Client influencing stories

Many of my clients ask about how they can get their counter staff to refer customers to their advisers behind the scenes more often.

Here’s a simple, elegant way of doing it which you can use is many referral situations. Through Customer attraction stories.

Let me explain.

You show the value you provide your customers through a short, less than one minute story that describes the actual value you give. You tell this story to your counter colleagues during your morning meetings and you’ll involve them emotionally and on a deeper level how you work. An example please Paul, I hear you say.

The story of Colin and Debi.

Colin was a hard worker, totally dedicated to his young wife Debi. He was a railway worker eagerly completing his apprenticeship. He had ambitions to be a train driver and was looking forward to starting a family as soon as they could afford to.

Debi and Colin were in their early 20’s, newly married, and that day, were celebrating their first year’s wedding anniversary. It was a cold November day, Colin was working late, keen to get home for Debi’s surprise meal, which he knew about, after all, Debi had given him a huge number of hints. Colin was tall, over 6 feet, strong and totally in love with her.

The evening fog had descended on the rail yard, Colin’s last job that evening was to guide two locomotives into the sidings, couple them together and then get off for home.

He used a night light system designed to give train drivers instructions on the same basis as traffic lights. Colin was experienced in this procedure and had just indicated to the first driver to hold still whilst he crossed the tracks to show the second driver to begin coming forward.

Whether the first driver hadn’t seen the light or he was half asleep, was irrelevant as the solid steel coupling device took the life out of Colin instantly.

One year later, Debi had begun to socialise once again and had returned to work on a part-time basis, not for the money, but for the need to continue her life. The life assurance policy I’d sold them paid off their mortgage completely and gave Debi a lump sum that gave her the ability to never worry about money again and to re-build her life.

A true story which occurred early in my career as a life assurance salesperson, and yes, I’ve told the story many times.

The story clearly lays out the value I provided at the time to customers, mixes emotions with visual imagination and can be told in under one minute.

It follows these steps:

  1. Scene and characters
  2. Journey
  3. Obstacle
  4. Solution

Can you recall the character Colin? And the scene? Late November, happy married young couple, 6 foot tall Colin.

The journey…coupling the trains in the foggy evening. The obstacle…coupling successfully so he could return home for a romantic meal.

The solution…life assurance that allowed Debi never to worry about money again.

People remember emotions and can imagine the scene. This is a powerful influencing tool.