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Business Smarts: Telling your business story

Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Coordinator Joyce Nussbaum attended the first session of the 2014 Business Smarts Breakfast Series Friday January 10 entitled “Telling Your Business Story: Connect with Customers Through Your Unique Story.”

cdsmp-logoBetsy Hay, VP of Wellness and Community Based Service for the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, talked about ways to use stories to inform about an organization’s mission, products, and goals and engage stakeholders.

Business storytelling was defined as “The art of communicating and connecting with stakeholders” as well as a being a powerful marketing strategy that has a desired outcome. A great story is one that “sells stuff,” inspires and is native, doesn’t interrupt or intrude, doesn’t make demands, leverages pop culture, includes tiny unique nuggets, and is consistent and self-aware. These ideas are expanded on in “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Business stories can have multiple plots such as how the business got started, how it goes about its work, what it has to teach, how you demonstrate your values, how you communicate your vision, and how you respond to objections or concerns. Next steps will include developing the “why” and sharing it in distinctive ways to give maximum visibility.

One activity included practicing telling a short business story in 60 seconds, stating what your company does, what problem it solves, how products and services are different, and why the customer should care.

Participants were encouraged to ask a variety of employees and customers some questions in preparation for the next session, including; What does your business believe in? Why did your business join the marketplace? What is your business trying to do? and How is your business better? Joyce would welcome comments on any of these questions before the next meeting on February 14 at joyce@vpas.info.