If you are a fan of The Moth or This American Life, you know the power of storytelling. We humans seem hardwired to root for the underdogs and cheer them on as they achieve victory over their antagonists. In the world of B2B sales, you can increase your win rate by improving your storytelling skills and putting your prospect in the position of the protagonist.
Use Emotions, Not Data, to Sell
In her article for Sales 3.0 Conference, Sharon Gillenwater provides plenty of great examples of B2B storytelling success. The sales reps who close more business are the ones who remember “the customer is the hero.” Your sales material is probably full of data about how your clients are saving 15% more time using your solution. Maybe your sales presentations show that new customers improved their bottom lines by 25% after they deployed your product.
There’s nothing wrong with that data, but it doesn’t connect to a prospect’s emotions. Those emotions are what will drive that prospect to decide to do business with you. To excel at storytelling, tap into your creativity.
Tap Your Creativity to Develop the Story
Before you can do this, you need to gather some facts. When you dig deep during your phone calls or meetings with a prospect, you’ll learn what they want. You’ll understand what problems they need to solve.
To develop a story that will appeal to this prospect, look through your case histories and success stories for similarities. Was a previous client able to save their business because they found a way to cut expenses using your service? Maybe you’ve got a background story on a business owner who wanted to merge with another company to save local jobs and maintain market share as a large national competitor tried to move in. And, your service played a role in helping that owner succeed.
When you weave these details into a larger narrative about what your prospect should be able to achieve, with your help, you’ll capture your audience’s attention. And you’ll win the sale.