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  • Writer's pictureFrancisco Mahfuz

E69. Tell A Story that Connects and Converts with Ravi Rajani

Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.

Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.

Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories that people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco. My guest today is raffia journey. After many years in sales and investment banking. Driving has made it his mission to help elite consultants craft and deliver the signature story in a way that connects and converts in he has been featured on ITV and BBC Radio. Rob is also technically one of my competitors as the LinkedIn story guy. And that's probably why he's been dodging me as a podcast guest for episode agents. I get it. He was trying to keep it from stealing his trade secrets without being rude. But today, he made a mistake. He messaged me and said, it's probably very last minute and I know how much you'd like to carefully prepare for your podcast. But any chance we can record this afternoon, so I called his bluff. And here we are, ladies and gentlemen, Ravi Reggiani. Ravi, welcome to the show.

Ravi Rajani 1:58

What's happenin, Brother, what's happening, brother? I don't mind. I loved I love the show. But it's really interesting when we talk about competition, man, because every time you know, LinkedIn is a huge place to try. And there's so many people doing the same thing at us. But I think you'll agree with this is that I once got taught this. And I've embodied this ever since which is every message needs a different messenger a do call yo Bakar told me that and I'm like, man, it's so important that while we live in today, man, it's good that we're talking about story. So let's go let's make it happen.

Francisco Mahfuz 2:29

Yeah, there is that other commercial effect or phenomenon, which is that, you know, if you if you want to buy so a lot of CDs have this and I'm sure London does that I remember from my time there. But if you want to buy a bespoke suit, when you go to Savile Row, which is the place where you buy a bespoke suit, and there's plenty of shops there that sell bespoke suits. What you don't do is try to if you want to open a shop that sells bespoke suits, you don't try and go as far away from Savile Row as possible, because you want people looking for bespoke suits to find you. So I think the idea that you would want that work, I hear people complaining, saying oh, you know, we shouldn't connect to you to whoever the similar things to you. Right? You shouldn't engage with them. And it's, it's not because and I've said this to people, like anyone who likes you and feel and resonates with you, is probably unlikely to resonate with me the same way, because we have very different styles. So I think it's crazy to have Nagarkot historic I stay away from them. Let's know that no one else talking about that

Ravi Rajani 3:35

exist. There is so it's such a for me, my perspective is it's such a scarcity mindset, when somebody operates in that way where they're never truly going to be able to show up as themselves. And also they're never going to be able to serve at a high level if they've got that mindset. So I'm with your brother, I'm with you on that.

Francisco Mahfuz 3:53

Right. So what did then school investment banking and coconuts have in common? The seconds go,

Ravi Rajani 4:00

dude, when I was growing up, so my father was born in Malawi, and my mom was born in Tanzania, they came here, when they were in their teens and growing up, man. They what I was watching when I was younger was my father being very successful in corporate very early age men. So for me growing up I was a well that's that was the standard route. That was all that was all I thought about. I never thought that the path of entrepreneurship would be one for me. So growing up, what was interesting is doing theatre, being on that route to having a career in finance. I remember that one very interesting thing happened from the ability of or suppose the experience of being on stages was I got very good at playing a character. I became very good at being somebody who I wasn't. And people other immunes in my community would be like, You know what, man? Dude, you're like a coconut. I'm what you mean. Like, bro, you're like, you're like brown in the outside but white on the inside. You know what I'm saying? That I was like, like an Oreo, you know, like an Oreo. And I was like, oh, okay, so and I suppose in the cancelled culture we live in today now that would be like, Oh my god, man, so offensive, but it was very interesting where what I was subconsciously doing and I can look back in hindsight now was, you know, craving acceptance and trying to really fit in taught me that hey, man play character, you know, play Go to do. And it led me to making some decisions in life, which I don't regret because, hey, it's all part of our story. But it led me to do things often, which won't always align with who I am, which then it attracts people opportunities and things which aren't aligned with you. They're aligned with the character that you're playing. So eventually, man, I didn't headed into the world of investment banking, like you mentioned in the intro quit that world in 2016. And here we are, brother, I'm with you. Now. That was very good. That was well beyond 30 seconds, though. Thank you, Coach. Thank you.

Francisco Mahfuz 5:55

For anyone who has no idea why I'm asking for this in 30 seconds. It's because this is this is the standard exercise you do with people where you ask them to tell you a story in 30 seconds, right? Yeah,

Ravi Rajani 6:09

yeah. So So one of the interesting things is with a lot of clients who I work with, oh, yeah, definitely. Right. That was longer than 30 years. One of the things that I work with them with, especially the entrepreneurs and consultants is when I say, oh, you know, rather go to a networking event, or you know, I'm speaking and pitching my business at a live event. And I'm asked a question, what do you do they go to the classic? Wow, you know, oh, man, like, you know, that thing, like, okay, we're in stealth mode, like, we're in stealth mode now. So it's like, what innovation, you know, like innovation. And they either do that, or they do the classic we help biotech leaders achieve. And it feels, you know, very, very inauthentic. So, you know, one of the things in exercise that I like to do with individuals to start with, before they even begin partnering with me on their journey of speaking and storytelling is seeing where they are in terms of their foundations with being able to tell an impactful story in 3060 90 seconds, whatever it could be.

