Monday, February 4, 2013

What's Your Story?

Nugget For The Noggin

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 4, 2013

There is no question that personal stories reinforce what you are trying to accomplish with your family members, your friends and especially your customers.

Stories told to customers seems to have been forgotten in the sales process – telling our customers our story.  When you tell a (short) story about you and/or your company, it establishes a “good feeling” about working with you and/or your company.

What is YOUR story?  What is your Company’s story?  Do you have one or more stories to tell?  Have you been telling your story to your customers?

From her book, Selling With Noble Purpose (NSP), Lisa Earle McLeod suggests that for your story to be compelling, it should:
  • Be true.  100% true.
  • Be Short.  Read in less than 2 minutes and contain no more                     than  300 words.
  • Describe the impact on the customer.  The story does not stop at the event; it describes the consequences as well.
  • Includes vivid details.  Dramatic photos can make it even more powerful.
  • Touch emotions.  Story about human beings whose lives were changed.
  • Supports your NSP (Your Noble Selling Purpose)

For more information about the book and Ms. McLeod, go to her web site at and/or her blog at:

Considering those guidelines, here is a story about Keller Williams Realty from which I recently retired.

I witnessed how some agents, through no fault of their own would get into financial difficulties.  Having served in the U. S. Coast Guard I thought about how the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Program would come to the rescue of Coast Guard Families because of the many voluntary contributions into the program by Coast Guard personnel.

I suggested to Mo Anderson of Keller Williams Realty that a similar program within Keller Williams Realty would reinforce the company’s belief that its associates are its number one assets by helping members in distress.

Keller Williams created Keller Cares which was very much like the Coast Guard program.  Agents would donate portions of their earned commissions to the fund.  The fun would then be used to provide financial assistance to its agents in time of need.

At the time Hurricane Katrina stuck, the fund had approximately $500,000 in its account.  There were 17 Keller Williams’ offices and well over 700 agents affected by the storm in one way or another.  Mo Anderson announced that each affected agent would have $5000 deposited in his or her account, no questions asked.  (Impact on people)

You do the math.  $5000 times 700 agents equals over 3.5 Million Dollars; the account had only $500,000.  Within a week thousands of Keller Williams agents throughout North America had more than made up the difference.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story.  The owners hundreds of Keller Williams offices donated portions of their own profits to be placed into an account from which the 17 affected Keller Williams office could draw from to cover their operating costs during the period immediately following Katrina when few if any of them could conduct their business.  (288 words) (it’s true) (includes vivid details)

The above story covers the five areas that Lisa McLeod indicated to be an important aspect of any story you tell others.  Although not specifically stated in the story, the story also supports my own personal Nobel Selling Purpose, “to help people do what they do to do it better.”

If this is the first time you have heard the Keller Williams “story”, how does it make you feel about Keller Williams Realty and its owners and associates?  It is difficult if not impossible to have anything but good feelings, wouldn’t you say?

What short story can you tell your customers to make them feel good about selecting you and your company?  I think you will agree that it could make a significant difference.

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