Story telling isn’t just for kids; it forms a highly effective method to any sales presentation.
What’s more you don’t need to be J K Rawlings to start to employ this simple technique, to get you closing more business fast.
So just why is story telling so effective?
Story telling lays at the centre of man’s evolution. Even before we could write, stories played a central part in our ancestors lives as a way to entertain, record history and to pass on vital knowledge that ensure our survival.
Today the use of storytelling is deeply woven into all of our cultures. All the great speakers and leaders utilise the power of storytelling to enhance their impact and message.
From cradle to grave, stories enrich our lives.
Still not convinced?
Well there is a very real neurological reason why stories work so well.
It turns out that stories activate more parts of the brain than first thought and are a more effective way to increase your prospects engagement, association and memory of what you tell them.
More than that, storytelling is the only way to plant ideas in other people’s minds in a way that they turn the story into their own ideas and experiences.
In short they create their version of the story in their mind, and in doing so the story becomes theirs.
So if story telling is such a great idea, what makes a good sales story?
At the heart of every effective story are four common components:
- They have a clear structure
A clear beginning, middle and end ensures your story, is easy to follow and more likely to be remembered. A good way to do this is to use the classic three act plot used in nearly all modern day films
- Initial set up whet you introduce the characters and the situation
- Main act where all the action takes place
- And the final act where everything comes together
The best stories also feature some journey from failure or doubt to success and this is even more empower full when linked to our next point.
- They must be relevant to your audience
Your prospect must be able to identify with the situation and problem that is the central theme of the story and this will normally mirror the very situation they are currently experiencing.
If your story mirrors the journey that your client needs to make, it will be even more
powerful and create more impact.
Without relevance, the only reaction you are likely to get is “So what”.
It’s also a great way to deal with your prospects real or perceived objections or resistance for they raise them.
Coupled by the fact that the story is being told about a third party, will allow your prospect to view the objections from another perspective, without the emotional attachment of having their views challenged directly.
Take the time to ensure that the story is truly relevant to your audience, where they are currently in their lives and where they ultimately want to end up.
- They have a strong Emotional Connection
Your story must invoke emotion within your prospect, they need to feel and experience the
thoughts that the central character involved in the story is going through.
By striving to mirror what they are currently going through, they will associate and connect with the story at a deep psychological level and experience an emotional connection.
- Above all else. It has to be true.
Look let’s face it, every one of us has an internal bullshit monitor that automatically kicks in the slightest moment we hear anything we feel to be untrue.
So don’t destroy the hard work and your reputation with anything other than an ethical and true story.
In the course of your business you will already have a rich collection of experiences and testimonials to act as a great source for crafting a quality story around.
So take the time to over the next week list those experiences and then identify how and where you can start to weave them into your sales presentation.
In short effective use of stories will enhance any sales presentation and ensure you stay in your prospects mind long after meeting them.