Francisco Mahfuz 7:11

And I've seen you do that exercise with the pictures behind you. And for anyone who's not watching this on YouTube, which would be most people, because most of my audience listens to this, you have three pictures behind you. One is Mahatma Gandhi, the others, Muhammad Ali. And the other one is the third one is Bruce Lee. And I've seen you ask people, you know this this three blokes here, choose one and tell me a story about them. Why do you do it? I don't know if you always do that. But when you do that, why do you have them do a story? That is not a personal story? Why do you is that a particular reason why you choose that was just because you have the visual way right there.

Ravi Rajani 7:47

So three reasons. One is subconsciously, when you've entered this call with you and I, you've seen that in my background, so it's already registered. So for them, it's sometimes it's less of a shock a lot of the time. So number two is a borrowed story, ultimately, something that they've learned or something that they've seen or experienced about, you know, I remember my dad told me about the first time he watched Enter the Dragon, whatever, it often creates distance from Francesco Francisco, and Francisco telling this specific story about somebody else, it's less anxiety, they're less performance anxiety, they get out of their own head, and they start realising, hey, this isn't as bad as I thought. So there is there is that element to it. And number three is, well, it's just easier for me. Like, I don't have to go so you know, who's your favourite, you know, XYZ. I'm like, listen, there's three dudes behind me name them, they're like, Oh, by my bang. And normally, I've never had anybody who's not got an interesting story or impactful moment that they've experienced about Bruce, Gandhi and Muhammad. I say, Bruce, like, you know, I've been texting him or whatever, you know,

Francisco Mahfuz 8:54

your mate. Yes, exactly. No, I agree. And I one of the things that that happens a lot with with storytelling that I don't think it was an issue, when it was with more public speaking type of training is that it's content, right? Because if you ask someone to tell you a personal story, and you haven't told them to think about something before, or prepare something, some people just blank you know, I find that if you if you ask someone perhaps because they don't see understand what stories they don't quite get. What is it that you mean, when you say story, a lot of people think of a story that you always tell or something usually share with your friends. They wouldn't say just something that happened in your life. So I found that a lot of people really struggle to just come up with something off the cuff, if it's about them. If it's about an actor, if it's about a movie, it's about a story they heard seems to be easier for them. At least that's been my experience.

Ravi Rajani 9:52

Yeah, I agree, man. And going back to that point of sometimes a borrowed story. It creates less anxiety for the mind. It doesn't Create the fight or flight response when you're under that high pressure moment. And it allows you to be a bit more freer with the way that you're sharing that impactful moment. But yeah, being able to share you know, somebody said, like, if you said at the beginning, if I said to you now, hey, or if you said to me, Hey, tell me a story about Gandhi, or Bruce or whatever, there is a specific way, which can help relieve anxiety and also allow you to breed high levels of confidence with your audience. So for example, if I think about a wedding, I'm getting married in October, right, and if I tell my best man, I'm like, Hey, bro, listen, off the cuff. I'm like, tell us a story about you know what we did in 2017. It means thoughts in a way, and specific way and ends in a way which is congruent to the start of his story, the audience don't know the script, there is no script. And it allows you to also feel confident and comfortable in the moment because you know, he's better than anybody. So he's can start a certain way, and then they start going wrong. They just tailor off completely. So, for example, if my best man was like, Ah, man, I love to tell you about the time rather than I went to Vegas in 2007. And then ended it with. And that's the story about a time Robin, I went to Vegas in 2007. If he ends at that point, the audience don't know any different. And he comes across very refined.

Francisco Mahfuz 11:21

Yeah, I've noticed that that anxiety some people have, which is that they think the audience somehow can read their mind. And know when they, for example, they made the mistake is like, oh, no, I messed that up was like, nobody knows you messed that up. And even even the fact that you've messed it up is kind of debatable. But one of my friends has been doing this for a very long time, he always says like, the last thing you ever want to do, is to apologise for for anything really, particularly for something that is probably in your hand. Like no one knows, you've that that story wasn't told perfectly, or that presentation didn't go exactly as planned. So you know, just just plough through it, even if you have made a mistake, people are just gonna shrug it off, unless you brought their attention to it.

Ravi Rajani 12:10

Yeah, it's interesting, man. And I'd say I definitely subscribe to that belief to an extent. But if I think about, for example, the world of sales for a second, you know, what I used to teach the reps on the sales floor would be if there's an objection that the audio the person on the other end of the phone has, for example, this cost too much or I don't have time right now, by leading without objection, it completely like, you know, the movie eight mile where he just uses at the end, B rabbit uses everything that could be used against him, and just flips it into a, hey, you've got nothing else on me. It's sometimes it's a quite a nice way. I think for people who are communicating when delivering a presentation or delivering their story. If they do have that imperfect moment. It's such a beautiful opportunity to create a connection. So those imperfect moments, actually, if you own it, it's the most charismatic thing in the entire world versus the people who are like, Oh, okay, awkward, like you feel awkward for them watching them. And I it's never a good look, you know?

