Good storytelling, no matter what you are selling, is an effective way to connect with buyers. It also sets you apart from competitors because each story is unique to you and your own business. “Stories and sales go together,” writes David Gee for Boating Industry. Stories connect us.…Stories will help your current or potential clients and customers listen longer and buy quicker.”
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of storytelling; you don’t need to be super creative, but stories do need to be character driven. Rather than focusing the story on selling, focus the story on how your product or service helped someone. Capture attention with details that relate to the buyer’s own situation, then hold that attention with emotional content rather than just talking about the usual benefits and features.
Aspects of good storytelling
“Most companies are not making the most of the opportunity to show up differently and create a competitive advantage through better storytelling,” Gee notes. To help, he shares some guidance to start your own stories. Below are common aspects of good storytelling that you can incorporate into your stories to make them effective:
- Stories feature transformation
- Stories have a clear beginning/middle/end
- Storytelling provides a framework for a case study
- Remember you are not the hero in the story but the mentor
- Make your story customer-centric
- Show how the lives of your customers improve by using your products
Your storytelling, with just these elements added, can have an immediate impact on buyers. Are you working with someone who is planning a post-retirement boat purchase? Recount a time a retired couple brainstormed what boat would best fit their retirement goals and narrowed it down to the perfect choice. Not only will they be able to relate, but your story will tap into the emotional side of their brain.
“…stop trying to drive someone to a decision by feeding the analytical, and skeptical, side of their brain with information,” Gee explains. “Instead, create an emotional connection with the right side of your prospect’s brain, the part that ultimately makes the buying decision anyway, with a well-crafted, audience-appropriate story of struggle and triumph that is unique to you.” This is what will help you stand out.
Want to learn more about incorporating storytelling into your strategy? Check out these posts.