Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of “Tipping Point” is one of the best storytellers, supporting his anecdotes with stats and facts to make it more powerful.Marketers and sales professionals know that one of the best ways to acquire someone as a new client is to form a relationship with them. Creating an atmosphere in which your customer feels a bond with you can drastically increase your conversions and even increase their satisfaction with your product by reducing initial skepticism. Oftentimes, storytelling is the most efficient way to win over a prospect.
Good Storytelling Beats Lecturing
First and foremost, think back to when you were in school. Did you look forward to the classes in which the instructor stood in front and more-or-less read from your textbook for two hours? If so, perhaps you may have been better suited to be an accountant or some other tedious and repetitive (albeit with great earning potential) career choice. The best professors that I ever had were ones which engaged the class into the discussion by incorporating real examples into their teaching. By storytelling, my instructors were not only helping me learn and retain the information, but also making me enjoy doing so. When explaining how your business can help new clients, engaging them with a good story will prove much more advantageous than simply lecturing them on the benefits.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure your stories are effective in helping your sales:
- Continuously Collect New Stories – If being able to communicate and connect with your potential customers is the big goal to increase sales, then you need to be able to share stories which connect to each of their individual personalities. Even the best, most convincing story in the world won’t be able to reach everyone, so you must keep on collecting new stories. These can be from experiences in your own life or ones that you observe or hear from others, collecting these stories will keep your repertoire fresh.
- Be Specific (Locations, Numbers and Facts) – When telling a story, you want to be as specific as possible in regards to the little facts. While being ambiguous in certain aspects of storytelling can be a positive, leaving the listener wondering and wanting more, it can be harmful to your sale if used with facts and figures. If you were listening to a story from a sales person offering you a service for your business, which would sound most interesting and peak your interest higher:
“The last client that we completed work for was able to save over $20,000 last year thanks to our services.” Or…
“We just finished a project for a client, located just a couple of streets over on Mulberry Ave., and we were able to shave $21,593 off his inventory costs with our inventory management strategies. Our company increased their bottom line by 5% of their total sales.”
The second example conveys the same message in a much more concrete and manner. Building your credibility during the sales process is key, and providing factual proof through figures is an easy way to do it.
Your Story Must Contain a Call to Action. Many businesspeople, novice in sales, will spent great amounts of time telling stories to their clients, only to see little or no improvement in sales rates. Most often, the cause of this is that they had no call to action. After you relate to your potential customer and explain how your product or service can benefit them it is essential that you provide motivation to complete the sale – perhaps a special promotion you’re running, or limited availability of your product
A Good Story Only Goes so Far
All in all, being able to connect to your potential clients in a personal and convincing manner is the key to increasing your sales. Through storytelling you are able relate the character to the customer so they can get a deeper sense of how your business can benefit them. No matter how good your story is though, what you’re offering has to be able to meet their expectations. Never lie or be dishonest in your storytelling to clients – no matter how silver your tongue is, offering quality products or service is the only way to get and keep happy clients.
Guest Author – Lewis Edward is the co-owner of TheOfficeProviders.com . Lewis shares his insights in some of the top business and real estate blogs and he helps small or even large corporations by providing any kind of office space including serviced offices, business centres and office space for rent, find out more by visiting his website.