Your Story Matters

One of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan, tells a story something like this –  At a dinner party (a.k.a. – networking event) this narcissistic guy couldn’t stop talking, telling people stories to brag about himself and demeaning other people’s stories. Finally, this quiet guy looks up from his plate and says, “I walked on the moon”. Suddenly everyone was much more interested in the quiet guy’s stories . . .

Your Story Matters:
When you are networking and trying to get new customers for your business, your story matters a lot. People like to do business with other people when they feel a personal connection. It is okay to be you. In fact it is highly preferable that you be yourself and not try to act like someone you are not. The people who relate to you will be more than happy to do business with you.

Her Story:
(Shared with her permission) Recently, I was asked to mentor a financial advisor who had about 18 months of experience in the field. Sales had been slow and she was looking for some help.

I asked her to tell me her 30 second “elevator pitch”. Predictably, like most people, she didn’t really tell me anything that wasn’t already on her business card. She certainly wasn’t convincing as to why someone should buy from her as opposed to any other financial advisor.

Then I asked her to candidly tell me about herself and how she ended up becoming a financial advisor. It seems that she had grown up in a small town and worked for her dad’s business. She ended up getting married, having children and living the American dream. Suddenly, this dream turned out to be a nightmare. Her husband lost the house, their credit – everything! Then they became divorced and she was left with nothing. And, she had to raise three children by herself.

She didn’t let the situation beat her. She remained strong in her faith in the Lord and in herself. She worked really, really hard and overcame obstacle after obstacle. Today, her children are in private school and she is enjoying her work as a financial advisor, which a major firm recruited her to do.

Her New “Elevator Pitch”:
It is a work in progress and currently goes something like this:

I help people to avoid being caught up in a situation like I was once in. After losing my house, my credit, my husband and basically everything but my children – I think you’d agree that I had to develop very good financial management skills in order to get out of that situation.

Fast forward to today – my kids are in private school and we enjoy a nice lifestyle. My company recruited me to help people like you to manage their money in such a way that they can avoid a situation like that and achieve the lifestyle that they have always envisioned.

New Perspective:
Now her humbling story can be told in such a way as to give her credibility in her chosen profession. With a major company backing her, I expect that she will become an exceptional resource for her clients.

Your Story:
Take some time to candidly review your story. There are two questions that can be very helpful in this. One is, “How did I end up in this line of work?” The other is, “Why should someone choose to do business with me as opposed to someone else?”

Then simply start putting the pieces together. Tell your story in such a way that other people can better relate to you as a person. Make sure to finish your story with the reason someone should buy from you. Keep it short, we aren’t talking about; “Gone with the Wind” here. Just a few sentences to summarize what they need to know in order to relate to you and want to do business with you. You got this!


Kenneth G. Hasty is an award-winning salesperson, speaker, experienced “Fortune 500” sales executive, and the author of the popular book on selling, “77 Seconds to Sales Success”. He has over 10,000 LinkedIn connections and LinkedIn has ranked him in its “Top 10 Management Consultant and Sales Coach” profiles. He is also the co-founder of TriTraction™ “Your Business Growth Experts”.

Need more help with growing your business? Feel free to reach out to me and let’s talk.