In the business world, especially in sales, we have been trained to keep our “pitch” to a condensed thirty-second overview. This approach became the standard in business just about the time “speed dating” was introduced as THE WAY to meet that perfect someone and fall in love.

Just as the lonely soul realized that a “speed round of conversation” did NOT end in marriage, the businessman quickly realized that this “fast pitch” only earned him admiration among his peers and those competing in time trials during networking groups.

Even though people have had success with the “fast pitch” sales approach, experts say that today’s customers are responding to a more relational, story telling approach.  If you struggle with gaining the attention and connecting with your customer, why not soften your delivery and engage the customer with these story-telling tips:

1. Think before you speak. Plan ahead, write it out, and practice speaking it to yourself and to friends and family. Pay close attention to your tone – make sure it is conversational. Be sure that the message not only tells what you do, but who you are and why this customer needs to hear what you have to say.

2. Scripts are for actors. Your delivery must sound unscripted and natural. Memorization results in a dull delivery. Craft your story using bullet points as benchmarks for vital information. Use this as a map to guide you from start to finish without losing the focus of the customer.

3. Make it personal. Include items of interest that highlight who you are. This simple detail allows the customer to connect with you. This is the comfort zone that the “fast- pitch” never achieved. However, you must not get carried away talking about yourself.

The art of storytelling has entertained the young and old for generations. Today is the day to tell YOUR story to your customer!