Francisco Mahfuz 13:15

Yeah, no, I don't think we're talking about different things. I'm fully as anyone who's ever read everything I wrote or watch my videos, I'm all for embracing the perfect moment. Yeah. All I mean, is, if you're telling a story, you're doing a presentation, and you you sort of just forgot a little bit, right, you skip the part of the presentation, some people stop and go, oh, sorry, I forgot something. And then, and then they backtrack, and they start trying to correct themselves in often, and I remember delivering speeches. And, you know, it was a converse speech competition, I actually won. And then afterwards, I'm like, he, I forgot a whole chunk of that speech. And we were like, seemed like it just flowed one thing into the other. So that's what I mean, it's, no one knows that it's imperfect, even if there is such a thing as perfect, other than you. So unless it's a massive thing, and all of a sudden, that makes no sense whatsoever, because you left it out, you know, just plough through. And often, as you know, more than I will, I think because you've done a lot, a lot of other types of performance on stage. There is some amount of vulnerability in you being nervous, are you making mistakes that endears you to the audience?

Ravi Rajani 14:28

Totally. Manny, I agree with you on that, especially on the first part of it. Now that you've put it like that. It's true, man, the audience don't know. They don't know any different. But it's like in life, we expect things to go in a specific way. You know, I think our mutual friend asked, he said this once and I was like, oh, man, I loved it. So listen, life isn't perfect. So your presentation shouldn't be either. Oh my god. So that's a dope way of putting it. But yeah, what you said what was the second thing you said? Oh, yeah, about performances? Yeah, man. It's it's really interesting, especially theatre. taught me that you know what you specifically mentioned there is somebody who's seeing it with fresh eyes for the first time in their life. I remember there will be times where I would forget a chunk, and I wouldn't mention it. And then I would just move on to the next bit. But I'd be like, Ah, man, I can't believe I missed that. Like, what a full, but they'll come back and be like, Man, that was that was amazing. I'm like, oh, yeah, because obviously is the first time you're seeing it. So it's really, really interesting point. And I think the self awareness and the deep work you've got to do as your, you know, inner work in yourself, to get to that point is very important as well, which I think one big thing that's missed in the world that we both operating.

Francisco Mahfuz 15:40

Yeah, I had a very interesting alternative. Look at this subject we're talking about when I, I fell into a YouTube hole, watching this channel from from the from London woman called bath roars, and she's a vocal coach. I don't resist her surname, but that's what she goes by bathrobe. And she is Scottish, his lovely accent. And then she she analyses, vocal performances from artists. So she was I think it was pro gems black, on the acoustic. And in a lot of the times, she's saying how he didn't quite hit the note. Or, or he, you know, he repeated a line out of place and something and at some point, you know, her his facial expressions and the way his voice sort of acknowledges that there was a mistake in she talks about it that how all of that adds up to the performance and the story he's telling, because the, the character in the song is going through a lot of turmoil. And then the performer reflects that to some way by not having a pitch perfect performance. And I thought it was really interesting, because I hadn't really thought of, to me was also well, it's the lyrics. And it's how well you sang it. I didn't quite get that if you kind of messing up or looking nervous, as a singer, that who actually that could actually add to the performance, but it's definitely true when you are on stage.

Ravi Rajani 17:04

Yeah, man. Definitely. And I think one of the interesting things, especially when you're delivering is if it's your story, as an entrepreneur, or if you're an executive salesperson, whatever it might be, is, is the parts of your story, which are vulnerable. If I said, Hey, and then I struggled with depression, you're like, Okay, that's just weird. Like, it completely just is a is a breeding ground for disconnection. But really embodying those nerves, and then showcasing the transformation through your voice, your eyes, everything from who you were at stage one versus who you are at the end is super important. And I can imagine as a singer, as well as it's just, that's a completely different ballgame. And if I would, if I could sing, I'd be on X Factor right now. It'd be like, I mean, queuing up to the auditions, definitely. But I'm a horrendous singer. But I that is a different skill and iron itself, man. So kudos to those individuals.

Francisco Mahfuz 17:58

Yeah, try, I cannot seem to save my life. And my four year old cannot seem to save her life. But she really thinks she can. I'm at that stage where you you need to be positive, encouraged whatever they want to do. But hopefully they'll do all day long. At the top of her lungs. Yeah. I need those skillful ways of saying, it's lovely. And you should definitely put your heart and soul into it. But can you not do it after seven o'clock in the afternoon?

Ravi Rajani 18:28

There that's like, the power of how honest Do you be in that moment? That's a dilemma. That is a real dilemma.

