I’ve struggled with sleep for as long as I can remember.
Sometimes it’s waking up early; sometimes it’s struggling to drop off. There are no shortages of Apps to help. One of the best is Calm
Particularly effective are the ‘sleep stories’. Stephen Fry describes lavender fields for 24 minutes while Jerome Flynn takes half an hour to detail a trip down the Oxford Canal. I’ve never heard the conclusion to either.
They’re a bit like certain sales stories I’ve heard in that respect. Apart from the Sleep stories are purposely boring – sales stories aren’t meant to be. What they have in common is excessive detail. What they lack is rising action.
Here are 5 tips for more effective story-based pitches.
1) Have an ‘active’ question.
This is the question you need to plant in your client’s head at the beginning of the presentation. One method is to trail your solution up-front without going into detail. Curiosity is the glue that keeps an audience listening. An active question delivers attention. Attention equals sales.
2) Show the struggle.
Too often origin stories go straight from launch to triumph. It’s an opportunity missed. How your business dealt with a major setback says as much about you as a roster of awards or a prestigious client list. Detail adds credibility to sales stories. It also endorses the merit of the storyteller as a potential ally.
3) Use Metaphors
Because they stick in the your client’s memory after you’ve gone, and that’s when the decision is often made. A metaphor is the substitution of one thing for another. As Larry Schmidt once advised Cheryl Sandberg about joining Facebook, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat, just get on.” Our brains are wired for images, and metaphors are images conjured through words. They give resonance and traction to your sales message.
4) Logos and Ethos
Logos is the ancient Greek word for Logic. All salespeople use logic, usually in the form of features and benefits. Particularly successful salespeople incorporate Ethos, which translates as credibility. It’s about your connection to the product or service you’re selling and positioning yourself as a subject expert.
5) Show don’t tell…
Is advice for screenwriters that’s as old as the format. Salespeople often disregard this principle by giving a litany of information when an example can do twice the work in half the time. This doesn’t have to be a full-blown case study but a punchy digest of how a parallel problem was solved for a similar client.
If you struggle to sleep then you can find the Calm app here https://www.calm.com/
If you want to sharpen your sales stories, download my guide 9 Strategies To Win More Business Through Storytelling here www.gregkeen.co.uk
Thanks for reading,