How Storytelling is the Ultimate Tool to Make More Sales
Next time you’re at a conference or a trade show, consider the narrative you create for your brand and company. ‘What’s a narrative?’ you ask, and we’re quick to explain – the story you tell about your company to your customers and prospect buyers. In a highly competitive market place, only the companies who know how to use storytelling are going to survive. Long gone as the days that made it possible to win only based on quality and price. Long gone are the days of offering a very unique selling point, because most of the competitors you’re up against probably have the same advantage, follow similar manufacturing processes and use the exact same corporate speech to sell – which in the end only blurs these identities.
No, the only true way to be remembered is to engage with human empathy and that is only achieved with storytelling. Stripped away from any dry terminology, selling is not done between business and customer, or business and another business, but human to human and that is where storytelling comes as a tool more powerful than even the best sales pitch in the world.
It’s much more effective to have business clients listen to a well-crafted story about your company than receive a list with competitive sales points for your product. Why is that? Simple. Everyone in the corporate world will have you believed that business decisions are made using only reports and logic, but in the end, we’re humans and emotion is our dominion. A sales pitch can show the benefits to working with you, but building trust and conveying what it is to work with you – only a story can achieve that. Ultimately, it’s the latter that matters most. A strong, lasting partnership.
Stories are also versatile and assist in many different situations as well:
Are you about to meet up with a new prospect buyer?
You can tell a story about the beginning of the company or a story that captures its essence. No better way to make an impression than tell a compelling story. At the end of the day at a networking event or an exhibition, you have the best odds of all to be remembered – that’s no small feat to achieve in such a context.
Are you about to launch into a presentation or a talk?
Exhibitors should get involved in the support programming at events and in the case you’ve planned a presentation, storytelling is the best way to command attention. Ask yourself – do you want to listen to a dry, factual presentation (which is going to be one of many for the day) or will you listen and pay attention to an inspiring story? The answer is obvious. Stories have the ability to ground facts to memory and simplify information and data so that it’s understandable to everyone.
Are you about to pitch a new product?
Sales pitches make you want a product. Storytelling makes you imagine yourself with the product. All advertisement is telling a story to create need in people so that they’d buy whatever product is being showcased. A story, instead of a sales pitch, reveals the real value of what you’re offering since a story provides the right contexts for your product’s qualities. The bullet points become alive and hit home all the more.
Stories for sales purposes have fairly simple structure – you need a protagonist (the hero, who will drive the story), conflict (a problem or a challenge that the hero must face and overcome) and the resolution (the solution, which can be the product or service, that motivates the listener to choose your brand over a competitor). But excellent storytellers know how bring these elements to life via proper characterization, scene setting (the context and circumstances) and dramatic tension.