Francisco Mahfuz 18:34

Yeah. Well, listen, one of the reasons why I said yes to two during the show today, with very little prep are normally right, I do prepare a tonne of stuff. But this has been helped by by you by your approach to storytelling, because this is something I've battled with from time to time, which is that I think there's two things you can do with stories. And a story can be definitely a skill. I've called it a language sometimes. Yeah, but it's also too. And I'm at the moment sort of in the fence and doing a little bit of both things. But you have clearly gone down the to approach. So you're not, you're not talking to people about I'm going to make you a better. I'm going to teach you how to use stories in all these different areas. You have the one thing you're teaching people, which is their signature story, that convert, you know, but they're using presentations and podcasts and lives, that converts customers. So I thought I could dive deep and come up with a million different things that we could talk about. But yeah, you don't talk about a million things. So I thought it would be really being focused and say, Okay, well, let's dig into that thing. Yeah, cuz that that is what you do. Really, right. Or the other stuff is just really we can shoot the shit. But what you really focus on what you do for your clients is Is that so? Yeah, so the first thing I the first question I wanted to ask you there is what do you find is the one Seeing that your client that anyone trying to use a signature story in the in a sales environment? Actually, can you just define that first because you're going to define that better than I probably did. The second story,

Ravi Rajani 20:12

just story. Yeah, my perspective is is one repeatable story that you've carefully crafted for your business that presents your mission and expertise in a way that connects and convert. So that's how I look at it, Matt, in in the wild, like you said, right in the beginning of using it as the most powerful marketing tool for your business.

Francisco Mahfuz 20:34

And it's, I think it's interesting, because that differentiates it from, say, my approach, for example. So in my, in my course, I have I talk about three signature stories. So there's the origin, the origin story, which is not a sale stories, like you don't tell that to sell, you usually tell that to connect to people. And for them to know who you are in a much more interesting way, then, then then a bio or something like that. I talk about a health story, which a lot of people call a success story or a value story in the expert story. So the way I understand your signature story, in a sense, it's those three things in one.

Ravi Rajani 21:12

Yeah, you make a really good point, man. Because there is there's different types of signature stories, quote, unquote, that you could share throughout, you know, the buyers journey, like you said, you know, the help story, the origin story, all these good stuff. For me, I specifically focus I suppose, on the brand signature story, and I suppose specifically for consultants as well, where in that world that you and I operate in where people really do buy into people, you know, I've worked for companies before, where CEOs preferred to remain completely faceless. And it was because they were selling a product, which is highly transactional, in a way. And it had a different type of storytelling, the corporate stuff, which I think anyone resonates with corporate storytelling, and you know, the fluff.

Francisco Mahfuz 21:55

I think it's called crap storytelling, that really

Ravi Rajani 21:59

technical term. Yeah. It's, it's the classic stuff where, and I've been a victim of this before, you know, before I started on LinkedIn, back in March, I look at what I used to share, and it was absolute dribble, like, it was just it was so it was just completely different to how I show up on this platform now versus other platforms. But I digress. But you were

Francisco Mahfuz 22:22

a professional. Right? You were being professional.

Ravi Rajani 22:26

Exactly. Being professional fashion, jargon and the corporate voice. And yes, it's a good point, man. But to go back to the original question, yes. So specifically, I focus on the brand signature story.

Francisco Mahfuz 22:38

Okay, so what would you say is, I don't know if you can boil it down that much. But, but if there's one thing that that story needs to do, if you had to get one thing right in that story, perhaps not get the rest as right. What is the one thing that that story needs to do? Connect?

Ravi Rajani 22:57

Period Connect for me anyway, so for the way I think about it is you cannot convert without connection, but connection alone won't guarantee conversion. Now I had a mentor once that I work with last year actually a guy called Scott Oldfield a really good guy, and he spoke speaks about something called the SSF method. And he says, Well, your prospects are at different stages in their journey. You've got somebody who's on the sidewalk, okay of the SSF method who's like, Listen, man, I don't know who Ravin who Francisco is, I don't even know if I've got a problem. So you pitching me right now is gonna do nothing, it's just gonna feel icky. But then you've got the person who's in the slow lane, they're like, Okay, I know, I've got a problem. But I just don't know, if you have the right vehicle to help me solve it, I need to do a little bit more work here. And then the fast lane is, is I've got an itch, I need to scratch it. So you know, the connection part is important, because it will just simply organically nurture somebody to the next stage of the buyers journey wherever they are.

Francisco Mahfuz 23:57

So one important question about connection would be for me, connection to who exactly connection to you, as the as the service provider, as the brand person as the consultant, or connection to the people you help? Are both?

Ravi Rajani 24:15

Yeah, man, really good point. So three things, a connection to the individual themselves, because like you said at the beginning, if two companies have the same same service, or two consultants, or the same service, but the their unique story is what people are buying into people gonna be like, Man, I only want Francisco to solve my problem, because I really resonated with bang, whatever it could be. So the consultant themselves, then number two would be their mission and who they're actually solving that problem for. So a lot of the time consultants will share a story, but it hits the mark. It misses the mark rather, because they're trying to be liked by everybody versus trying to specifically talk to and solve a problem for one person. And then the final part, which is very, very important as well is their why and their mission and why they're doing what they're doing. Because somebody can sense you know, the internet marketers of the world where often gets a bad name. And you know, they're just doing it for the Lambo, like, you know, that's all they're doing it for right? So what is the why? What is the anchor behind it? I think those three things are super important.

