Nobody Wants to Hear an Advisor’s “Story”

Photo by
Ethan Hu on Unsplash

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Click here to watch a video and learn more about Evidence Based Advisor Marketing.

One of the biggest myths about successful selling is that you should entertain prospects with your “story” – those fascinating anecdotes about your life experiences that were so relevant to your success.

That is wrong. Stories can be powerful – as the following example illustrates – but not yours.

Recently, I was watching one of my favorite Australian programs on streaming video. There was a touching moment where one of the main characters was thought to have died in a fire, but somehow survived and was reunited with his fiancée. As I watched the two of them embrace, I felt a tear run down my cheek.

What was going on here? It was a fictional story in an unfamiliar location. How did it manage to evoke this reaction from me?

The power of stories

There’s no shortage of advice encouraging you to tell your story to prospects and clients.

This justification is typical: Your own unique stories make you different than any one else. This difference is essential for you to share with others for them to know who you are, what you do and why you do it.

Often, advocates for telling stories rely on neuroscience for justification. They note that “our brains love good storytelling” and that doing so releases oxytocin in the brains of those listening. Oxytocin “…is produced when we’re trusted or shown a kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others.”