Since we were young, stories have played an important role in influencing our development into the person we become. Stories contribute to our morals, values and perspectives. Almost everyone in the world grew up listening to and sharing stories. From the time we were kids, and still today, stories provide us with both knowledge and entertainment. While the types of stories we enjoy and respond to have changed; the essence of great storytelling still plays a significant role in our decisions, beliefs and perspectives.
As a kid, I can remember being in awe of the stories featuring characters like Batman and Robin, the X-Men or even the Power Rangers. These stories were focused on memorable characters that generally went against the norm in effort to make the world a better place. Today, I’m in awe of the businesses and leaders who tell us stories about how their ideas, products or services can make positive change. Whether it’s change within an industry, for a client, their goals or on a global scale; these are the stories that great businesses and great leaders tell the world.
The art of storytelling plays a major role in sales today. People like to believe they make decisions that are based on logic and reason. In fact, decisions are usually made solely based on emotion and personal connection to things and ideas. Studies repeatedly show that decisions in business are strongly influenced by our attitudes, fears, values, and hopes – of which, are built on a foundation of a unique and compelling story. Research indicates that people remember 65 to 70 per cent of information shared through a story, and only 5 to 10 per cent of information conveyed through facts and figures.
Far too often do business professionals get caught up in a narrative that is focused on costs and benefits. While this is one part of the equation, one must not forget that their prospects are human. As humans, we are emotional by nature. We embrace logic but our ability to be rational cannot compete with the average human’s emotional capacity and desire for connection.
Here are a few reasons why storytelling is an important part of sales:
- Communicate your value proposition more effectively
- Easier to deliver your thoughts, ideas and perspective
- Convey complex concepts and ideas more effectively
- Showcase your product’s strengths with real examples
- Easier to disagree with a prospect without offending them
Selling is getting harder and harder. While technological advancements are helping sales professionals be more effective and efficient with their approaches, the foundation of telling a compelling story is still important.
If you can discover ways of integrating your story with your sales process on a regular basis, it’s a sure bet that you will be ahead of the curve. Combine that with an attitude that embraces technology and you’ll be ready for all the inevitable evolutions that will transform social selling today – and in the future.