Stop wasting your breath, this is why they aren't listening

I know this happens to me, can you relate? 

I meet a new person at a networking event, and she tells me that she is a strategist with extensive experience.  She talks about the great companies she has worked with and it is all very impressive. 

My mind starts working overtime to figure out how she would fit into my business or my network, I take her card, and we move on with the best of intentions.

A week later I find the card in my pocket and can’t remember who she was.

On the other hand, someone else piques my interest, and I remember what that person does.  He had an engaging story and a week later don’t just recall what he does, but also actively look for that card in the jumble on my desk.    

The difference is the story, and there are three reasons why::

Principle 1: Nobody cares about you.

It’s true when you meet someone they are listening for how you benefit them they are not what you do and how they can benefit you.  A well-crafted story helps you communicate in the listener's terms rather than yours.

Principle 2: People remember what you do for them, not what you do. 

A strategist is nice, but it is also generic.  Everybody is a strategist.  It is hard to remember what all the strategists do.  But problems are clear.  When you put what you do in terms of the problem that you solve, you become ten times more memorable.

Principle 3: People have a shorter attention span than goldfish. 

According to a study by the University of Western Ontario's Brain and Mind Institute, humans have an attention span of 8 seconds.  Goldfish are believed to have an attention span of 9 seconds.  

So, when we put others in a position to figure out what problem we solve and why that matters, they have to do work and lose interest.

That is part of being human. 

A good story helps you overcome these three challenges and can turn them to your advantage.  Since 95% of your competition is not telling good stories, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself instantly.

And it will be your card standing out in the sea of cards on somebody’s desk.

If you are interest in learning more you can download the Engage guide to Brandstories here

StoryJeff Loehr