Storytelling Can Set the Stage For Success

BY Jessica Helinski
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Storytelling could be the answer.”

Words are powerful sales tools. They have an even bigger impact when they’re used in a story. “But,” cautions HubSpot’s Jamie Davidson, “knowing that stories are an effective means of conveying messages is not the same as being able to execute them successfully.” Don’t worry if you don’t naturally have stellar storytelling skills; with some helpful tips, and practice, you can successfully use this tactic.

Storytelling and The Buyer Persona

First and foremost, Davidson points out that you need to know to whom exactly you're telling the story. Why? Different stories will resonate with different types of people. To know how to best connect with your customer, you need to learn more about them. To figure out their buyer persona, she suggests first learning these key elements:

  • The pain points your buyers experience
  • The language they use to communicate these challenges (as well as other issues they’re facing)
  • How they see themselves
  • Their role in the decision-​making process

The more you know about these elements, the more you can customize your storytelling to specifically speak to the customer, which is important for it to have any resonance. So, if you're working with a potential client on a home remodel, you first must uncover their needs, wants, expectations, etc. before you can truly paint an impactful picture of what you can do for them. 

Basic Principles

Once you know the prospect, you can start constructing your narrative. Davidson suggests using a storytelling framework that incorporates four basic points: Character, context, conflict, creation. She goes into detail about each element, explaining why it’s necessary for a well-​rounded story. “Have you ever listened to someone tell a long-​winded story that seemingly never gets to the point?” she asks. “Or one that rushes the narrative in such a way that the impact of the supposed conflict is lost? These are failures of creation, and if you commit them in your sales presentation, you’ll have wasted all of the time and effort that went into constructing your story in the first place.” While it takes a little effort, adding each element is a necessary step of good storytelling.

These are just two of Davidson’s suggestions; incorporate all of them into your next presentation to replace your traditional presentation pitch for storytelling that piques their interest and truly connects.