TO:         Businesses I used to buy from

FROM:  Your former customer, a mom of teens who does our family’s shopping

RE:          Show And Tell Me Your Story!

I’m writing you a business memo because you don’t answer my Facebook questions, you ignore my tweets, and I hung up half an hour after I entered the voice mail hell you call customer service.

I still want to use your product, but what you sell looks as generic as your competitors’. If they look the same, I go for the cheapest price. Convince me your product and brand has more value.

If you read this and want my business back, listen to me.

Times are tough – how can you help me make sure I get the best value for my family? Do you have programs where I can help you give back to my local community?

One other thing – tell me your story. Who are you? What do you believe? Who are your employees? How do you give back to others? How do you care for our planet so it’s still green when my grandkids are born?

When my kids were little, I taught them to tell stories, to show and tell. The steps could help you too:

1.       Bring a good visual: show me something interesting.

2.       Keep it short: tell me, but not too much. Always leave me wanting more.

3.       Add a story: you’re the only person on the planet with YOUR story. Share it. Practice telling part of it each day so you tell it better when it counts. Real is better than smooth.

4.       Make me laugh or sing: this will help me remember you better later.

5.       Ask for feedback and respond: ask if there are questions. If there are, answer them. If there are no questions, ask some of your own and begin a conversation with me.

6.       Thank me.

Please listen to me. Share your story with me so I know why you’re different and why I should care about you.

If you change and convince me to buy your product again, I’ll share your story with my friends. In person. On Facebook. On Twitter. From my phone to the other side of the planet.

Help me help you succeed at show and tell.

By Mary Biever, a corporate computer trainer in Evansville, Indiana.