to you so you feel them while you tell them,” says Homoly. “You are trying to move people to action—to make a decision, follow your advice, take their medicine. To move people into action, you need to move them emotionally.”

Homoly shared a final thought: “If you’re not telling stories, chances are you’re not connecting with your listeners at the gut level, which makes them less likely to get and commit to your vision. Consequently, your value as an expert is diminished.”

Invitation: Eight times a year I teach a three-hour book kickoff class. The next class is June 7, 2024 and the cost is $365. But if you send me an email to [email protected] and mention that you are an Agency Owner News subscriber, I will offer you a comp seat. We will talk storytelling in books and the seven questions every author must answer before they write a book.

Henry DeVries

Henry DeVries is the editor of Agency Owner News and the CEO of Indie Books International. He is the host of the Agency Rainmaker TV Show, editor of the Agency Rainmaker Newsletter, and the author of 20 books including Marketing With A Book For Agency Owners.