How To Increase Your Sales Through Storytelling in Six Easy Steps
For thousands of years, we’ve had one simple way of passing on information. Long before there were books, TV, and the internet, there was only one way to learn how not to get eaten by a lion. Through storytelling.
For thousands of years, our ancestors sat in the dirt or around a campfire telling stories. Whether it was for education or for entertainment (the best storytellers weave them both together). It’s the main way the human population communicated.
There’s something hardwired into our DNA that gets us to connect with a good story. Maybe you’re like me. You can’t remember data to save your life, but tell me a story and I can remember it for years.
So if we’re so connected to stories, why do so many salespeople pump features, and benefits, and neglect stories?
If you want to be better in sales, you have to start by telling better stories.
I don’t mean telling stories of your last business trip escapade, or the latest Packers game that you went too. I’m talking about how you’ve helped people or companies overcome insurmountable odds. Or how you helped your client achieve business changing results. So many salespeople want to lead off with why their company or solution is the best. They throw out facts, figures, years in business, or drop customer names. All of it will be forgotten a few quick minutes after your conversation. Or worse yet, they’ll confuse your list of facts and figures with your competition! Why? It’s not memorable, relatable, or personal.
People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Often this can take a long time to build up these three critical elements before someone buys, but there is a shortcut. Using storytelling can shortcut the line and get you to the “know, like and trust” part quicker.
If you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to start telling stories, don’t fear. I’ve developed a six-part sales formula that’s practically done for you!
You’ve most certainly seen this formula play out in one of these popular movies: Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Matrix, The Lion King, Lord of the Rings, and dozens more. They all follow an archetype called the Hero’s Journey, which is the most popular of storytelling templates.
The Hero’s Journey is defined by Wikipedia as “a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.” You could go down the rabbit hole and learn more about the 12 official steps of a Hero’s Journey by Googling it or reading Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. Or you could just follow my 6 part formula and start telling better stories today!
Here’s a template you can use to start telling better stories.
- A company has a challenge or problem that’s impacting their business, it’s impacting their bottom line or morale.
- They struggle to get help and the situation looks bleak.
- They meet a guide (your company, product or solution). While it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight your solution or product was the key to solving their problem and the hero (your client) was transformed.
- Their company, department or people are so much better off than they were before and it’s all thanks to your product or service.
- Use specifics of how they save more money, make more revenue, have happier employees, or whatever major benefit your company can provide.
- Everyone lives happily ever after.
Make the client the hero, and how with your solution or service they can chart the dangerous waters and navigate the stormy seas, how the situation was so bleak until they met you! Be the guide, and let your prospect be the hero.