Storytelling isn’t just for bedtime; it definitely has a place in sales. Sellers can close more sales by incorporating stories into their own strategies. And while the idea of telling a story during a sales call may seem silly, don’t underestimate it. It creates an emotional connection, deepens trust, boosts sales credibility, and, simply, gets buyers excited to buy.
Successful reps understand this, including Maury Rogow, author and CEO of Rip Media Group. This industry professional shared his insights into the power of stories during a LinkedIn Learning course. J.C. McKissen reports on this session, highlighting the types of stories that Rogow recommends.
Tell an EPIC story that will help close more sales
McKissen shares that Rogow, during his course, reviewed several different story types that sellers should use to sway buyers. These stories don’t require acting or bravado, but rather using words to reinforce reasons why the buyer should make the purchase. Setting scenes and putting the buyer right in the action makes their connection to what you’re selling stronger and makes it feel real.
One of the stories he recommends telling is your own EPIC sales story. As McKissen explains, “Great sales storytellers use compelling narratives to expand interest in their solution after they’ve given their elevator pitch. Rogow uses what he calls his ‘EPIC capture formula’ to develop that narrative.”
The breakdown of the acronym is
- E — Empathy
- P — Problem
- I — Impact
- C — change and call to action
These four elements guide and shape your narrative. Begin your story by showing empathy, which as SalesFuel has noted, is extremely important in sales today. Set the scene and introduce the main character (the buyer) by detailing how the buyer is feeling. Acknowledge those feelings, and don’t shy away from adding emotion. As Brian Cristano writes for bold.ceo, “Emotional selling relies on proven human behavior to close sales. Emotions significantly impact decisions, so you should make the most of them.”
Introduce the problem
A seller will never close more sales if the buyer thinks they don’t understand their problem. Clearly demonstrate your knowledge by describing their pain points, i.e, the challenge that the main character is up against or may face ahead. This creates the conflict in the story.
SalesFuel’s Tim Londergan explains, “Stories without conflict do not maintain audience interest. As you put together content for your email or your presentation, set the scenario to include conflict. The main character, the business owner, faces relatable risks and the potential for loss or disappointment. What options do they have?"
Show the impact
This is where you show them the impact that your product or service will have. In other words, this is where you have the opportunity to reveal relevant value. And value is essential if you want to close more sales. Use words to paint a clear picture of the impact that your offering will have on the buyer and their business. Help them imagine what it would be like once they’ve purchased and how they will go about solving their problem and achieving their goals. As SalesFuel discussed in another post, paint a new reality for the buyer that shows how they will thrive post-sale. Make the buyer the hero of their own story.
Change and a call to action
It’s time to bring the story to an end. Wrap it all up by pointing out the need for change and make a call to action that inspires the buyer to make that change. Whether it’s asking for another meeting, the offer of a demo, or signing the contract, make your ask clear and concise. If you need some tips for crafting calls to action that are impactful and persuasive, read our past tips here.
Sellers who want to close more sales should consider integrating storytelling into their buyers’ journeys. “Your sales will thrive or die based on the stories you tell,” Rogow said. Take his words to heart and think of how you can incorporate a story into your next sales call. And for even more sales storytelling advice, check out other SalesFuel posts.
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