Francisco Mahfuz 25:22

Next week, I'm having a guy on a podcast called candle Haven. And then if you're familiar with him, yeah. So for anyone who doesn't know, candle Haven has been around forever, he wrote stories mark, which is one of the most references reference books, when it comes to talking about the science of storytelling. And he was actually the guy in the lab telling stories, changing little bits of the stories of people were connected to MRI machines. And one of the things he said, I mean, it's kind of obvious, but I had never thought of it that way until I read his book is he said that one of the most impactful things you can do to change the audience's perception of a story is change the motive of the main character. So it says you can have two people trying to do the exact same thing. And I'm trying to, I don't know, teach my child, my child to swim, but you can be doing it because you're a loving parent, maybe because you lost someone for drowning, or because you're controlling asshole that refuses to have a child that doesn't swim very well, because you're a swimming champion. And all of a sudden, you've gone from, you know, a compassionate person that I want to stand behind to a dish that I don't want to have anything to do with. And that is the why really,

Ravi Rajani 26:36

exactly. It's exactly that way. I love what you said about the controlling parent, because we've all been there where you're playing sport as a kid, and you've got that parent going Jimmy run fast. And it's because they didn't make it as a sprinter when they were 12. And they're trying to channel their dreams into somebody who just wants to play chess. Right? So it's fascinating man. Exactly. It's the it's the motive is the anchor is the why and people really buy into that. What is the controlling idea behind what you're doing? It's super important.

Francisco Mahfuz 27:06

And we'll just say that, that you just said about how they're trying to, in a sense, speak to everyone and connect everyone. Is that the biggest mistake that you find that people make when they're trying to do any type of presentation that looks like a signature story?

Ravi Rajani 27:20

Yes. But I would say it actually stems from dude, in my opinion is, so many people are often scared of sharing certain stories that would serve their ideal client, because they're actually scared it would drive away their ideal client, a good example, I delivered this presentation, the CEO stands up and he says, Listen, man, I run a wealth management practice. Here's the truth. You speak about being vulnerable. But the truth is, is if I talk about the fact that I struggled with debt for 15 years, why would somebody want to hire me, and it was very interesting, we're actually that is the one story which is going to allow you to connect with your ideal client, but by not sharing it. And speaking about the fact that you worked at Cisco or like, you know, you know, Citibank or Bank of America for 20 years. No one cares. Now, it's a laundry list. No one cares. So it's interesting. It's, we omit the things that will make us more human in the eyes of our ideal client. And instead, we pick something general, which just goes in one ear and out the other.

Francisco Mahfuz 28:22

Well, it can be even worse than that, which is that if the clients you're talking about need help, because they struggle with something, you know, who you're more likely to ask for help. From, you know, that the person who says, never had that problem, but I'm sure we can figure it out doesn't sound that complicated. Or the person goes, Man, I struggled with that for years. And this is what I did that got me out of that hole is like, Okay, fine. Like one you sound like a nicer person. You're, you've been where I am now when you can help me out. Because if the people you're trying to serve have no problem that they could identify with whatever struggles you went through in the past, then yeah, you know, you're not gonna sell them anyway.

Ravi Rajani 29:04

100% 100% Man, it's so true. And I think we're often, like I said, scared to share the things that really humanises us and a great guy called Pat Quinn, talks about this concept of being extraordinary in the eyes of your ideal client is the ordinary is being human, but the extra is okay. How many people really climbed Mount Everest, if you're just sharing the extra, not many people can relate to that. But if you're just ordinary, then people like I'm just like you maybe I should be up there teaching. I don't know. So you need to be human, but also somebody a value who's maybe a few steps ahead of your ideal client and can solve a problem for them.

Francisco Mahfuz 29:45

Yeah, and the I think I've seen you talk about this as the Mount Everest problem. And we all use Everest as the example because it's such an obvious bad story for most people, which is that it's just not relatable, so whatever you're going to talk about it people can see themselves doing that, like now, then you're creating a barrier. That doesn't mean that they couldn't think I could be the type of person that climbs Everest. But if you're speaking to a whole bunch of people that are struggling with I don't know, obesity, maybe your client, you know, climbing Mount Everest is not the relatable story you're going to choose right at this moment. Because it's so far away from their reality that they're gonna go well, you know, you're the type of guy who runs Iron Man's like me. No, you're not, you're not my people. So yeah,

Ravi Rajani 30:30

exactly, exactly, man. And you mentioned a really good point, which is, if I'm speaking to a room of people who have a six pack and one an eight pack, the gap between where they are now and where they want to be is different to the gap of somebody who's severely obese, and needs to lose 50 pounds in whatever. So the type of story you will share will also connect to them differently. And going back to the beginning, if you don't know who you're speaking to your story, your pop culture references, the, you know, the way you show up will appeal to different people differently. So it's really subtle, but it can be the difference between success and failure. however you define that.

Francisco Mahfuz 31:08

And now you say that I realised that the market is sorely lacking. Someone tried to address people that have a two pack with the right lighting, and are looking for pack. I think that is an underserved audience. Someone should jump on that.

Ravi Rajani 31:26

Jump on that market for sure. But yeah, like you said that there's a lot of people in even like the fitness space man, like I think about the personal trainer that you know, I'm working with now the reason why I chose him was the results that he got for a friend of mine. And I was like, oh my god, wow. So he didn't actually win me over through his story. But he won me over through what you would call, I suppose the help story of how he supported somebody else. I saw the results. And as I do, I'm getting married in October, I need me some of that, you know, so yeah, all that pandemic.

