Used during a sales presentation, telling stories to customers can be a powerful relationship-building tool, or they can blow you up in your face.
Read on to find out why…
Storytelling is a powerful tool for building relationships with potential customers. The reason most people fail to take full advantage of it is that most people tell crummy stories that they think are really interesting.
I’ll give you a quick example citing both meanings.
Let’s say you decide to tell a story that you think will break the ice between you and your prospect. If you remember you told the story and the response was, “you know, something like this happened to me, except I had twice as many cars on the freeway that crashed “.
So your story meant nothing, or worse did more harm than good.
Chances are they weren’t even listening.
It’s the kind of story – the story that you haven’t tested in front of someone, trying to communicate, how you communicate it. Usually people tell stories during a sale because they don’t know what is needed for the sales presentation.
On the other hand, stories can work to your advantage.
Storytelling dates back to tribal culture, whereas before recorded history, storytelling was used to teach lessons, entertain, and preserve historical narratives.
Even in contemporary times, most people love a good story.
When you’re building relationships or trying to sell to a customer, stories humanize you, especially if you’re telling a story that’s particularly relevant to the person and often humorously self-deprecating.
In other words, choose on yourself!
I tell a story and if she comes after me; I have to admit, that’s how I made a lot of sales when I was face-to-face for advertising. I’ve made a lot of stories of self-mockery.
They were very short, tight, 2 minute stories. Shorter stories make it less likely that the listener will be bored, especially if they have really cute and cool endings, all very true and very real.
If you, as a marketing consultant, want a quick way to build relationships with clients, learn how to tell a good story. You’ll get a head start on the competition and can even build a relationship for life.