The Power of Story 2

I’m not a fan of country music.  Raised in Midwestern suburbia, I’ve spent most of my life tuning in to the mainstream of Top 40  rock and roll, soft  jazz and easy listening hits.  Even after Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban moved the tectonic plates of country music mainstream, I just can’t go there.

But recently, I spent two hours in the car with my sister Connie taking her to the airport. Connie is a huge country music fan.  She says  “If it ain’t country, it ain’t music”.  I try not to roll my eyes.

Back to the car ride. Since Connie isn’t a big talker,  I figured the ride would go smoother if I gave her control of the radio.  On came Big Country WOLF ‘Your Country Music Now’  104.5. On came something sounding twangy and forlorn. At least that's how it started.

Then an amazing thing happened.  I started listening to the lyrics, drawn into the stories of love and loss and life in each song.  Some were sappy, to be sure.  But more often than not, the human drama of relationships won and lost, families built and burned, and the universal  truths of life, death and always love were stories I found myself caring about.

Suddenly, I had an aha moment. Millions of people love country music - about 95 million according to MRI and the Country Music Association. Why?  Because millions of us, ALL of us really, love a good story.  It’s why Turner Classic Movies and Oprah’s Book Club exist.

Stories are part of the human condition. While not as popular as the kings of pop and rock and roll,  country music fans still spent 1.5 billion buying CD's and downloads in 2009. Why?  Because people love a good story. Stories draw us in and make us want to know more. Wouldn't you like your customers to do that?

Find, create and write your story.  Beginning.  Middle.  End.

Then tell it to your customers in person and on your website. Share snippets in your blog. Open the door to your work home and invite people in from time to time.  If you keep it short,  they’ll listen. And they’ll like you just a little better for telling it. When people like you, they think of you first, and want to buy from you more than the other guy.  That's relationship marketing through the power of story.