Francisco Mahfuz 31:58

You might also suffer from this thing that that that I'm sure no one listening to this podcast ever suffered from? Which is that secretly, you think you are the fittest best looking of all your friends. And then one of the guys takes a shirt off and you go, Oh, man, that is screwing up my narrative. I need to get my personal trainer game on. This is not okay.

Ravi Rajani 32:24

Day, this is the level of delusion that I have. Right? So then he says to me, Okay, I've got a few pictures behind me Rev. Which one do you say you look like right now. And there was a guy who was jacked and cars I brought him like that guy. And he goes, Are you sure? I was like, yeah, he goes, just send me a pictures, you know, for your foundation level. I looked at it. And I was like, I'm an idiot. Like, I look nothing like that jagged cut or rip slow guys. So high levels of delusion. But hey, I see it as a good thing.

Francisco Mahfuz 32:52

We got we got into this conversation out of my my usual nonsense. But I had an experience with that, that I think a lot of people have, when it comes to their story and figuring out what parts of the story they should use, which is, you know, a while back a few years ago, I decided that I was going to get jacked, right? And and I figured I need to lose some weight, get rid of some of that body fat and stuff. And I started losing weight. And I normally run at around 81 kilos or something like that. And 160 pounds, give or take. And I went down all the way to about I don't know 7172. And I genuinely thought I looked great. And my friends kept saying me You look sick, what's wrong with you? I can, like you look so thin. You You look like you just recovering some from some very, you know, bad disease. You know, like now you don't are talking about and, you know, what do you eat, you barely know about the stuff. And then and then eventually I kind of realised that that was definitely the case. And then now when I look at pictures, I go, I was so thin like and I just could not see it. And I think we people use this expression. You're talking about why people struggle to know you make websites, but you can make your own website, you help people figure out their brand, but you can't figure out your own and you help people tell their story is really hard to figure out your own. Because we are which are close to it inside the bottle. Whatever the expression is, which leads me to an actual question, which is what process or processes do you find you get more success from when it comes to figuring out what parts of people's story should fit into that narrative. You know, what are their two or three questions that you find? Well, these ones usually get me what I want, or you know what, what's the approach?

Ravi Rajani 34:42

Yeah, good question, man. So I have a proprietary process called the sumo method. Now why Sumo is the key philosophy which underpins sumo wrestling is purification and what I stand for is I'm purifying the consultant's message to really impact one specific person. So if we look At the s py, it's solidifying your perfect audience avatar, which we've spoken about who you speaking to, then it's unlocking your unique story. So using what I call the story extraction process, is there a scissor specific series of these questions, which I will ask I think is about 49 of them, which are very, very structured in a way whereby, okay, if your ideal client wants to feel a specific way, and you want to evoke a specific feeling, which will translate into a thought, which will then provoke action, okay, if you want somebody to feel less anxiety and relief, well, you sharing a story about how you sold your company, or I don't know sold your company for a billion dollars might be right. But actually, only if you felt less anxiety and relief that Oh, my God, thank God, I'm not responsible for these people, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So what's interesting is figuring out how you want your ideal client to feel, think and act on your message. And then marrying up that with all of the different memories, successes and failures that you've had and finding a blend, which really will be impactful and resonate with your ideal client,

Francisco Mahfuz 36:15

rather, the M and the O stands for.

Ravi Rajani 36:17

So MSN, methodically crafting your brand's signature story, and then the O is oozing confidence as you share your message with the world. So then that's on the delivery part of things, which, you know, for example, a lot of people in our space is so great at like yourself. And so many people not only understand, okay, the story is one part of it. But you can have the greatest script in the world. You know, I remember us though sales reps, they'll be like, Hi, it's James here from. And then I guess the script is not a script, in my opinion, anyway, it's not the script. It's how you are embodying that script. The greatest things in the world have been scripted. I love you know, the different movies in Hollywood that I've watched a million times that limitless get, well guess what? It's scripted. So the delivery for me is very important. And I don't think enough people focus on that.

Francisco Mahfuz 37:03

Right. So first, I appreciate and respect the fact that you managed to get oozing into the accuracy. I was like, much respect. But yeah, I think it's cool that you mentioned limitless. And I know that this is a movie you like a lot. But I wonder if a lot of people get very disappointed when they realise that them getting good at this stuff, then being able to deliver their their signature story or get better at telling stories. It's not like limitless. It's not like you haven't taken a drug. And all of a sudden, within a few days, you were this magical being that's gonna say show that you've everything. You know, the reality is a lot less glamorous than that. And it requires a whole lot more hard work than that,

Ravi Rajani 37:54

bro. It's like think about if somebody asks you how you got started, the truth is you probably got started at like six years old, seven years old, you didn't even know it. It's like, you've been Mr. Miyagi throughout your entire life. And now it's come to fruition. And I think the thing is, is even when I take on a new skill, I'm like, Okay, if I do this, that'd be like golf. I took up goals with my dad, and I was like, I am so distinctly average, I wish I'd started like 1520 years ago would have been so much better. So I think we need to realise that it's a skill. There are no magic bullets. But the truth is, is that with every day, putting in the reps, going back to what we said about the six pack, you won't get the six pack. But if you just think about doing the reps with zero execution and zero accountability, well, there'll be no world for us. Because that's what we do. Right? Hmm,

