I caught a local radio interview with Sunday Times food and television critic, features and travel writer, AA Gill whilst driving down the M40. A writer of much renown, he really came alive when putting forward his ideas on what a review should contain. He railed against the typical outcome with the following scenario:
When you ask someone that’s just left a cinema how the film was, and they say ‘great’, what invariably happens is that upon further digging, you receive a summary of the plot.
To him this is absolutely not what a quality review should major on. He talked in terms of portraying the emotions you experience during the item under review. Sure, facts are important (like is the restaurant French or Italian, is the flick sci-fi or rom-com) but getting across how it makes you feel is, to him where you should be headed.
Sales stories are so similar aren’t they? Yes, you must have a ‘fact’, preferably a cold, hard financial amount depicting benefit. But how you get to such a punchline is vital. Do you merely describe the steps as an ineffective narrative? Or are you carrying the prospect along a deal-making journey of empathy, discovery and attraction?