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Apr 10, 2018
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Maybe you work for a company that has an impressive brand name recognition, and the whole world wants to work there. Perhaps you work for a company in your city that has most people you cold call pick up the phone just because it says “Everyone Loves this Company” on their caller ID. Perhaps you work for an emerging company that nobody has heard of yet in a vertical industry that only one in 20 people are even aware of. It might be that you are part of a company that has been around for 100 years but has always existed under the radar.

You might believe that if you work for a “brand name” company everyone will take your call or heck, even better, call YOU. And that’s true to a degree. Here’s something that levels the playing field:

Telling a great story makes a significant impact on your prospective candidates & customers.

What’s the Big Deal

I want you to think back to the last presentation you saw that made a significant impact on you. That resonated with you and made you want to do something. The chances are that presenter was able to tell you a great story, to make you feel inspired, to connect with you. It’s no secret that people will remember a great story from a presentation much more than they remember a deck filled with numbers and graphs.

I recently was at our home office talking to a group of recent college grads about what my portion of the company does. As I was driving to the home office to give that talk, I remembered something. Exactly one month before the day I wound up sliding down the highway backward in my truck due to an ice storm that had happened. I was on my way to the home office when I did my ice dance. Earlier in the day that I was going to speak to the college grads, I’d just picked up my truck from the repair shop. Needless to say, I was a little nervous.

I opened up with that story and from that point on the college grads were all eyes and ears on me. Was my presentation that good? Not really, but they seemed to think my truck sliding down the highway on the ice was pretty interesting.

Hook Em Fast

When you can tell a great story about your company during an initial call with a potential candidate, it makes a HUGE impact. This is especially true if the candidate did not know much about your company before the call. It can be as impactful if you are telling them something new and exciting about a company they think they know all about. Make sure you tell someone how a company started, at least briefly.  Most people love to hear how things start. I find significant milestones and current company strategy and focus is big for most people as well.

Another good hook em component is talking about how the role you are speaking to them about fits into and impacts the company. I’m surprised by how many people put their head down and don’t try to find out the various parts of a company. Almost every single time I start with the 30,000-foot view of my company and funnel it down to how the role we are speaking about contributes to the company it helps someone see themselves in that role. Magic.

Good Storytelling Helps You Attract the Right People – For Your Company

You should be able to convey the story of your company in such a way as to attract the kind of people that will love the culture and embody the company. My company has some key differentiators from some of our competitors that I make sure I cover in an initial call or meeting. They include:

  • Privately held
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Fast paced
  • Dynamic
  • Sales led
  • High accountability
  • Empowered
  • Decentralized
  • Flat organizationally

If the candidate I am speaking to prefers to be a cog in a giant wheel, we probably aren’t the best company for them. If they prefer lots of red tape and super slow decision making they won’t be happy here. I like to ensure the company culture is something that speaks to the candidates I am talking to.

Spreading the Word

When you can tell a great story, it also allows you to become someone who can communicate what your company does and how they do it. In many ways, this also makes you a marketer for your company, something I believe every great recruiter should be. The better you are at telling a story, the more you will connect with people. When you connect with people on a regular basis, the more it gives folks the warm fuzzies. And warm fuzzies have a way of spreading and before you know it, people are calling you!

Wrap Up

Being able to tell a great story is incredibly impactful and an excellent way to connect with people. People who tell great stories can communicate things directly and openly. They can bring to the surface the elements of a company or story or person that connects people to other people. Great storytellers sprinkle in personal stories and tell how their story is connected to the bigger story. And that’s what people enjoy – to feel connected.

Now go tell a great story.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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