In story-telling, a key principle is showing, not telling.
In other words, rather than say someone was nervous, you would want to convey, via telling details, behaviors that illustrated the nervousness.
When it comes to offering a glimpse at my business value, I like to take the same approach: show it, don’t just talk about it. That’s why, typically, I prepare at least 10 tailored questions before meeting with a prospective client–and supply it to him/her/them before we meet.
By doing this advance work, I heighten the likelihood of a mutually beneficial initial meeting. This proactive bent has also given me an edge over competitors, many of whom, I am sure, focus on telling their own wonderful story rather than drawing out the prospective client.
On a related note, yesterday I invested about a half-hour to take it upon myself to edit a top business consultant’s biography.
We know each other, and are LinkedIn with one another. But we’re not especially close and he is not very familiar with my work. So I figured the best way to bring him up to speed was by simply doing something constructive, rather than merely talking about it.
Who knows where it will lead, but at least one thing is certain: his new bio, should he implement even only a few of my suggestions, will be markedly more compelling than the one that’s been online for more than a year now.
What about you? What kind of service can you provide to someone else today–without asking, or even expecting, anything in return? What can you show someone?