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The Art of Storytelling

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Storytelling is the most important form of communication in the history of mankind, and sadly the threat of its extinction is close at hand. The way that we have communicated our history, educated and entertained new generations through tall tales, anecdotes and legend is indeed becoming a lost art.

Major religions began through tales told before they were ever put into writing. Traditions were passed on through generations along with knowledge that was important for the survival of generations to come; storytelling is the way in which we communicated. The art of embellishment and weaving an engaging tale is a tradition that is slowly dying off and as a salesperson; I am concerned with how this will affect the future of sales.

When I am asked what makes me a successful salesperson, I tell people my greatest attribute by far is my ability to spin a yarn and tell a great story. I keep my clients interested, show that I have knowledge and develop their confidence in me through my storytelling. Most people who know me know that I have a story for almost anything and as I have gotten older my library of stories has grown. I like to tell a good story as much as I enjoy hearing a good one.

During the annual ICSC convention this year, I sat down with my friend, Howard Carr; Howard is one of the longest standing members at TCN. Over the years we’ve known each other, we have enjoyed trading stories. I have certainly learned a lot from him and I hope he feels that he has learned from me. We reside on two different coasts and have lived entirely different lives but our common denominator is our professional lives. He has opened my eyes to a number of things that I could not possibly have learned by reading about them or even being in a place where I could experience what he had for that matter. Simply by listening to his stories I have absorbed new and valuable knowledge.

With the advent of virtual communication such as text messaging, emailing and social media, the art of storytelling has slowly fallen by the wayside. The death of the story has much to do with the fact that our electronic gadgets have replaced face-to-face communication. Instead of long-winded stories we communicate with short half sentences and end them with ‘LOL’, which I still have trouble remembering the meaning of. I am sure that if text messaging were available during the time of our greatest world events, then the true facts of history would have been properly explained with an LOL.

As a salesperson, I urge you to use the art of storytelling to your advantage. It may be a lost art but if used properly, it will separate you from your competition and people will be drawn to you; even though you may be regarded as a very unique individual because of it.
TCN Worldwide Affiliate, Hans Hansson-Starboard Commercial

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