How to Sell Through Storytelling
Want to connect with your website visitors in a new way? Need to make an impact in a crowded market? Your sales material and pricing sheets can only go so far. If you want to produce something that will make a deeper impact with your prospects and create a memorable impression – try telling stories to sell.
Why Does Storytelling Work?
Michael Bosworth, an author and sales trainer, has successfully used “storyselling” in promoting his own work as well as training others to do the same. His underlying theory of why storytelling produces more sales has to do with the way that the left brain and the right brain deal with information.
You’re probably familiar with what neuroscience has told us about the left brain vs. the right brain – the former is more analytical and precise while the latter is more emotion-based and creative. During a sales presentation that emphasizes facts, figures and hard-lined data, the left brain takes over. It’s looking for a reason to say no and clarifies everything in black and white.
On the other hand, the right brain is looking for the big picture. It’s the domain of the “gut reaction” and emotional decision making. The right brain influences whether or not a prospect will decide to trust a vendor or buy something.
Storytelling speaks directly to the right brain. When a story is told, the left brain relaxes and the right brain takes over. Then when it’s time to make a decision about a purchase, the right brain will associate the stories and emotions used to make the sale. The connection that is build during the story is weighed much more heavily than any black or white stats.
What this means that even in very technical or straightforward industries, storytelling can appeal to the side of the brain that makes gut decisions.
Two Stories You Need to Tell to Sell
Sales presentations are a great place to use stories but you can use them on your website as well. There are two major stories that you need to have present in your web marketing – and here’s how to start.
The Story of Your Customers - It’s a smart idea to display social proof on your website, but you can also take it one step further by transforming a killer testimonial into a detailed case study. Your website visitors will be able to see, for example, what condition your customer was in before they started using your software, the benefits they experienced and the end result. It’s a story that will stick in their minds when it comes time to make a decision.
The Story of Your Company – Your about page is a starting point – but what about featuring a manifesto or company statement that communicates more about why you started and what you do? Telling the story of your company’s evolution – from the very beginning to where you are now – will help your customers understand why you do what you do and how you can help. It produces that familiarity that leads to the gut-based decision making that is part of the right brain’s domain.
Take a look at your website and ask if it’s telling the right stories. If not, it’s time to turn a customer testimonial into a case study and refresh your about page with a manifesto or purpose statement. You’ll attract more buyers and truly stand out.