THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY you have to tell a story is the moment you introduce yourself to a potential new customer. It could be in an email you’re sending or a phone call you’re placing for the purpose of introducing yourself. Or it could be face to face at a networking event as you’re exchanging business cards with someone who may or may not turn out to be a prospect. Whatever the venue, the question you’re answering is likely the same: “So, what do you do for a living?”

The way you answer that question will determine how much interest your prospects have in listening to anything else you have to say before deleting the ...

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