Francisco Mahfuz 38:44

yes, 100% it's, I've used this this analogy before where where I consider story to be to be a language. So if you want to be very, very good at it, you need to immerse yourself in it, you need to practice it a lot. Having said that, like a language, if you learn it where we naff you can get directions, you can get a beer, or you can get yourself out of trouble. So a lot of people that's that's all you're trying to do, in some of some of them will stop there. They're like, Okay, I, this one gets me directions or veer out of trouble every time. I don't need anything else. And some people go actually, I'm not getting all the power out of this skill that I could get. I want to get better at it. So so there's that as well. I think you don't need the skill to use the tool. What is your need some amount of the skill to use the tool, but you can use that you have many more tools. If you actually develop the skill, pass the seven point this that's been that's been my experience, how much you find that in order to answer the questions. You're 49 questions. A lot of people have to spend a whole lot of time actually figuring out what the answers are. Because if you I think my my experience is if you ask people like what Do you want your ideal? Firstly don't know who their ideal clients are, you know, the perfect audience avatar or however you call it. They don't know that. Yeah. Like they never thought the quality when that person who I don't know, to feel like. So how much of those questions are there is that the first answer is I have absolutely no idea what this question means. And how much of that is just like, oh, actually, no, I actually know what you're asking me. Yeah, good point.

Ravi Rajani 40:27

Yeah. And I think the interesting thing is, is a lot of people, for example, will learn best when they're writing, if you asked me to write dude, like writing sales, copy, or just writing copy is way more painful than doing a video. For me, it's just, it takes me a lot longer. It's a skill that I'm constantly trying to get better at. But for me, I'll put up a video shoot a quick selfie video, and it's out, it's very different for me. So if I'm looking at myself looking at those questions, I was like, well, actually, I would just prefer to whack on a video and just roll through them, and then just have it transcribed. So I tell my clients, the same thing, you know, people will process information in a different way. So for a lot of them, for example, they'll go through it in video form some of them will want to write, it really depends. And also what I really, really promote is progress over perfection. So if in that moment, you can only argue nothing's coming to mind, that's totally cool. Move on, move on, move on to the next thing, move on to the next thing and come back. But before I actually do that, what I start teaching them and priming them for is finding stories in their day to day life. So for seven days, what they have to do is at the end of every day, so 9pm, they say okay, what was a specific moment, which happened with 1440 minutes in a day, there are moments, there are stories everywhere, but we're like our man, going back to the Everest effect, this isn't worthy, this isn't good enough. So teaching them that stories are all around us to then get them ready for finding these moments throughout their life. So going back micro and then looking at the macro, so it depends on the person, man, you know, really depends on the person, which is a really cop out answer, but it's just a truth.

Francisco Mahfuz 42:06

Now, I don't think there's a one size fits all for any of these things. And this process, which they tell them to do for seven days is something I've now been doing for 82 days, which is I got this. I got this from a storyteller that I always talk about called Matthew Dex. And he calls this homework for life. Which in he says, there's there's amazing things that happen is once you get into the habit of looking for that moment, you start noticing as it happens, not at the end of the day, you go oh, this is it. This is my story for like, if I had to tell a story, this would be it for today. It jogs the memory and stories from your past sort of come rushing back, that you hadn't thought about this in years. And all of a sudden it's back. And there's all this really cool thing, which I haven't tried it yet. But I believe him when he says is that because of the way we remember stories, if a year down the line, you look at your diary or spreadsheet or whatever you're using to record these things. And you look at those three, four words that are meant to jog your memory about a story, you remember that day? So you go oh, yeah, that's that day, we did this. And we did that. And which is something I think a lot of people get with pictures. But But it's different angle to approach it. In, when you're picking those moments to go into the story. Do you find that I think most people naturally would want to use something that is professional, and not something that is personal? Do you find that there is one type or other that that works better? Or is just very much depends on on the client and their experiences?

Ravi Rajani 43:40

Yeah, it's a good question. I think it depends on two things. One is, who they're serving, really who they're serving. And two is is where they're at in their journey of feeling comfortable to share their story, because I think in the world we live in man, everyone thinks authenticity is I need to show you my dog, I need to show you me on the toilet, I need to show you everything. But the way I like to view it is is being open with the parts of your life that you are willing to show. But being 100% open about those parts. So you get to select those. It's not as if you have to show everything. And I think a lot of the time, people are just looking for permission. They're looking for somebody to go you know what, I love this, I really feel like this could resonate, I want you to go test it. And then the truth is go deliver it 50 times go Brad said 50 times and you'll realise you know what, that didn't resonate. But we need data. More than anything. We need data. And I think people fear they get stuck in this thought loop where they think, okay, I need to think about this more, because then that will give me the clarity. I need to know if this actually works when realistically, the only way to get more clarity is action, putting that story out there in front of your ideal client and getting the feedback. Do people exchange their stories that they talk about the specific moment or are they like, Yeah, you were you were really confident Yeah, well done. You're the man. But you know, that's that's really doesn't doesn't pay the bills that doesn't create the impact that we want, it doesn't really move the needle forward in the long run.

