5 Steps to Creating Awesome Business Stories
Forget the elevator speech.
Even your USP is so yesterday.
Instead, consider creating stories about you, your business, and each product or service that you provide as a mortgage lender.
People love, love, love, stories.
Stories have been around since the cavemen chiseled out a series of pictures on cave walls. The Bible and the Koran are a series of stories. How about the stories you listened to as a child sitting on your parent’s lap?
According to author Annette Simmons, who wrote Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, the definition of a story is a re-imagined experience narrated with enough detail and feeling to cause your listeners’ imaginations to experience it as real.
5 Types of Stories
- Who I Am Story – What qualities earn you the right to influence someone?
- Why I Am Here Story – What are your values?
- Teaching Story – What experience can you share to help clients make a decision?
- Vision Story – How will the future look if they choose you as their lender?
- I Know What You Are Thinking Story – How will you create trust by validating client’s objections?
Whether you realize it or not, you are already telling stories about yourself, why you got into the mortgage business, how you have helped others, etc. But are they effective in convincing people to do business with you?
There are 5 key elements to developing any story.
#1 – Make the story simple. Depending on which type of story you are telling, it should focus on only three main points. Don’t try to cram too much information into your story. Rewrite the story until you hone it down to just three.
Write your story out word for word.
Reread your story and write out the three main things you want to communicate.
Rewrite your story eliminating 50% of the words.
# 2 – Develop 5 different stories based upon the outline listed above. You may have many sub-stories for each loan program or service that you offer. But Who I Am, Why I Am Here and Your Vision stories will basically remain the same.
#3 – Illustrate Your Stories. Back to the cavemen…with each story, plan to illustrate with graphs, comparisons or flow charts. In the teaching story, I gave each client an amortization chart that compared the principal balance and interest paid each year they had the mortgage.
#4 – Use Body Language & Tone. Think about ghost stories you have heard around the campfire. There’s a pause… the storyteller screams. While I don’t advocate that you scream, the point is to use your body to make your point. It could be as simple as leaning forward, whispering, throwing up your hands or getting up from behind your desk. Get excited and change your voice inflections when telling your story.
#5 – Practice your stories. Remember the stories you’ve heard as a child? Stories like the Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks and the Three Bears remain unchanged over the centuries. While they might vary a little bit based upon the client, you should know your stories by heart.
Here are a couple of examples (about me) which will give you some direction when creating your own stories.
Who I am story – I got into the mortgage business by accident. On April Fool’s day, I was hired as a closing agent but did not know a thing about mortgages. I became the first women loan officer in my little corner of the world and ultimately started my own mortgage company, real estate and appraisal firm and co-owned a mortgage company with a large builder. I also have a real estate license. I have the experience not only to help you with your mortgage, but also to show you how you can use your mortgage as a financial planning tool.
Why I am here story – I have never believed in trying to be all things to all people. I specialize in two types of programs—new construction lending and regular, low down payment conventional loans. I don’t do FHA or VA loans or sub-prime loans, but have a trusted source I refer these types of loans to.
While I have not repeated my mortgage stories for almost 8 years, I remember each and every one of them through speaking with clients, real estate agents, family and friends.
Become a storyteller and watch your business grow.
So, please post or share your story of how you got into the mortgage business!