In a past post we shared some simple yet powerful insight on the power of storytelling. Among other things, stories are much more memorable when compared to selling presentations or lectures, and they often inspire others to take action!
During the selling process, the ideal times to incorporate a story are when trying to reinforce the value proposition or when addressing a concern or objection. Stories area also an excellent way to engage an audience when making presentations.
But it is also important for sales professionals and sales leaders to recognize that a poorly-told story can have the opposite effect!
Here are six guidelines for crafting and telling the most compelling stories when engaged in selling or making a presentation:
- Start with a character your audience can relate to. Make your ideal customer the hero of your story.
- Set the stage. One quality of a bad story or storyteller is the feeling that you being subjected to pointless rambling.
- Establish conflict. You can’t have an interesting story without conflict.
- Foreshadow. Foreshadowing is a simple technique of hinting at what is to come, thus building suspense and value.
- Use dialog. Stories are about people, and people talk. This can enable us to vary tone and “voice” during presentations as well.
- Keep it interactive. Use receptivity tests or rhetorical questions to keep the audience engaged.
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