October 29, 2014
By Matt Paulson, TMCnet Contributing Writer
It may not seem like the skills involved with telling a child a bedtime story are useful in the workplace, but many of the same techniques are used when trying to engage a potential customer's needs. Like a child, you'll have to comply with their requests to gain a favorable reaction and eventually sell the product.
Storytelling is especially useful in the sales process because it gives a clear example of how a product or software works before jumping into the actual pitch, according to a recent report in Business2Community. By making a story engaging, customers are no longer focused on the fact that they are being sold something but instead have a story to hold on to for a clearer picture and a more relatable experience.
Of course, one of the main aims of telling a story as part of a sale is to give your listener just the right amount of details. Too many and the story is boring, while too few details don't give enough of a picture of how the product can help the customer. This is referred to as the “Goldilocks” theory of detail.
Another tip that sales teams should follow when accompanying a pitch with a story is to forget about using industry-specific jargon, and instead focus on telling an easily pictured story that flows naturally like a conversation. Instead of relying on PowerPoint slide show presentations to read off the products list of stats, briefly reference them for a picture or two before continuing on with your well-rehearsed and dramatized story. By having a little bit of flair and an image to keep in mind, customers will be much more engaged in the story.
The biggest reason storytelling works, however, is because it creates a much closer and stronger bond between the customer and the sales agent. By keeping things relaxed with a story instead of a straight-laced and one-sided presentation, the customer is much more likely to agree to a sale, or at least clearly understand why they should buy your product and how it will help them.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson