Storytelling in Sales
Is your product or service probably completely unique? Probably not. In fact, you may have competitors (both direct and indirect) who can satisfy a prospective client’s needs as well as you can. So how do you differentiate your offering?
What’s 100% unique about you is the journey that brought you to the point where you are today.
Before you invest in B2B lead generation take some time to understand your company’s journey. Transform the steps on your path into a compelling story where the customer is the hero. A customer-led story will make your sales pitch stand out from everyone else.
Below are some storytelling in sales tenets you can easily adopt.
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Customers Want to Feel Wanted!
When we’re told a story we can relate to, we instantly feel looked after. Investing in a story means creating a shared space for shared experience(s). Use your story to show your clients you understand what’s important to them.
1. Make your customers the stars of the show. Tell your prospects a story where they are at the center of things. Ask questions and lean on past experience to help ‘color’ it in.
2. Reflect back to your prospects some of their feelings and experiences, engaging with the narrative of where they’ve ended up, how they’ve got there, and how you might be able to support them on their journey. People always like to be told things about themselves.
3. Don’t just tell people they need something — awaken a desire in them. Elevate your product or service to a level of desirability that will resonate. This is all about helping your customer visualize their (improved) life post-sale.
Storytelling in Sales Activates Emotion
The psychology behind sales (why people buy things) proves that people largely buy based on emotive responses and gut reactions.
To an extent, logic does go out the window when big purchases are made, and individual chemistry with a sales professional definitely plays a part. (Up to 95% of purchases are subconscious according to a Harvard Professor, Gerald Zaltman).
Storytelling in sales can help you activate the more emotional side of your customer’s brain. Rather than just going over dry facts and stats, see if you can get customers more excited by appealing to emotions by using language and imagery.
Punchy sales messages need to appeal to people’s instinctive reactions (just like stories do). Surprise and curiosity are good emotions to harness for your sales lifecycle. Try to get people to really sit up and pay attention — a dreary B2B sales page or sales pitch is very easy to dismiss.
Show Them a Clear Path
The best stories, at their most basic level, have simple and moral messages, often including stock characters and stock set pieces. Part of the intrinsic appeal of stories is their simplicity. Make sure your B2B sales lifecycle is just as easy to follow.
- Dial down the complexity. Make it easy to say yes to whatever it is you’re offering. Clear product or service packages can help people self-select. Give people different ‘levels’ they can buy into.
- Make the onboarding process as slick and painless as possible. Get people to visualize the onboarding process during the sales cycle. Make the process easy to execute.
- Make it easy for prospective customers to experience your service/product out. For some solutions that could mean using video testimonials or other ways of making client success come to life.
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Highlight Customer Success
Make customer stories a major part of your storytelling. There’s nothing more confidence-inspiring than knowing you’ve handled an identical situation in the past.
Use UGC (user generated content), quotes, and customer testimonials to help bring positive customer stories alive. (People buy from people that other people are already buying from).
Community-led sales, referrals, and partnerships are all great avenues for B2B sales teams. Think about how you can maximize positive customer success stories and make them into the gift that keeps on giving.
Weave Storytelling and Sales Together
Storytelling as a content strategy should be leveraged by sales teams wherever possible. As more and more B2B sales processes move online, the role of online content must not be undervalued.
B2B ecommerce is where content and sales must work in complete harmony. As B2B shoppers shift to buy online, online content must be a priority for B2B sales teams.
Think about how you can use content to educate and engage your customers. Use content as a natural part of your sales and lead generation process. Evoke curiosity and FOMO (fear of missing out) to get B2B decision-makers interested in what you have to offer.
Lead generation in sales becomes an innate part of your company identity. Take a step back every now and then to see whether your stories match the facts about your company that you want to communicate. And whether they leave the listener confident that you can best serve their needs.
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