How to use Sales Storytelling to Engage Your Prospects

In a world full of distractions and gadgets and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s still amazing that simply walking into a theater to watch a good movie has the power to block all of that out, at least for a couple of hours. It’s as if you don’t even have your cell phone with you anymore because you are so engaged in the story being told on the wide screen. This captivating experience is a testament to the power of sales storytelling, as it demonstrates how a well-crafted narrative can command attention and drive engagement. 

That is the power of story.  

To gain this level of attention from a prospect is what every salesperson desires but what few ever receive, and that is because most salespeople don’t know how to use the principles of story to not only engage a prospect, but to also invite them into a story in which they willingly hand over dollars, sometimes a lot of dollars, in order to participate.  

To begin using story to capture your prospect’s attention and watch them happily say yes to buying your product or service, remember the following critical elements of sales storytelling in your sales pitch:  

Sales Storytelling: Never be the hero of the story

n every good story, there must be a hero. There must be one main character who the story centers around, and this character must have something she wants, and there must be a problem that keeps her from getting what she wants. No hero, no story. No want, no story. No problem, no story. In your sales strategy, communicate your prospect as the hero and understand what she wants and why she is unable to get it. This is the beginning of every great story and is the starting point for engaging your prospects. 

Always be the guide of the story

Prospects don’t want to hear about how great your company is, how it was founded by your grandfather 70 years ago, how it’s creeping up the Inc. 500 list or how it built 125 wells in Africa over the last four years. Those are all pieces of information that make you and your company the hero, and there can only be one hero in a sales storytelling journey. If you make your company or its products and/or services the hero, then your prospect has no reason to engage in that story. Instead, position yourself as the guide who is there to help the hero overcome the problem and get what she wants. Every hero needs a guide who knows the way and will show the way. This required two critical elements to be a trustworthy guide:  

A trustworthy guide has to communicate authority, meaning you have to be able to demonstrate that you have the ability to help the hero (your prospect) overcome their problem to attain what they want. This can’t be your first rodeo, and if it is, you better have studied up to be well-prepared for this test in the realm of sales storytelling.  

Have a simple plan anyone can follow.  

3 steps to overcoming doubt. 4 foods to avoid losing weight. When a sales storytelling plan is too complicated, it creates apathy and paralysis, which equates to non-action. But a simple plan makes getting started so easy. When you present the hero (your prospect) with easy steps to overcome their problem, the overwhelming feeling of the problem begins to dissipate. Hope returns, and then all she needs is a little nudge to get started. We call this a direct call to action. Present a simple plan. Ask if there’s anything keeping them from getting started. A plan plus a call to action usually equals motion, the kind in which dollars are exchanged.  

Paint a clear picture in Sales Storytelling 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is true in sales storytelling, but many forget this step. The hero (your prospect) often needs a peak into the future to understand why she must act soon, so it’s critical to paint two pictures for your prospect:  

Success. What will it look like if she says yes and gets started? What will she feel? What will happen to her frustrations? What will she experience as a result of saying yes. There must be a positive outcome, something she wants to walk towards.  

Failure. What will be the outcome of inaction? What will she face? What additional problems will she incur. There must be a consequence for saying no, and this picture is best painted with compassion and truth, not with fearmongering.  

Perfecting these four aspects of sales storytelling will have a profound impact on the outcomes of your sales efforts, often in the form of shorter sales cycles, more yeses and less no’s, and higher-value deals. But the opposite is also true, in that failing to include these elements in your sales process will result in more confusion, less action and more no’s. As the saying goes, he who confuses, loses.  

Create clarity by learning to tell a great story. Make your prospect the hero, and position yourself as the guide. Present a simple, easy-to-follow plan and call your prospect into action. And paint a clear picture in the context of sales storytelling. 

Ready to transform your logistics sales strategy with the power of storytelling? Contact BETA Consulting Group today to learn how our sales storytelling expertise can help you engage your prospects, drive revenue, and achieve