How can you stand out in the crowd and win over the competition in today’s world filled with thousands of marketing messages every day? Well, a key factor is establishing a genuine connection with your prospect or customer. Most presentations and marketing communications are filled with facts. But facts tell, and stories sell. Your customers can find tons of information on the internet. But customers don’t want to dig through tons of information. They want to trust the vendor company and seller. They want to believe the solution, product or service will solve their problem, improve their life or help them grow their business.
No facts, discount, power or other forms of push strategy will win over a story that is a pull strategy. People don’t want to be sold; they want to make a decision to buy. Stories allow them to do just that. An authentically compelling story is more powerful than any other form of influence. So, let’s look at why and how storytelling is your best tool against the competition.
What the experts say
Storytelling expert, Annette Simmons says that you are wasting your time presenting your benefits or the pertinent facts if you have not first established trust and a connection. Stories allow you to reach prospects and customers emotionally where decisions are actually made. A good story will capture the interest of the listener. You can weave facts into your stories to justify decisions and create powerful calls to action.
Why this strategy works
People want to know you and your company. Stories let your audience see who you are better than any other communication message. Facts don’t go deep enough to allow the audience to develop trust. A Who I Am story reveals something about your personal characteristics or beliefs. A Who We Are Story shows the purpose and values of your company. When you tell a Why I AM Here or a What’s In It for Me story, the prospect will understand that what he or she has to gain and what is in it for you. Most people agree there should be an honorable profit, but today they want proof that you and your company operate with integrity and transparency. The financials and the reference to Sarbanes-Oxley rules are not easily understood, and some people believe you can manipulate the numbers. So, customers want a story that demonstrates integrity.
The strategy and the sales process
Throughout your sales process, you want to have a collection of stories to present in the various phases and situations. For example, vision stories allow the prospect to envision the future with your product or service. And, teaching stories communicate to the brain how a new scenario or behavior feels and how it creates different results. It’s a no-risk demonstration.
The strategy connection
Stories are more real and authentic than facts. Presentations and case studies containing facts do not include any emotion or sensory details. So, they fail to reach the prospect on an emotional level where decisions are made.
You must learn to incorporate storytelling if you want to gain the attention of your customers and prospects and win over the competition. We will continue this series on the importance of storytelling in our blog posts and podcasts.
Consider learning more and adding business storytelling to your toolbox, and you will beat the competition and increase your business growth.