Storytelling in Sales: 5 Tips for Successful Client Acquisition

by Andy Andrews in — May 2018
Everyone who is passionate about sales gets a kick from a close. But how do you get that kick more often? Storytelling is an effective method that every sales professional should have in their toolbox.

Storytelling: Effective for Facing Two Typical Challenges in Sales

Challenge #1: Getting decision makers to take time to listen. Nowadays, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and distractions pop up constantly. Shocking but true: at 9 seconds, the attention span of a goldfish is now longer than that of most people!

Renowned marketer talks about the challenge of communicating in this era of short attention spans in this video (warning, contains adult language).

Gary Vaynerchuk: Stop Storytelling Like it's 2007:

Challenge #2: It’s no secret that gut feeling plays a big role in the decision making process. The tricky part: how do you speak to someone’s gut? Facts and figures play a role, but typically they are used to justify decisions made on an emotional level. Storytelling gives you a tool for combining rational and emotional sales triggers.

Stories as Sales Tools: Here’s How They Get You Clients

Just any old story will not do if the story is to be a successful sales tool. Quite the contrary: craft the plot carefully for maximum effectivity. Here’s how:

  1. Paint a picture. Use concrete details. The specifics of a story create the connection in the listener that makes the story universal.
  2. Keep it relevant. The story must create a connection between the listener and the service or product you are selling.
  3. Suspense sells. Every successful story contains a problem and a solution. Every product or service solves a problem or meets a need. No wonder, then, that sales and stories are peas in a pod.
  4. Stick to the truth. Trust is the foundation of every relationship. Lies destroy that trust immediately and your credibility along with it.
  5. Use best practices as examples. They highlight your skills and provide value to the listener, who can learn from them. With good preparation, nothing stands in the way of your getting more clients with storytelling.

With good preparation, nothing stands in the way of your getting more clients with storytelling.

Recommended Books for Sales Professionals

If you want to improve your storytelling skills, make sure to check out these books:

What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story by Michael T. Bosworth and Ben Zoldan

Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron

Thanks also go to Franz-Xaver Burner for his insights into this topic.