Sell With a Story


From a very young age, we’re introduced to storytelling.    We’re told stories by our parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults around us.

Stories are a great way to communicate ideas, to pass on history and traditions and even teach lessons.  Many of these stories have lessons contained in them. 

Whether it’s learning not to tell lies with Aesop’s Fable of ‘the boy who cried Wolf’, or learning about helping others with the bible story of 'the good Samaritan’.

These lessons could be taught without stories, but they wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

Stories are also used in marketing.  Many TV adverts are short, self-contained stories.  Tesco could tell you have great their steaks are, but their recent advert of their ‘food love stories’ are much more effective and memorable.

As bookkeepers, we can also use stories in our marketing. 

I could tell you how we can save you money, or I can tell you the story of Jane and Kevin.  Jane runs a childcare nursery which her husband, Kevin owns as a sole trader.  Jane works as a manager in the nursery but is not an employee.  Kevin, on the other hand, doesn’t involve himself in the day to day management.

The nursery makes such a profit that he is paying tax at a higher rate while Jane lets her personal allowance go to waste.  We put Jane on PAYE and suddenly, they saved £7,500 in tax between them.

I can tell you that we can help you recover income, or I can tell you the story of Pete.  Pete is a plumber who works for a few housebuilders. 

Pete’s accounts aren’t as organised as they could be.  He forgot about £10,000 worth of retention he was owed.  When he remembered, he took some advice and was told that because he had left it so long his chance of recovering it was slim.

Pete told me about it and I suggested we contact the housebuilders and try to sort it out.  6 weeks later Pete had recovered the full £10,000.

I could tell you that we can make sure you’re on the right VAT scheme, or I could tell you about Sam.  Sam owns a small shop and is on the standard accrual VAT scheme.  On working with Sam to calculate her numbers we moved her to a flat rate scheme.

Same now saves £4,000 a year on her VAT bills.

Hopefully, you can see how these stories are a more effective way of getting your message across.  Whether it’s on your website, videos or at a networking event.  Your audience will now be considering whether they or someone they know are like Jane and Kevin, or Pete, or Sam.

Most bookkeepers will have a bag of stories about clients they’ve helped, but rarely share them with their prospects.  Instead, they opt for the standard “I’m a bookkeeper.  I help with your VAT” or something equally dry.

Think about your clients and how you’ve helped them.  Make a list.  What did their life and business look like before you helped them?  How did you help them?  What was the result?  What does their life and business look like now?


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