Dave’s Fables: Historical Narratives – The Power of Using History to Achieve Your Goals

historyAmerican and world history classes during my high school years seemed like such a waste of time.  As I look back, my teen years were all about living for the moment and on rare occasion I pondered briefly what the future might hold. But never did the past seem to be part of my future.

Little did I realize! How things come to be is not only fascinating but a great way to create value and interest. If you are in a position where new revenues are an important part of strategic planning, use the past to make the future.

For years I’ve watched, listened and discussed with many audiences in many industries the power of establishing a historical relationship with customers during the marketing, sales, and service processes.  There’s no doubt that organizations have benefited greatly by discussing and creating a buzz about the past thus increasing excitement for the customer. History has a very emotional effect on the human experience.

Last week I attended my nephew’s wedding in Boulder, CO. As I waited for the traffic light to change at a crosswalk, I heard a couple discussing a drinking fountain they had just seen at the Hotel Boulderado that gets its water from the Arapaho Glacier on the east slope of the Continental Divide. Guess where I had lunch? …I had to get me a sip of glacier water! This week I had the pleasure of listening to Dan O’Connell, the President/CEO of Visit Fort Wayne, open a DMAI conference by talking about the history of the community. He instantly had everyone’s full attention.  Value – Value – Value!

Yes, it’s easier if you are a 145-year-old resort like Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY, that’s boiling over with fascinating architecture and eye-popping working examples of days gone by, all beautifully melded together with today’s technology. 

If your business is relatively new, it’s important to remember that you are making “your history” every day! My son has a landscaping business that has been in business for six years. He found success and has become the landscaper of choice for many because he has successfully incorporated (in marketing and value statements) not just what they do (like his competitors) but how over their short company history – what’s changed and more importantly what not.

If I had to name this value-added sales and marketing process I’d call it “Historical Narratives” It’s an easy and inexpensive way to get more than your fair share of new revenues. Try it – let me know how it goes!

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