According to many of the world’s most pre-eminent cognitive scientists, an appetite for storytelling is hard-wired into the human brain. From ancient legends and heroic folk tales to modern-day TV boxsets, we humans have been telling each other stories for thousands of years. And as new research has shown, we don’t do it simply to share information with one another. We enjoy storytelling for its own sake.
There is something quite literally compulsive about a good story – as anyone acquainted with Netflix will know. We can easily find ourselves engrossed in the latest HBO series for three or four hours at a time, and it can be very difficult to finally tear ourselves away…
Storytelling in Sales
As human beings we are born with a natural affinity for stories. And as a sales training consultancy, at LDL we are of course very interested in the ways in which the new science of storytelling can be applied to the sales process.
Because however much our sales pitch may be based on well-documented facts and figures, we still have to tell a convincing story in order to engage potential customers. We need to take our prospects on a journey, grabbing their interest with a story in which they want to become participants.
As it turns out, our very own Marketing Manager has written an article on this subject over on the Hubspot Sales Blog. Below is an adapted, slightly shortened version of the article…
How to Craft a Compelling Narrative
1. Have a clear structure
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and so should your sales process. You need to think about the situation of your prospect as a fresh lead (beginning), which will involve setting the scene – including what they are missing out on – before introducing your service and showing how it might benefit your customer (middle), ultimately through closing the sale and delivering the benefits of your service (end).
2. Create suspense
The key lever moving your prospect through the sales process should be the difference between the beginning and end of your narrative. Where are your services going to take your customer? If you can tell a convincing story about where your customer is now, and what your services are going to do for your customer, that is sure to make an impact on their decision to buy.
3. Orientate the detail
With a strong and engaging story in mind you must now back it up with your best case studies, figures, statistics, and answers to common objections. These are the details that will fill out your pitch and make it more convincing. Be creative and make sure you have enough details to weave into the story at different stages of the journey.
4. Be flexible
No matter how brilliant your storytelling skills, sales is fundamentally about consultative-partnering, and you must remember to give your prospect a role – to listen carefully and respond to each of their concerns. As a sales consultant try to think of yourself as an artist, watching your audience and waiting for the right moment to respond.
So there you go. Keep refining your sales process, and consider how you might continue to turn it into a more compelling narrative.
Read the Hubspot article here
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