by Steve Causey

People love hearing and telling stories. Watching movies, TV shows, and reading books have been ways to get our fill of stories for many years. Now, we also love finding stories in new media, such as in compelling social media posts.

Expert salespeople know how stories create connections. Stories are persuasion tools that salespeople can use to move their products. Sales negotiation training reveals how storytelling can turn a prospect into a loyal customer.

Storytelling Can Influence Customer Behavior

In the mid-1930s, radio broadcasters noticed that daytime domestic dramas were popular with housewives. Household goods brands started buying sponsorships for these programs to market their products. Sponsorship of domestic dramas became especially popular with soap-making companies. That’s how we came to have “soap operas.”

Storytelling strategies

You see, soap companies and radio broadcasters rightly predicted that these stories could be used to influence behavior. In this case, the radio soap operas were used to sway mainly housewives on the benefits of using one brand of soap over the others. 

Storytelling is just as widely employed today. We see sales-focused storytelling in TV, social media posts, case studies, blogs, and vlogs. Negotiation training teaches storytelling as a powerful way to express interest and exchange value with customers. 

Storytelling Can Be Used to Build Relationships

92% of consumers admit they trust their peers more than brand-name adverts. Brands are now often using customer-led storytelling. These stories help brands increase customer engagement, expand their reach, and build trust.

Brands and salespeople are achieving more sales by hosting social events, inviting influential customers to tell their stories, and engaging with bloggers. When customers tell their personal stories with a product or service, prospective customers receive a positive narrative.

Storytelling Can Create Personal Connections

Consumers are becoming more wary of mass advertising. For better sales negotiations results, sales professionals are investing in social selling tools, seminars, and training. Consumer insights are valuable as stories designed to persuade.

People like doing business with and buying from people they like. So, it makes sense for sales professionals to strive to know their prospects and customers on a personal level. Personal connection stories are entertaining and memorable. These stories help the buyer relate to your values, mission, and interests. When well crafted, the buyer can’t help but step into the shoes of your story’s main character.

These stories also introduce the sales professional as a person and not just another salesperson trying to wiggle their way into your wallet. Sales negotiation training can sharpen your storytelling skills to improve your sales conversion rates.

Storytelling Can Illustrate Possibilities

For decades, kids had been playing card games and hand-held electronic games to capture monsters. Then in July 2016, the Pokémon Go craze took over the world, and BOOM! Not just kids, but people across all ages as well as different cultures, religions, and places were on their phones searching for “pocket monsters”: Digletts, Pikachu, and Charmander, to name but a few.

Salespeople are using storytelling in much the same way to inspire change and illustrate possibilities to their customers. Virtual Reality (VR) companies have even entered the fray with new technologies that immerse people into a story.

Shoe companies tell us how investing in their shoes can give us athletic advantages. Politicians sell us on how our votes for their candidates can transform our world. Cosmetic surgeons use stories to persuade us to look like superstars with procedures that last just a few minutes. Stories fire up imaginations and open our minds to new thinking.

Driving Sales Negotiations Through Storytelling

Personal connection stories create a strong memory in prospective customers. These stories also help to establish real connections. With strategic storytelling, brands can build trust and influence customer behavior.

The sales negotiation process requires relationship building, and storytelling is one of the best tools for this. If your company still relies heavily on mass advertisements, maybe it’s time to change tact and engage in customer-led storytelling. 

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