Watch this. It’s three minutes and will feel shorter, I promise. Don Draper, ad man extraordinaire and star of Mad Men (one of my very favourite TV shows), is pitching to execs at Kodak. Specifically, he needs to convince them that he can sell their ‘slide wheel’ (youngsters, this is how pics on a screen used to work). Carry on reading when you’ve watched this slice of magic.
Of course, it isn’t magic – it’s story. It’s storytelling that’s powerful and so very watchable, but it’s also a story that’s hard at work on a business problem.
What Don Draper demonstrates is the immeasurable difference between the facts of a product or service and the reaction that can be triggered when those facts are wrapped in a narrative.
What happened to the people in that room is that they lost control. They lost control of how they felt. They lost control of their rational assessment of what they were seeing. Their brain chemistry changed.
Every business has a story like this. Every business has something that can get inside the brain of the right people and do remarkable things.
Whatever line of work you are in, whoever’s problems you fix or needs you meet, there is a story that can evoke irresistible reactions in the people you want as your customers. And I’ll let you into a secret: the same story will work wonders with your own people. Imagine how Kodakers would have felt after hearing their product talked about like that!
To get through this recession, we all need this: a story that completely changes how people think about what we do.
You just have to find it, and then you have to tell it. It just helps if you can tell it as well as this.
Using the irresistible power of story to help businesses be great is what Write the Talk is all about. Whether it’s our small business masterclass, our leadership storytelling training or our fully customisable story shaping process, we’re here to work the story magic on what you do. But if nothing else, get in touch for a chat about the greatest TV dramas ever made.