Why Value Based Storytelling Is the Path to Success

Sales is changing, and value-based storytelling is the path to future success. Sales has changed over the years. In the first part of the last century, salespeople made a product pitch. In recent years we have seen the move to challenging the customer with new ways of looking at their situation. You hear the buzzwords insight selling and idea driving. Buyers are now more informed than they were in the past. They can find product and company information on the Internet. They can even find opinions from others in their industry. So, they are now seeing information about outcomes and business impacts specific to their organization.

The Changing Role of the Salesperson

As a result of this evolutionary change in sales, the role of the salesperson has changed. They have to seek out opportunities, develop strong relationships, help customers uncover needs, and work with them to develop solutions. They will also have to have to be skilled negotiators and help customers manage change as they implement the product or service.

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Storytelling is the Must-Have Skill of the Future

Storytelling is the most flexible and powerful skill available to succeed in this role. Why? Storytelling can help you spark interest and engage buyers to keep your pipeline full. Relationships are built on trust that is developed by getting to know you better. Storytelling builds that trust as it includes emotional words that calm customer fears and doubts as they release the safety and trust hormone, oxytocin. You can tell different types of stories at various points in the sales cycle. The trust built through these stories convinces customers to work with you to uncover needs and develop solutions.

Stories Help Customers Make Decisions

Stories put things in context, so it is easier for customers to digest complex information and make a decision. As CEO and producer Peter Guber relates in his book Tell to Win, stories use the “state-of-the-heart” technology to engage and obtain customer commitment. Stories change negotiations from a tug of war of the wills to participative discussions. They make customers active participants, and they want to negotiate the day the solution is implemented, and the sooner, the better.

Once they make a decision, stories can help customers manage change. Stories of successful change in other organizations and stories with visions of: “What’s in it for me” help employees support the change. People want to feel part of the action. Stories help them experience these emotions by making them laugh, cry, get excited, and embrace new opportunities. It is critical that you become a good storyteller so your audience can question old beliefs, get their questions answered, and then own and act on your solution or service.

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