Francisco Mahfuz 45:10

You know, there's something else I've seen you talk about when you when you shared a framework for presentations, which I think was a punch line story. analogy. Yeah. And I think that analogy is the is an interesting part there. Because in many ways, the story can be the analogy. So if the if you're using a personal story, you almost certainly trying to use it either to show something about yourself to the audience, or as an analogy. Now, the analogy that sometimes can feel very forced, and this is what I think people, people that are not very good at storytelling do all the time. It's like, you know, I was trying to fix my sink, and I didn't, I didn't know how to do it. So I called the plumber. See, it's very important to call for help when you don't know what you're doing. You know, I mean, you can, you can probably get a good story out of that if you flooded the house. But most people won't, they will just make this type of little analogy. And they think they're using the power of storytelling where it's kind of, you know, shoehorned into to give a little bit of colour. But I think that that's, that's the thing that people struggle with. Sometimes, you know, if you are trying to show yourself as a successful consultant and the type of people you help, it's, I think it's difficult that none of your story talks about some of the stuff you do professionally, or the people that you help, he will look strange, if it has nothing professional. In it, it

Ravi Rajani 46:35

totally, totally is in, for example, if the start of your story is about a moment that happened when you were a child, which made you realise that knowledge is power, for example, and that realistically, the execution is king or queen, or whatever it is. And then you talk about how you know, when you first landed in Bank of America, you were getting all of this knowledge, you were struggling with info BC you were lacking execution, it ties up to what you're doing professionally, but also just telling the story, for story sake, and it simply not adding any business value is a problem, because then they're like, Well, what's your unique mechanism to solve my problem? One, two is is do I even believe you can solve it? And three, where's your credibility stock? Throughout that story, people should be bought into you, your product and your company, really? And that should be like rising throughout your story and presentation. And yeah, if you don't add business value in the world we live in today. It's just a campfire story.

Francisco Mahfuz 47:31

Yes. And it's why I don't think I would ever advise any of my clients to do some of the stuff I do on social media, like share stories when I was in the middle of gay pride in Madrid. That works

Ravi Rajani 47:42

so well. This is the beautiful thing, man is like, for example, your personality and the way you show up is so bad. It's It's so unique to you. Like you can't teach somebody how to be them. Well, you I suppose you can't teach them but you can guide them. And that's the thing that trumps anything right? You know, they're better than anybody. Like, I look at Kevin Hart. I love him. And I'm like, man, like, Forget technicalities. It just, I'm, I'm a you're a magnet, bro. And he's like, for example, when people really like yourself with the way you tell stories, the way you show up on video, the way you show up in different parts of when you're writing text, telling somebody to do exactly that, for them is like the worst advice. It's like that might not work for you.

Francisco Mahfuz 48:26

Yeah, no, it's and I don't think anybody else should I shouldn't try and create another Francisco I think it's been enough. But it's it's just not you know, it. It just said it's a purification process process. So there's the there is that thing I forgot to reorder or whatever it's like how do you scope there as well I just get rid of everything that is not the sculpture. And I think often the process we will find in themselves and finding their voice in business or in social media, whatever is what is it that is really you any might not just that but you might in my case might be the sense of humour might be the specific types of stories that I share. Once you get rid of everything else that's not there like no one cares. If I'm I don't know love spreadsheets, that there's not really relevant for for the person I'm showing up as on social media. So get rid of everything that is not really you. And you'll get a boiled our essence of what it is you and you can add all the other stuff, but people should recognise you for you, like piece of text or video that you put out and I record the voice store that I've listened to was like that. That's probably Rafi because I'm getting the changes of voice. He's doing his voices. He's probably moving around a bit theatrically there, that will never be me. And I think that's kind of the important thing is you should be you and no one should confuse you for anyone else. And if you've gotten there, I think you've kind of gotten your story sorted out.

Ravi Rajani 49:48

Yeah, I think Yeah, dude, like, just like perfectly put. It's just the Yukon. You can't just beat somebody being comfortable in their own skin. Society spirit. You just can't beat that

Francisco Mahfuz 49:59

true Right, so anyone wants to learn more about the stuff you're doing? Obviously, they can connect with you on LinkedIn, that will be the most obvious place. Is there anyone anywhere else you want people to have to check you out?

Ravi Rajani 50:11

Yeah, man, you know what LinkedIn is the main place for our Hangout right now. So yes, send me a connection request, obviously, give Francisco a like and a comment on this on this specific post and tell us what you found the most impactful and yeah, just connect with me. And yeah, look forward to seeing how I could support you if I can. But moreover, hearing your story in less than 30 seconds,

Francisco Mahfuz 50:34

in less than 30 seconds. Yes. Perfect. Man. I'm glad we did this. I don't think the lack of preparation will particularly show perhaps we wouldn't have gotten to some of the nonsense we got to but you know, that is really what we're here for stories. Just excuse. Exactly, Vogue. Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time.

I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find the show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars. I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find us. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story

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