There is nothing more natural than listening to or delivering a compelling story. A story that is intriguing and one that creates excitement… particularly those that stir up emotions.
Just think about it, from a very early age most of us have been exposed to stories from our parents, grandparents, nursery school teachers etc. We’d sit on the edge of our seats hanging on every word…
As adults, when we talk to friends and family we naturally share stories. When you tell people about an interesting situation that arose during your day or whilst on holiday – it’s not very likely you’d just detail the list of events in a dull monotone fashion – is it? I expect not.
One of the secrets of top sales people the world over is effective storytelling. I don’t mean the “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” type of fabrication. I mean compelling, anecdotal, real life experiences with other customers and clients that can be shared with your prospects. Engaging stories full of emotional attachment and spelling out the benefits to the listener.
Here’s a format that will help you. Try using, “feel, felt, found”. Let me explain…
It’s fairly safe to make the assumption that most people are more interested in themselves and their problems than hearing about how wonderful your products and services are.
The thing that will fully engage people and allow them to freely discuss their problems in more detail in order for you to help them is to hear that you know how they “feel”.
They want to hear that other people you’ve helped “felt” just like they do.
Then you can explain through your story what those other people “found” that helped them solve whatever the problem was.
So instead of bashing away at all the features of your latest gadget or gizmo, tell them about clients just like them who have solved similar problems to those they are having and you will capture their interest.
Stories should focus on the drama, the emotion, the pain and the difficulties before you helped. Stir up the emotions of how that “feels”. You can reassure them by letting them know that others “felt” just the same and then lead them to the “found” and the happy ending.
Don’t waste too much time saying what you actually did for them. You’ll know they are interested because guess what… they’ll ask you!
Make some notes of all the key benefits of your products or services. Now think back to various situations where your product or service positively impacted another person or company. Spend some time building emotions and feelings into these situations until you have compelling stories.
When you’re with your friends you naturally trade stories, we all do. Selling is no different – be yourself. To sell more… sell less – if that makes sense.
In my experience, when using stories in general conversation, it is better to have your stories natural and unrehearsed rather than highly polished. Every feature has a benefit – and every benefit has a story.