Humans love stories. We spend insane amounts of time consuming stories through TV, movies, reading, music, and other channels.
Since we’re wired to consume information through stories, why do we often sell with rigid data and boring facts?
The most helpful sales books teach sales fundamentals through stories (e.g., The Qualified Sales Leader).
I’ve found that my best-performing content is when I teach through a story.
Unsurprisingly, the best sellers have learned to sell through storytelling.
Here are the elements you need to include to tell compelling stories that sell:
A Relatable Character
Your buyer wants to hear about someone like them facing similar challenges.
A VP of Marketing at a Series B Startup isn’t going to relate to how you helped Facebook’s marketing team overcome their challenge, no matter how impressive the story is.
You won’t often find a perfect match. Here’s how I prioritize finding the most relatable character for a customer story (strongest to weakest):
- Same problem, same industry, and same size
- Same problem, and either the same industry or the same size
- Same problem
Not relatable? Not emotional. This leads to the next point…
I believe the best sales stories drive FOMO (fear of missing out). If your story gets your prospect feeling like, “Dang, someone like me that had similar challenges is now doing way better than me?” you have their attention.
No complex sale cycle goes smoothly. Sharing how others overcame challenges in getting your solution approved builds confidence that your buyer can do the same.
If your story sounds like a fairytale, it’s less believable. You don’t want your buyer ever thinking, “This sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?”
Avoid the temptation of driving your story home with boring facts. Think story, not case study.
Bad example: “E*Trade increased Ad Effectiveness by 47% and reduced their research time by 72%.”
Good example: “Our platform helped the E*Trade team launch 47% better campaigns in less than half the time, so they could spend their time attending industry award ceremonies rather than digging through Excel sheets and arguing about which ads to launch.”
Give this framework a try to tell emotional stories that accelerate deals!