Stories aren’t just for fairytales and campfires; they are an excellent tool for sharing your customers’ journey. With storytelling at the core of your sales process, customers get a vision of what’s possible with your product or service. Understanding how to leverage storytelling can help you close the sale and cultivate a relationship that results in future deals.
Storytellers as Sales Professionals
Storytellers are naturally good salesmen because your job is to paint a vivid picture, so customers understand what they’re buying. If you can tell a story that helps the customer know how a product tastes, smells, or looks, they will likely be ready to buy by the end.
For instance, a car salesperson can tell you about the features, but a story is more powerful because it places the customer in the car and paints the picture of what it’s like to own the vehicle. Features such as how much legroom is available may not resonate with a potential buyer. However, a story about how the additional space will be great for the buyer, his wife, and two children on a trip to the beach is memorable. It transforms the product and story into an irreplaceable experience the customer can’t get anywhere else.
How to Become a Good Storyteller
Veteran sales professionals will tell you that there’s always something to learn and room to get better. An easy way to improve your storytelling skills is to listen to other people who are good at telling stories. Take note of how they use detail, pause, evoke emotion, and trigger the five senses. How do they connect and get feedback from the audience? Do they let the story live and breathe? Sit in on webinars and read articles to learn more about platforms, your industry, customer needs, and improving your overall sales skills.
Furthermore, storytelling is just as much about feeding off the crowd as it is sharing with the audience. The more you know about your audience, the more you can create and find stories relevant to their journey using your experience and accounts from those you know.
There’s so much information available from so many people with different strategies. Find what works best for you and attack it—practice sharing stories with friends and family members to identify which parts resonate with people most. When telling the story in the future, sit with those parts and dig deeper before moving on.
Making Use of Success Stories
Success stories are compelling because they allow the customer to see what happens when everything goes right. Storytelling gives your prospect insight into the before and after of similar businesses that have used your product to reach their goals. Most companies, particularly those in the same industry, have similar pain points, so presenting a practical solution that worked previously for someone else is a great way to prove the value and benefits of what you’re selling.
Leveraging Storytelling in the Sales Process
You have to understand your customers’ journey to paint that picture for future buyers. Keep in close communication with customers post-sale to learn more about their stories and experience. Consider jumping on a call with your client success team, sending an email, or sharing valuable resources and information via social channels. This extra step will help you maintain a relationship and also gives you more stories to tell. Not everyone will connect to the same story. The more accounts you know, the more ways you can connect with different people at various stages in their process.
Want to learn more ways to improve your sales process with storytelling? Check out our YouTube playlist and gain access to tips and resources to craft a customer-centered personal brand.