Skilled Storytellers Know How to Make You Feel

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

While Maya Angelou wasn’t referring to sales when she coined this classic quote, her words apply just as much to this area of business as they do to life itself. 

It’s a wonder, then, that many salespeople try to sell exclusively with data/statistics and don’t incorporate stories into their repertoire. Data and statistics fall into the foremost category of Angelou’s quote, but stories impact how people feel. 

The most successful salespeople understand that stories have the power to go viral, and they use this to their advantage.  

Let’s discuss how to tell stories that get people to act – and even go viral sometimes!

Make your story relatable

Just like we naturally gravitate to people who are similar to us, we are naturally drawn to things we can relate to in life and business.

Memes demonstrate this. Many have wondered how the humorous images have been able to capture people’s hearts and minds from all over the globe, and it is largely because of their relatability. 

Get to know your buyer personas inside and out so you can craft stories that are as relatable to them as possible. Keeping up with the trends of your target audience is critical to achieving this.

Make your client the hero

The temptation for many salespeople, even those who consider themselves storytellers, is to make the product or service the hero of the story. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, there is a potential problem: customers generally don’t like to feel like they need to be saved. And no one likes to feel they are incompetent. 

That is why storytelling in sales is far more effective when you make the customer the hero of your story instead! This technique appeals to the customer’s need to feel capable and makes your story more engaging. Using this method, your product or service is simply a supporting character helping the customer to achieve their goal. 

Be transparent

Nearly nine in ten consumers, or 86%, said a lack of transparency might lead them to purchase from a competitor. After all, people buy from brands they trust, and what better way to build trust then by being transparent? 

But transparency is not enough: consumers need to know a company is transparent. Storytelling is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that!

Use data… wisely

While we commented at the beginning of this article that storytelling is more powerful than data, combining the two has a synergistic effect. Data is trustworthy, after all. 

The key to adding data to your story is to think about your audience. How much do they know about your product already? How much information do they want? Let these questions drive which data you include in your stories. 

Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. Similar to the second point on making the customer the hero of the story, data should play second fiddle. 

While the word “story” may conjure up images of firesides or bedtime snuggles, it has a rightful place in the business world – particularly sales. Try storytelling today and transform curious listeners into raving fans!

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