Sell Your Company for a Higher Price Using Business Storytelling
“How an owner feels after the sale is related to the alignment of values and the way new ownership cares for what’s been built,” says Corey Blake, CEO and founder of Round Table Companies. As a master storyteller and dynamic coach who teaches individuals how to identify their own heroic journeys, Blake says the same excavation is important for businesses. Using business storytelling to “magnetically attract an aligned buyer,” is a worthwhile process.
“When storytelling is done well, it creates a gravitational pull that attracts the kind of buyers who look at the organization and say: ‘Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for years,’” says Blake. This alone may be more important than the overall price point of sale of the business. It makes the business more valuable to the prospective buyer.
Crafting a Company Hero’s Journey Story
Blake goes on to highlight the meticulous steps needed to craft a company hero’s journey through business storytelling. While leaning heavily on Joseph Campbell’s breakdown of the hero’s journey, business owners can begin to see the overall story arch of their business story and the transformative changes that have occurred along the way.
The first step is to understand a company’s story arc. Explore ways the company learned from its mistakes or changed as a result of its failures. The Ordeal is a major component of the hero’s journey, thus the business ordeals are a great place to explore when crafting your company hero’s journey story. Blake suggests three key questions that serve as prompts as business owners launch into this discovery period of business storytelling.
“It’s helpful to think of this process as a workout,” says Blake. “The more they practice, the more confidence an owner builds in sharing the vulnerable parts of the story. ”
The next step is to revise the story to perfection. “After crafting and shaping a version of their hero’s journey story, owners want to revise and trim that story to something that can be presented in about ten minutes,” Blake says. “Putting a frame around such a huge story isn’t easy, but it is important.”
The third step is to practice telling the company story. Blake suggests business leaders determine who they feel safest sharing their last version of their story with and practice their storytelling. After sharing, leaders can ask their trusted listener what part of the story punched them in the gut or surprised or confused them. Using that feedback, the leader can revisit the story and edit once more.
“It’s helpful to think of this process as a workout,” says Blake. “The more they practice, the more confidence an owner builds in sharing the vulnerable parts of the story.”