Sales with a serving of Storytelling

21 April 2015

People don’t buy for logical reasons they buy for emotional reasons- Zig Ziglar

1001 Arabian Nights
Are you sitting comfortably?

The art of storytelling is losing traction in the increasingly fast paced Dubai life but its sales people could still benefit from this ancient tradition. As a consumer, try to remember the last major purchase you made. What role did the salesperson play in your decision making? What persuaded you to buy that product? Successful salespeople know how to tell a good story. They appeal to your emotions using a variety of techniques. Perhaps you just haven’t met a really good salesperson in a while if you don’t agree at all?

All stories need some basic elements in order to succeed. A hero or heroine ( the customer or you!); stimulus ( a buying decision); conflict ( objections); crossroads ( when a purchase is made) and finally a good moral (satisfaction in making the right decision).

There are a number of situations a salesperson can find themselves in in which it will be appropriate to tell a story involving these elements. They may need to provide context for their product which resonates with the customer, they may be presenting their product to an audience, motivating a sales team or even selling themselves.

The benefits of storytelling are numerous. They can captivate and hold the attention of clients; build rapport and trust; add interest and relevance to a product; change minds and win loyalty. There is Science behind it too. When we are told a rich story full of relevancy, the sensory, creative and more emotional right side of our brain is stimulated. If only the left side is engaged, as experienced during a dull sales presentation, we make more logical buying decisions. A story simply put helps the customer experience your product and emphathise with the seller.

So how can this help you? Perhaps you think you are not a great storyteller. I assure you, you are better than you think. We tell stories every day to our families and friends. Sometimes we tell them stories they may have told us. You need to sit down and think about your product. Connect your story to your product, it should be personal. Your story could also be about you, your company history, a customer’s experience with your product or even how you create your product. Just don’t forget the tenants of storytelling and dispense with bullet points, they don’t engage and produce emotion. Running your story by someone won’t hurt either the best raconteurs have told their stories a few times!

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