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One of the most common business stories is that of the satisfied customer, and for many companies, their Yelp or other online review pages offer a rich source of such stories.

But what about businesses that don’t sell directly to consumers? I’m often asked if the storytelling rules for business-to-business enterprises are different than those for business-to-consumer companies.

There’s no doubt it’s a little more challenging. A brand that makes oatmeal or diapers or soup is going to have no shortage of heartwarming characters and storylines to tap. On the other hand, a company that makes machine parts for another company’s machines is going to have a tougher time.

But as for the “rules,” B2B storytelling is no different from B2C. You need character, conflict, resolution, and all the other elements of great storytelling.

And that includes emotion. I’ve seen “experts” online proclaim that price is the only consideration in a B2B transaction and that emotion doesn’t even enter into the equation. Which is ridiculous. Businesses that sell to other businesses are still run and staffed by people (for the moment) and their customers are people too.

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