What’s your story

Life has a funny way of proving to you how it all works. Have you ever thought, “that was a weird conversation” after striking up a discussion with a complete stranger? Well, if you think about it a bit deeper then you will analyse the most prevalent parts of the discussion and find that you both had some similarities. That is because everyone has a story, every brand / logo has a story (even though they can be obvious), everything on the planet has a story. How did it come to exist, where has it travelled, why does it look the way it does, and when we look at things and meet people, we don’t take the time to stop and think how does this moment fit into my journey of life.

So, here is a something for you to think about.

“How much do you know about your customers?”

Think of your best customers, how much do you know about them, have they ever shared something with you about them that just simply blew you away. Probably not, and let’s make it clear I am not about to recommend you pry or stalk your customers, but what I do suggest is next time you are with a customer spend a few extra minutes (and that is all it takes) to ask some interesting questions about them, they may just blow you away.

Let me tell you about my “blown away moment”. I was attending as a VIP guest a major sporting event in one of the most beautiful villages I have visited, in southern Norway right in the middle of a European summer. I had not long landed after a long and enduring flight from Sydney, which I guess was something like 26 hours of flight time, when I wandered down to the event area to meet some of the teams and managers. After a short meet and greet I decided to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful fjord village and stalled though the main centre to find a quaint and unique cafe. It was more like a whole in the wall that served coffee roadside, an experience within itself. I ordered and then took a seat on an old iron chair by the cobblestone laneway. Not long after my Cappuccino arrived, I voice from me proudly asked, Hi Paul, enjoying Norway”, much to my surprise, (as I didn’t know anyone in this village accept some guys I had just met at the pit paddock), turned around rapidly to see one of the Team guys I had met not more than 30 minutes prior. I asked him to join me (I was by myself anyway) and shouted him a coffee. He then went onto tell me about his passion motorsport and racing along with some brief snippets of his experiences around the world during the sport, a very interesting and enlightening discussion, something I had never thought I would have known except for me nagging in his presence and listening intently. He later left me and went on his way back to the hotel. The next morning, I met him again in the breakfast room of the hotel, and much to my surprise he was one of the team owners of a multimillion-dollar racing team and significant member of a royal middle eastern family. Now that blew me away. BTW he was a great guy.

For those who know me, I have plenty of the types of stories from my time consulting across the world. Each one of these stories has not enlightened me but have created great relationships right across the world. But more than anything else, it has allowed me to understand people more and realise that everyone has a story however strange, interesting or ordinary, every story is worth listening to. So, all I can say is, “What’s your story” a question you should ask more.