As this recent Ad Week article explains, when utilized properly, storytelling can have a game changing effect on sales. Small business owners operating in a range of different industries have all seen meaningful increases in sales after they’ve made emotionally-resonant narratives to pitch their products to consumers. Here are a few different ways burgeoning founders can use storytelling to optimize their sales process.
Open with a good hook
Like a great pop song, a selling story needs to open with a good hook. Starting your narrative off with an intriguing opening statement will pique your customers’ curiosity. Once you’ve cultivated a sense of fascination in your audience, you can begin the process of transitioning them from being interested listeners to eager purchasers.
Keep it focused and concise
When it comes to using stories as a selling tool, the tale really is in the telling. As this Entrepreneur article notes, apologizing before you begin your story, rambling on once you do and revealing the ending too early are all major storytelling don’ts. These missteps will nullify the effectiveness of the story you’re trying to tell and diminish consumer confidence in your brand. As such, endeavor to make your narratives as focused and concise as possible to maximize their impact.
Utilize metaphors and similes
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Chaos is a ladder. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Every rose has its thorn. Metaphors and similes are powerful storytelling devices because they make the ineffable explicable. They deal in clear visual imagery, and can be used to make complex connections quickly and efficiently. With the right metaphors, you can weave a vivid and captivating story that will bypass consumer pain points and make the sales process as smooth as silk.
Make it relevant
Lastly, when crafting selling stories, it’s important to always keep the focus on relevancy. Your stories need to be relevant to the product you’re trying to sell, to the consumers you’re trying to connect with and to the brand identity you’ve established. If you’re selling stories aren’t built around a core of relevancy, they’ll come off as meandering and confusing, and will only serve to alienate consumers who are already looking for easy reasons to disqualify the host of brands that are vying for their time and money every day.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for CBS Small Business Pulse