Friday, February 1, 2013

Premature Elaboration

Over the holidays you have a chance to catch up at parties with people you don’t see every day.  It’s also a great time for storytelling.  Reflecting on the year. Old stories that get better with time.

There are stories that you can sit and listen to for an hour.  So filled with detail and cadence that it seems to bring everyone in the room around to it.

Some stories that I call Facebook stories.  25 minutes of inside family humor about how lil Becky said something cute in the middle of the Chik-Fil-A to the “big cow”.  They seem to love the story so much that it bears repeating.  If there is a party repellant spray to be handed out next year that keeps them away, you hope that you are doused in it.  They corner you as you can see the rest of the party is caught up with Mark Twain reincarnate across the room.

Then you have the story killers.  You know them.  The story is about to get good and the spouse or the person that has heard the story jumps in, interrupts, or gives away the ending.  Yeah, I would have been fulfilled with It’s a Wonderful Life after 10 minutes enough to flip over to Duck Dynasty. ..

As a teen boy, I recall asking my older brother how to get girls to like me. What do I say? What story should I tell them?  He said “Be yourself…just not too soon..”

The way that people engage your services has changed.  Everyone has the name of a good attorney, and everyone gets a few names.  Who are you at the party though? Do you ask questions that bring people out?  Similar interests?  Common purpose?

The process of asking questions to form your story around their goals and needs.  Some people need a quick story, some need details.  Their fulfillment is found in them taking ownership through the process of being asked about what is important to them. It’s also artificial patience to you who have probably heard their story a thousand times with a thousand clients.

Does your web bio tell a story or just a couple of bullet points on practice areas?  When you engage a client or prospective client in a conversation do you bring them into the story and make it personal to them, or do you give the same story to everyone only to be interrupted by the noise in their head. In seminars, do you talk or interact? Is social media one-sided or does it solicit feedback?
Please contact me your client development goals at: 850-893-8984,