From cinemas to ads, storytelling has been a crucial element of narration and plot development. Marketing has also extensively used the power of storytelling for decades now. This leaves us, the sales folks, wondering how to unlock the power of storytelling into our everyday affairs.
Sales presentations are often filled with stats and product-related info and this makes the sales pitch seem a little bland in front of the audience. By incorporating relevant stories, one can make the entire sales process more interesting and enticing.
How to create a story in business?
Stories can be crafted from multiple sources. You could take relevant stories from other successful business celebs or create one from the company’s archives or even add a personal story that can drive a point.
The idea is to catch the attention and convey a point while at it.
Every story has 3 parts – The beginning, the middle, which is basically the story and the end.
The beginning talks about the problem of the main character and the middle part talks about how the character solves the problem and the end talks about how it made their life better. Use this structure even in business communication to create stories that make an impact. Character, context and conflict are the necessary elements of a story and the conflict need not always be huge but can be something significant enough.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 people actively avoid advertising? This is because no one likes being sold to. This is where business storytelling comes into place.
Here is a way to figure out your story:
- Why do your customers keep coming back to you? What motivates them to come back?
- What is the value people find in your brand?
- What inspires the founders and the teams to keep doing what they do?
List down these points from the perspective of others and build that out into short stories stating real incidents. Add the right emotions and build the tonality around the story. Move beyond logic and be sure to capture the right sentiment and emotions.
Inculcating these stories in the sales presentations:
Stories are quite easy to integrate into a sales presentation as the end goal of every presentation is to convert the potential client. A story can be inspiring and memorable, making it easier to convert.
Add stories instead of statistics or facts. You could also open with a story or close with a story to create impact. Be sure to make eye contact with the audience while narrating and narrate at a pace that is comfortable to all. Give the right pauses and add punch lines to catch the attention.
Half the job is figuring out the story. The other half is figuring out how to narrate it. The way you narrate a story can either make or break the story.
Stories are also very powerful to build trust and we all know that trust is the most crucial factor in doing business or opening up a new business opportunity.
Stories can also be helpful in persuasion as persuasion is a common approach to sales. By adding a story at the end of the presentation, one can create an aura with the audience.
Explore plots, brainstorm a few of them, write the key points down and finalise the ones that you feel deliver the highest impact but can be narrated with ease. Ease of storytelling is also equally influential in making a good story great.
PS: When you have interesting days with your customers or team members, sit down and work on making that a plot and a powerful story later.