Your Story is Your Future

When we know each others’ stories we have a better chance of making a genuine connection.

I believe the future of brick and mortar depends on the quality (and authenticity) of your story. Doesn’t matter if you are an owner, a full-timer who wears multiple hats, or an every-other-Saturday part-timer, your story somehow resonates with the brand’s story. So it’s safe to assume that how you tell it either strengthens or weakens its appeal.

Make no mistake, a good story is never forgotten. It’s what ultimately creates loyalty (which means more visits to your store and less clicks online).

Even the best stories need an occasional upgrade. Some refinement or evolution. In order to take your story to the next level, let’s get familiar with some storytelling basics.

First off, vulnerability.

The best stories you ever hear exhibit some degree of vulnerability. Which is to say, there’s a realness that transcends the entertaining aspects of the storyline.

The best storytellers also do a few things similarly:

  1. They remain true to their authentic intention: Their delivery is not contrived or based on a schtick. (And since you are in specialty retail, you can tell the difference immediately.)
  2. They exhibit real emotion: This doesn’t mean they go overboard with an overly dramatic display of feelings, but it does mean they don’t hide them either.
  3. They allow themselves to be seen and heard: This doesn’t mean they are necessarily comfortable telling the story, but they allow themselves to do it anyway. (Notice how this circles back to the bit about vulnerability.)

The natural result of such honest storytelling is trust. It also makes the storyteller more likable. More attractive, even. But a good story also makes the receiver more likely to collaborate. It makes them more open-minded and willing to be persuaded.

This is science. Humans are biologically wired to lean-in towards a good story because it releases a neurochemical in the brain called oxytocin. And humans can’t feel trust or empathy without it.

If your story isn’t good enough to release oxytocin in your customer’s brain, or if it’s too based in logic and tech, customers are less likely to consider your suggestions (even if you totally know your stuff).

Know this—data shows that shoppers want authentic interaction more than anything else. 67%, in fact, say that human connection is what makes for a memorable experience.

Your story is where this connection begins. Tell it well. Tell it often.



Tom Griffen is a highly sought after trainer and presenter whose message transcends industries. He’ll help you raise the bar while you reinvent your business.

Contact him: make the change you’ve been talking about.

Also check out Tom’s January 2018 Walk Across America! YES…you can still hire him during this adventure! Book your dates today!


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