The Business StoryTeller

Some time back, I had the privilege of meeting Krishna Avva, the self-styled “Business Storyteller.” At some point, Krishna realized that he had the unique ability to take reams of that drab marketing spiel and turn it into something that really reaches out and grabs you. He accomplishes this by telling your story. I asked Krishna to put together a little story for The Pothole, partially to illustrate what he does for a living, and partially because I get sick of writing all of these blog posts. :)

Back in March, Krishna contacted me through my blog here. We ended up meeting in person at one of the TechLINKS Mixin’ and Minglin’ events (hint, hint!). As I would do with any new person that I meet at a networking event, I asked him “so what do you do?” He replied “I tell stories.” I then served up the logical follow-up question, “what kind of stories do you tell?”

Krishna smiled. “I tell your stories.”

You see, a few years back, Krishna and his family were on vacation. While merrily driving along toward their vacation spot, and in a bizarre twist of fate, all of the media devices in the car broke down. No games, DVDs, or music! Now with nothing to serve as a buffer between his kids and a viable insanity plea, he had no choice but to improvise. To make up for the lack of distractions, Krishna started telling “stories” to his kids. By his own admission, he just started making them up. The stories lasted for several hours! By the time the Avva family reached their destination, Krishna’s professional future was clear. It was time to move on from being a software project management professional to helping others by telling their stories.

So sit back, take a read through his story, and at the end, when you realize that your company’s marketing copy stinks, I invite you to contact him! We are planning on using him in the near future for our stuff, and I would highly encourage everyone out there in Pothole-land to give him a look.

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Do you have a problem selling your new product? … Maybe your ad copy isn’t a grabber.

What’s the difference between an ad that technically tells you everything you need to know about the product and one that grabs you by the throat and says “I GOTTA HAVE ONE OF THESE!”

It’s all about putting words on paper (or screen) the reader/prospect wants to read. Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody is interested things that appeal to their needs, whether it’s to improve office efficiency, make them look smart to their boss or look sexy. Let’s read a story that shows the difference. Of course the example is exaggerated, but that helps to show the difference between boring, typical ads and one that gets your product or service noticed (and bought).

The Story

Two entrepreneurs, Jack and Bob, sat at the bar before the trade show.

“You know, we launched this huge advertising blitz six months ago for our new high density gizmo and yet nobody knows about us or it.” laments Bob.

“What’d you do for your advertising?” asks Jack.

“We put an ad in all the trade journals right at the beginning and we sponsored a couple of events around town. I even see our ad posted on engineer’s cubicle walls when I visit prospects because of the woman in a bikini pointing to the gizmo in the ad.”

“Let me see your ad.”

Buy our SuperX gizmo. It provides all your office data storage needs with up to 5 Terabytes of storage capacity. SuperX provides the required data back within 1.28 µsec and is reliable 99.98% of the time. SuperX provides at least 3 months of uninterrupted service before needing a short 15 minute refresh period that can be scheduled at any time of the day. It will run efficiently with any OS released since 2001.


SuperX is 15 inches high, 12.32 inches deep and 6.786 inches wide. It weighs only 10 lbs. It comes in 3 colors, black, tan and grey, to match any office décor.


Our prototype customers liked it a lot. Please buy several soon.


Jack looks up in surprise. “Hmm. This really doesn’t tell me anything about why I want to buy it. It talks a lot about its features, why you want to sell it and how it looks. I need to know why this gizmo will make my work life better and why I would buy it from you. Can I take a stab at this to be more useful to your potential prospects?”

“Sure, I’m willing to do anything now. Otherwise, we’ll have to fold up shop soon.”

The next morning at breakfast, Jack pulls out a single sheet of paper. “Here, take a look at this and let me know what you think. This is the type of ad that grabs my attention.”

Bob studies the content:

How can 5 Terabytes help you sleep better at night?
How many times have you had an employee walk up to you and say, “My PC just crashed. I lost all my data. The big presentation is in 3 hours and I can’t recreate it by then. I haven’t backed up my PC in 6 months.”


After you get over your initial desire to strangle this person, you learn the rest of the staff hasn’t backed up their systems either, because the process is too slow or complex.


You also recall the conversation with your Director last week about the limited budget you have for the rest of the year, but you can’t afford to allow work to stop completely for a crashed PC. Worse, you may lose customers if you can’t respond to them quickly.


How can a manager responsible for core products in their company operate effectively, without key support tools? The answer is not very well.


What you need is a tool that will take care of all your company data in a way that is seamless to your employees, secure in its storage, reliable and won’t break the bank.


Imagine your Director’s delight, when you walk in presenting a system that ensures your employees have confidence in, that makes their job easy and ensures they always have their information, securely stored.


When you call us, we learn your specific data storage needs and adjust the system for your environment. When we bring the system in, we will make sure all your IT people are trained in its support, or if you want, we will provide a support plan that meets your budget.


After the system is incorporated into your network, we invite all your employees to lunch to learn about the easy set-up for their PC to automatically and privately store their important files every night after they go home. And then of course, we’ll show them how to access their material at any time, in case their PC crashes or their material gets corrupted by malicious software. Only they and their immediate manager will be able to access the material.


Within a month, you look like the company savior, because no key information is lost and your employees are far more effective.


“We usually had anywhere from 1-3 lost work days per month, because of various employees losing their data and having to recreate it. With SuperX, we were able to cut that loss out and keep functioning smoothly.”
Dave G.
IT Manager at Company X


For important technical specifications about the system, a handy cut-out card is provided in the bottom left corner of this advertisement.


We provide the system for a free initial 30 day trial period. If you are not completely satisfied with the performance and ease of use, we will take it out of your environment, free of charge. If you call us before July 15th, the lunch to train your employees is on us.


Bob finishes reviewing the sheet. “Will this really improve our sales?”

Jack responds, “Yes, for the following reasons:

By the way, pictures of bikini clad girls will not sell your products. In fact pictures don’t really add anything to the ad, unless they help to understand the emotion you are driving for and the product you are selling.”

Bob folds the paper and puts it in his pocket. “Thanks a ton Jack. I’ll pass this along to my marketing team when I get back. This should lead us to profitability soon.”

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krishna.gifKrishna Avva uses stories to tell your prospects why your products are the ones they absolutely must have. His writing reflects 20+ years of experience in telecommunications and custom solutions development as a software development manager, project manager and product manager. His stories take complex technologies and explains them so his 3rd grader can understand. It all started 4 years ago when all available media devices broke down in his car with hours left in the trip. Call him up at 678-935-7343 (or visit his web site) to learn how this life changing experience with 2 bored daughters, ages 5 and 9 at that time, turned into a new career to help you grow your business.

Cheers.

2 Comments

  1. Simply fantastic. What a great way to look at marketing.

    BTW, this makes me think of the video that shows what would happen if Microsoft created the iPod packaging – we’re going to clobber you with technical information and lists upon lists of features. Apple’s packaging, by contrast, is very simple because the story of Apple is great in itself and the images they do use do 2 things:
    1) Tell a story in the picture – a thousand words and all that.
    2) Allow the person to customize the story to fit their personal experience which creates a personal connection to the product.

    You can also take these

  2. Oops – the rest of my comment. You can also apply to this user created content (MySpace, YouTube, etc) and mashups.

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