Want Something? Don’t ask – tell a story

Tell them your storyLast week I spent a few hotel nights in San Francisco. When checking in, I was ready to negotiate through my list of requirements, as online bookings usually yield the most basic rooms to make up for deep discounts. The front desk staff was particularly friendly, and I was feeling a little cheeky, so I decided to try a new approach to getting the room I wanted.

I told them that I’d had the most wonderful dream the night before. I described how in my dream, I was in the most beautiful room at the hotel. It was on a high floor and had a fabulous view. It was far from the elevator and the ice machine. I couldn’t hear any noise from the outside or from the room next door, and I had the most amazing sleep. I told them I’d been excited about checking into the hotel all day.

What was the response from the front desk? An enthusiastic, “We can make your dream come true!” They were happy to give me a corner room, with no neighbors, on the top floor of the hotel. I had a fantastic stay in a beautiful room. And I didn’t even have to ask.

Next time you need to ask for something or are aiming for a particular outcome, try opening with a story to paint a picture. A talent for story telling is useful in both personal and professional situations and a key attribute for marketers and sales people alike. We’re asking for things all the time – getting others to connect, react, engage, and buy.

Story telling is an effective way to help others envision the same happy ending as you have in mind. You will likely find that most people will want to help make it happen.

Posted by Linda Jackson    |    March 11, 2013