The 3 storytelling secrets to successfully sell anything
Monday Oct 15th, 2018
The Wall Street Journal famously told a tale of two high school buddies who were very much alike. Both boys grew up together, were equally the same degree of intelligence, both were personable and charismatic, and both held ambitious dreams for the future.
On their 25th high school reunion, the boys returned as men and were both still very much alike. Both were happily married, with the same number of children and even went to work for the same Midwestern manufacturing company after graduating.
The only difference? One was a manager and the other was the company’s CEO.
The Wall Street Journal then concludes the best sales pitch of all time — that never felt like a sales pitch to begin with — all because of this one little-known secret to successfully sell anything.
And that’s the thing, we’re all in the sales business whether we know it or not. At some point in life, you’ll want to benefit from being able to positively influence people in one way or another.
Trying to put on a killer presentation at work? Trying to land your dream job? Trying to get the girl, get on that sports team, change someone’s mind — these are all monumental moments in life where we’re naturally selling.
And at the core of it, in order for any of these moments to be successful, they require the other person to make a connection. Whether you’re selling a product or service, or just simply an idea or opinion — connection is the core component that our thought-sharing economy thrives on.
How do we create connection to successfully sell anything? Enter storytelling.
Sales Rule #1: Start with their story
Your customer or client is coming to you with a story. A story about their lives, a story about their problem or a story about themselves.
When we’re in need of a solution to a problem, we connect with people who have already been through it because their guidance and story helps inform our own. We buy things because of what they say about us and our story.
Sales Rule #2: Every hero’s journey starts with a problem
When a client is shopping for a new residence, they’re on a journey fraught with fire-breathing dragons and burnt down castles and they’re just looking to successfully make it to their new home with everything intact.
Every hero starts with a problem and clients will choose to work with a realtor who comes backed with solid market knowledge, solutions in hand and a skillset to get the job done. Developing a natural ability and attunement to identify your clients’ needs and putting them first is a priority.
You see, the hero’s journey is a moving one because it requires your prospect to take the journey on their own terms and learn about what they’re truly looking for as options are presented to them. Taking the time to get clear on exactly what your client or customer is looking for means you can serve them better and check everything off their list.
Sales Rule #3: Help lead them to victory.
When you're selling a product or service, it's hard to go wrong if you're genuinely looking to help.
Leading them to victory throughout your sales process, whether through education, researching your prospect’s challenges ahead of time or coming up with creative solutions to present is how you’ll win their trust.
By thinking of yourself as a proactive problem-solver and trusted resource and knowing your role in your client or customers story, you can shift the concept of selling to be about connection. No one wants to be sold to, but everyone loves a story.
When you use this storytelling format to sell, you have an opportunity to make your client the hero and help to show them how their trials and tribulations can be resolved as a result of working with you.
Whether you’re showing a client a new home or helping them paint the picture of what their new chapter might look like, just remember: every positive story needs a happy ending.