by | Jul 9, 2024 | Business Development

Agency owners who want to grow their businesses can take a lesson from a hit TV show.

Shonda Rhime’s Bridgerton confidently stands as the most-streamed television series on Netflix. Season three, released in May of 2024 with an outstanding 165.2 million hours viewed globally, quickly surpassing season two’s opening weekend, despite the shorter episodes and decreasing Netflix subscribers.

Why would a story that is so out of touch with today’s reality quickly hold its position as the most-streamed television show ever?

Because Rhimes created characters with intertwining conflict, dazzling outfits, niche violin covers of today’s greatest hits, and a setting that captures the essence of the Regency-era London (no one knows when the Regency-era London actually was, but she got people to want to know).

Now here’s the secret if you want to attract clients, and yes, you probably guessed it: give them a story.

So, what is your client-attracting defining story?

A constant challenge in the agency business is gaining a client’s trust, or having them believe your story. To figure out how to gain that trust, you have to determine what storytelling tricks are in their ballpark, the parts of the plot that make them tick. If you want prospects to think it over, give them lots of facts and figures. If you want them to decide to hire you, tell them the right story: Your Defining Story.

Ursula K. Le Guin said it perfectly, “We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel…is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”

Maybe that is why so many Fortune 500 companies are hiring storytelling experts to teach their sales and business development professionals to tell relatable stories that will convince prospects.

Always remember that people are mentally hardwired for stories. Many fields of science testify to this truth. Nothing is as persuasive as storytelling with a purpose, and you should study the techniques of telling a great story employed by Hollywood, Madison Avenue and Wall Street.

Every story needs a hero (think main character), a nemesis, and a mentor. If you are familiar with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the main character would be Dorothy Gale of Kansas, the nemesis is the Wicked Witch of the West, and the mentor is Glinda the Good Witch. By the way, if I were to write the plot summary for this book and movie it would be: “Girl arrives in strange land and kills. Makes three friends and kills again.” Some call it the ultimate chick flick: two women fighting over a pair of shoes.

Everybody loves a happy ending, but that is also why people have a desire for sad stories and grief, to share that type of emotional connection.

What is the first thing a teenage girl does after she goes through a breakup? She watches The Fault in Our Stars.

Professionals, consultants, business leaders, speakers, and authors need to know the proper methods of telling a persuasive story. First, learn the basics of telling a client success story. Then apply those basics to crafting Your Defining Story.

So, don’t try to craft it: do or do not. If you do, the payoffs can be huge. You don’t have to break box-office records to be successful. Just convince your share of right-fit prospects.

Holly Kersgieter

Holly Kersgieter is a reporter for Agency Owner News.