In my former life, when I sold insurance and investments, I had a tough hurdle to overcome. Besides the fact that I was 19, trying to sell to 40 year olds, the product is boring.
I mean really, who wants to hear a pitch about insurance and investing?
I remember vividly this one couple.
This was one of my first presentations. I got my flip chart open. And I’m on a roll about market indexes.
Dollar cost averaging.
I AM PUMPED!
And suddenly, I notice the husband’s eyes are slowly starting to close. And the wife has a glazed look in her eyes.
Talk about the ULTIMATE rejection – I’m putting my prospect’s to sleep!
That’s when I knew I was in trouble. And I also knew that if I didn’t change my strategy, my career in financial services would be short-lived. Lucky for me, and for my poor prospects who had to endure this seemingly endless torture, I discovered “the secret.”
The secret to selling and persuading – Story Selling.
It is the most powerful way to persuade and sell, without using hype or any kind of pressure whatsoever.
Because it forces them to pay attention.
It fuels their imagination.
And brings dry facts and figures to life, making the entire conversation a heckuva lot more fun and enjoyable.
FACT: We are hardwired to pay attention to stories.
Which is why some of the best and highest revenue generating sales letters ever written, were story based. Like the Wall Street Journal letter.
It’s no different in face to face sales or any other endeavor which includes persuasion.
Whether you’re selling face to face, in a sales letter, in an email, in a video or in a well crafted piece of content… stories will get the job done every single time.
Stories are fun, engaging, enjoyable, and disarming. And… they don’t come across as pure sales pitch.
There’s an old saying in sales…
“Facts tell, stories sell”
Whether you sell (persuade) from the stage, in print, in an email, or face to face… you can rest assured, your audience will stay with you when you tell an engaging story. And you will lose them, when presenting boring facts and figures.
Want to grab and keep someone’s attention?
Start telling a story. And people can’t help but perk up their ears and go where you take them.
3 Steps To Tell A Powerful Sales Story
Every story has some kind of a setting. It can be in a car, in a store, in a plane, in the bedroom… you get the idea.
The way you add more intrigue and make it more colorful is by adding some details to the scene.
Like driving through a storm, or on icy roads. It makes the image more concrete in the minds of your audience.
Every great story has some kind of a problem, conflict, drama or obstacle.
The bigger the problem, the more interesting the story becomes, as it builds tension.
Hollywood has known this secret for years. Which is why love movies like:
“Rocky” and “Rudy”?
Where the hero has an obstacle to overcome, and we feel their pain, struggle and perseverance, as we root for their success.
Every good tale is built this way.
Think about “Shrek” – he’s got to rescue a princess who is locked in a big tower, with a fire-breathing dragon watching her.
In fact, can you think of an interesting movie where there ins’t any kind of a conflict, drama or challenge the hero has to overcome?
Without a challenge, there’s no emotional connection with your audience. The pain and the struggle is what makes them FEEL. And if you want to move people, you want them to FEEL it.
And finally, there has to be a resolution to the problem. The “happy end.”
This is where you connect your prospect makes the connection between the story and your product, without you having to come out and say it.
The story becomes a metaphor for demonstrating your product in action.
Let me give you quick example…
Let’s say I wanted to sell a product that teaches people how to outsource.
How could I use a story to sell it?
Here’s a true story of what happened to me from a few years back…
I’m sitting in my home office in morning, sipping on my coffee, tinkering with some images and the text on a web page I’m working on.
I quickly needed to create a new page to test a new traffic campaign for an affiliate product I was promoting.
After about 30 minutes, I’m ready to drive a fist through the monitor. No matter what I do, I can’t see to align the text and image.
Finally, I give up and go to Odesk (now Upwork.com) to find a freelancer.
This was the first time I’ve ever hired somebody.
I quickly write up a description of what I need. Set a budget and a deadline. And push GO.
Within 15 minutes my inbox is flooded with replies from freelancers all over the world.
I pick one. And within 30 minutes he has a perfectly done page, exactly like I needed it to be. For a mere cost of just $10.
See how that works?
If I was actually selling a product on outsourcing, I could now tie this story to my product, because I made the point. Which is… outsourcing can save you time and unnecessary frustration, and it’s easy to do.
Got a product you’re selling?
Try using a story to get your point across and see what happens!
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