Sales evolve and value-based storytelling is the path to future success. Sales have changed over the years. In the early part of the last century, salespeople pitched a product. In recent years, we have witnessed an evolution of challenging the client with new ways of looking at their situation. You hear the buzzwords selling ideas and driving ideas. Buyers are now better informed than they were in the past. They can find product and company information on the Internet. They can even find the opinions of others in their industry. Thus, they now see information on results and business impacts specific to their organization.
The changing role of the seller
As a result of this evolutionary change in sales, the role of the salesperson has changed. They must seek out opportunities, develop strong relationships, help clients discover their needs, and work with them to develop solutions. They will also need to be skilled negotiators and help clients manage change when implementing the product or service.
Storytelling is the essential skill of the future
Storytelling is the most flexible and powerful skill available to be successful in this role. Why? Storytelling can help you generate interest and engage buyers to keep your pipeline full. Relationships are built on trust that develops by getting to know you better. Storytelling reinforces this confidence because it includes emotional words that allay clients’ fears and doubts by releasing the hormone of safety and confidence, oxytocin. You can tell different types of stories at different points in the sales cycle. The trust built through these stories convinces clients to work with you to uncover needs and develop solutions.
Stories help customers make decisions
Stories put things in context, making it easier for clients to digest complex information and make a decision. As CEO and producer Peter Guber recounts in his book Say win, the stories use “state of the heart” technology to engage and gain customer engagement. The stories turn negotiations from a standoff of wills to participatory discussions. They make customers active participants, and they want to negotiate when the solution is implemented, and the sooner the better.
Once they have made a decision, stories can help clients manage change. Stories of successful change in other organizations and stories with visions of, “What’s in it for me? Help employees support change. People want to feel like they’re part of the action. Stories help them experience these emotions by making them laugh, cry, get excited and take on new opportunities. It is essential that you become a good storyteller so that your audience can question old beliefs, get their questions answered, and then take ownership and action on your solution or service.
Experts like Steve Jobs of Apple, Paul Smith of Proctor and Gamble, and Peter Guber of Sony Pictures and other entertainment groups, and many other successful people have found that well-told stories are the most powerful way to connect, persuade and win the business now. and in the future.
Learning business storytelling skills can help you achieve fantastic success in 2020 and beyond. Start now.