If there’s one thing that we try to teach every new employee, it’s that stories SELL. The simple but relatable stories are an insanely effective tool that makes selling your products and services easier than ever. Chances are, if you aren’t yet using them in your business, one of your competitors is. This is exactly why we’ve decided to share both our own experience with sales storytelling and science backed facts on the matter.
How to be a master of “story selling” and increase your sales
I once read somewhere an interesting idea, that a good salesperson knows how to talk to clients, while a great sales salesperson knows how to tell stories that make sense to the potential customer.
Why should you use stories in your sales process?
Remember when we were kids we always used to ask our family to tell us stories and that’s because they seem to have a powerful effect over our brains. This effect has been researched and it was found that stories that are highly engaging and respect a certain format, that includes a climax and a denouement, induce a powerful empathic responses by triggering the release of Oxytocin chemical, also known as the trust hormone.
Metaphors help our brains experience the story we’re being told, we can relate to it and make it our own… that is… if it’s relevant to us.
And that takes us to an important details: understanding what the other person is doing and cares about. You must avoid at all costs to waste one’s time.
What are the main advantages of using stories in your sales presentations?
- you get to capture the attention of the audience (or potential customer)
- you can motivate individuals and groups to take action
- you can build trust and rapport
- your audience will retain more information
- stories make customers visualize the product in the context of their own company operations
- you can transform beliefs and change minds
Everybody hates being sold to, but everybody loves being told a story - sell with stories
Stories are a powerful tools in promoting our business, especially because, humans are wired to recall stories and they build trust after talking to experts that can inspire, challenge, educate or emotionally charge them.
Your goal in creating your own brand story is to position yourself in one of these four major categories, or all four categories, in the eyes of your ideal audience. But don’t get intimidated by this because it’s not all that complex if you get the hang of how to structure things.
Storytelling in sales structure:
- What is your identity? What where you like when you started?
- What were you main struggles when you started to change?
- What unique tool or insight did you gain that made overcoming this challenge easier?
- Who are you today and why have you chosen to do what you do?
Stand out in the business crowd and create
A good brand story can do wonders for conversion rates and credibility, especially when you write it down on your About page.
But there are several other ways to approach storytelling for your brand, some of which might be:
1. The personal story
This is the most basic of the storytelling approaches. You just have to walk people through how you solved a problem that they can relate to.
If, for example, your employees lacked motivation, you’ll write an ebook on how you’ve figured out what the problem was, what were its’ causes and how you solved it.
See how that works?
You walk them through all the worst parts of the problem (the ones that your potential customers might be going through) and then lead them to how you solved the problem (by using your product, of course).
2. The historical story
This is one of the more interesting approaches to storytelling, an extremely persuasive one, that could convince people to buy things the generally would have ignored.
Usually this type of story implies doing a lot of research beforehand, mostly because you need to write it in a way that’s appealing and alluring.
3. The “meet the guru” story
This is somehow a variation of the personal story, but it adds a lot more depth and credibility giving that you’re going to elaborate on how you once met and talked to an expert (a “guru”) who showed you how to solve the problem your product is about. You can create it in any way that you can think of, from simplistic and realistic like talking on the phone or something more dramatic like travelling to a different country just to get to have a few moments of his time.
Remember to stay true though, ust because you’re telling a story doesn’t mean you can make it up.
It’s going to take the form of some sort of rite of passage:
You were confronted with a problem, one that your potential customers find trouble handling.
You found an expert who helped you solve it.
That “guru” then passed his/her wisdom on to you, and now you have the “responsibility” of passing it to your customers.
Big and small brands use storytelling to pull in people, so why don’t we use that technique in sales. It makes the sales process human, relieves us of dry communication that plague many sales departments.
Successful inside sales professionals know how to use available information and bring them to life through stories. There’s no shortage of experience on the side of your company and that of your prospects. You just need to develop a keen eye on information that will figure in neatly along your stories.