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Connecting With Potential Clients Through Storytelling

Connecting With Potential Clients Through Storytelling

Meet the Groves family: Michael and Sandra, and their two children, Sasha and Liam. Also, meet their home. Yes, you read that correctly. Their home is a custom-designed luxury smart home that acts almost as a fifth member of their family. In the new e-book written by AV Programming Associates (AVPA) president Matthew Grisafe, you’ll find the story of a day in the life of this busy family, and of how they have taken advantage of every opportunity available to automate their home and make it truly work for them.

Home Entertainment and Control at the Tip of Your Finger: A Glimpse into Luxury Living Made Possible by Advanced Home Automation is a fascinating story of possibility. It begins on a Friday morning with Michael and Sandra both going through their pre-work routines. As the day progresses, the kids go to and come home from school, and as evening falls, the family prepares to entertain guests for dinner and some Friday night fun. All the while, they are easily able to control the lighting, HVAC, whole-home sound, security, and entertainment systems in the home via their smartphones, tablets, and touch panels throughout the house.

We Love Stories

This e-book is such a great example of how you can reach customers and showcase your products and services in a unique and creative way. We’ve all seen brochures and catalogs before (some of which are even beautifully designed), but this is so much more than a list of products and services. What sets this e-book apart is the fact that it tells a story, and by the time you’re finished reading it, you’re imagining all the ways in which you could make your home more like the Groves’s—with AVPA’s help, of course!

Humans have an incredible capacity for storytelling. It’s in our DNA. No one knows for sure when the first story was told, but it is believed by most sociologists that humans have been communicating through stories ever since they began walking the planet.

Our brains are wired for stories. When we hear or read information, the language centers in our brains become active to process it. But when that information is presented in a narrative way, it’s not only our brains’ language centers that light up. Every area of the brain starts churning because stories trick our brains into thinking we’re experiencing the events in the story ourselves. Our emotions become involved, and we start to identify and empathize with the characters.

That’s why we love movies, TV shows, books, and even just listening to our friends and loved ones recount their days. Because we process stories as if we are actually experiencing them, the idea of “escaping into a book” is much more literal than we give it credit for.

Stories Boost Learning Power

Not only do we enjoy stories much more than dry information, but we also retain what we learn much better when it’s presented in a story format. Again, it all comes down to how our brains work. The language centers of our brains, Broca’s area (mainly involved in speech production, but also plays a role in language comprehension) and Wernicke’s area (the main language comprehension center) are only responsible for decoding what we hear or read; they don’t have anything to do with memory.

On the other hand, when our entire brains are involved in processing information, like they are when we read or listen to stories, the memory center is activated. The information sticks, and we’re even compelled to retell the story to others, spreading the information and cementing it in our own brains even further.

If you want to see this process in action for yourself, here’s an exercise to try:

  1. Pick 15 random objects in the room and write them down in a list.
  2. Put the list away and do something else for a few minutes—listen to a song, read an article, or watch a few minutes of television.
  3. Try to remember all 15 objects without looking at the list.

It’s really tough! If you’ve practiced memorizing things before, you might be able to do it, but it probably won’t be easy. Now, try this:

  1. Look at your list and create a story that encompasses each object—for example: Jerry comes home, and first, he sets down his briefcase, and picks up a pen, to write a note on the notepad on the desk
  2. Retell the story to yourself a few times.
  3. Now try to recite the list of objects.

Chances are, you will remember that story for days, and that list of 15 objects will be stuck in your head for quite some time. You could probably do this exercise with a list of 50 objects, and you’d easily be able to recall the entire list. Next time you need to remember a list of things: numbers, names, a shopping list—create a story around the information you’re trying to remember. Stories make information sticky, and they make learning much more interesting and fun.

Stories in Business

So what does all of this mean for business owners? What role can storytelling play in a business environment, if any?

To find out, continue reading here …

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by Jessica Dawson // Editor-in-Chief of Founder Nonfiction, a boutique publishing house of non-fiction, making published authors of entrepreneurs, business people, and professionals.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.