People make decisions on an emotional level and then justify them logically. If you hear a story about someone else that mirrors what’s happening to you, you visualize yourself in that role. When you hear that someone else has used this product or service as their solution, it makes the decision to buy easier. It helps ease your nerves.
As the seller, you can tap into the real needs of a buyer that help them make a decision. You do this by sharing real, relevant, and descriptive stories that put the buyer in that scenario. Donald C Kelly shares how story selling is in the details in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
Every story has to have a hero and a guide. Donald Miller talks about this in his book, “Storybrand.” You are Gandalf and the client is Frodo. You need to make sure you’re guiding those individuals and not trying to take the limelight.
Secondly, you have to make sure your story is demonstrating a real and relevant problem. You can’t make something up. Frodo had to save Middle Earth from destruction. The guide was able to help them.
What was the defining moment? What was the impact? What is the solution and resolution that comes from it?
Donald emphasizes that you have to have a good imagination. Salespeople tend to push the sale to the close. But when you’re telling a story, you need to linger on descriptions. You need to linger on details. You need to linger on the things that pull on people’s heartstrings.
You can share how you helped someone with their CRM. Or you could say, “They go into the office dreading opening their CRM because it’s so convoluted and difficult to use…” Focusing on emotions helps them imagine the pain and difficulty.
What are Donald’s top storytelling tips?
Donald was selling software to Indian River County Schools in Florida. The School District wanted to go paperless. They had a place on campus that housed all of their files that no one wanted to use. It wasn’t only difficult to find anything but was dangerous because there were boxes stacked everywhere.
So Donald shared a story about another school district in a similar circumstance. Unfortunately, an elderly staff member was hurt because they had to climb on the boxes and fell. He helped his prospect to visualize what could happen without a solution.
But Donald didn’t stop there. He shared how this school district implemented the digital solution and how their life became far easier. This resonated with his prospect and they were able to move the sale to the school board.
But that’s not how the story ends. Listen to the whole episode to hear the rest of Donald’s story!
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