Facts are important as they are often necessary to enable people to come to logical and correct decisions. However facts on there own are often not enough to lead to either understanding or action. Stories with some emotional element are much more to likely to lead to both understanding and action.

The following is a part of a story that could be useful to a coach who was struggling to find clients.

A colleague of mine, Joseph, who ran a small coaching company, became increasing nervous and depressed as he found he was losing clients. Many of his clients were caught in the trap of seeing their incomes fall while their expenses were rising and claimed that they were no longer able to afford the cost of a coach.

As a coach he was becoming both nervous and irritable much of the time, which was further alienating the clients he had left and making it increasingly difficult to attract new clients.

He was talking to Steve, one of oldest friends. Steve confided that six months before he too was in difficult and similar situation and was actually about to give up coaching. However Steve decided to talk to one of his clients who was a business development expert. This client was sympathetic with Steve situation and gave him some free coaching.

He reminded Steve to go back to basics and review who his ideal clients were and where he was likely to find them. He also reminded Steve there were only a small number ways of getting new clients. He was to choose the best for his skills and to break the process down into a series of very small steps, and to focus the current step in the process. He asked Steve to review progress with him on a weekly basis.

Steve started to really enjoy this approach to getting new business and found his enthusiasm increased dramatically. Three months later his business was the most successful it had ever been.

On hearing this story Joseph decided to talk to three of his own clients and ask them if they were prepared to share their experiences of attracting clients. He was already feeling better.

The above story has a number of elements that would make it useful to use with coaching clients that needed to increase their revenues.

1) The story is based on a real situation

2) Its easy to refine the story so the emotions relate to those actually felt by the client. Thus making it easy for the client to be in rapport with the characters in the story

3) The story contains the starting points for a business development strategy, which the client can build on. The story communicates useful information

4) The story contains some simple, useful and positive suggestions, that the client could action immediately.

The important advantage in telling stories is that we are not telling a client to do anything. We are simply giving an example of what someone in the clients situation did to achieve results. There is no pressure on the client. It’s up to him to take what ever he wants from the story.

Stories often bypass our logical thinking and appeal to our emotions and our intuition. They can be very helpful if we ever get temporarily stuck.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Beale is one of the UK's leading NLP Trainers and Business Coaches. For further details see Michael's website on NLP Training and his NLP Forum. He also provides a business telephone coaching service.