executive coach looking at a picture

Words from executive coach , Jacky Lim. Have you ever heard of the statement that facts tell while stories sell?

Whether you are a sales professional or business owner who is seeking for a more effective approach to sell more in this day and age, or whether you are an employee who is looking for a better way to convince your boss to buy into your proposal, stories can create the magic! A well-composed and conveyed story can make a huge difference in your ability to sell, lead and influence.

Why stories work?

The main reason why stories are such powerful tools in influence is due to their abilities to connect with peoples’ emotions. After all, human beings are creatures of emotions. We rarely make a buying decision logically; it is almost always an emotional decision which is linked to our values . For instance, have you ever been to a departmental store before and ended up buying something which you do not really need? But somehow you managed to convince yourself that it was a “logical” decision to buy the item.

Thus as you learn to craft a story and communicate in a way which appeals to the subconscious motivations of your clients, you will be able to increase your influence in the decision-making process.

How to craft a story?

The question that many people have for me though is: What kind of stories should I tell and how can I craft a story in a way that creates impact?

I believe the first key to developing a great story is to know what your desired outcomes or objectives are. When you know the outcomes you are trying to achieve, you are better able to choose the appropriate stories to share. Moreover there are two kinds of stories you can use- one is known as the personal story and other the story of others. The use of personal stories can be very powerful since they are unique to you.

Next, you need to be able to open the minds of your target audience by sharing the story or stories in a way which appeal to their needs. Your prospects must be able to see how your story is relevant to their situation and how it is able to help them to solve their problems.

For instance,  I once worked with a client who is an insurance agent to develop her story in enhancing her personal brand equity. Through the use of a personal story, she is now able to position herself differently from her competitors in a cut-throat industry as people are able to see the benefits that they could derive by choosing to work with her. Imagine coming up with your own personal stories to build your personal brand and increase your perceived value in the market you are serving. The greater your perceived value, the greater the fees you are able to command. You will be able to attract clients who are less likely to judge you based on the price you charge and are more willing to pay a premium for your expertise.

What are some success stories you have created?

Finally, here is the biggest tip on how you could use stories to sell more effectively- share with others the success stories you have created so far. Today we are living a world where we no longer trust the advertisers as much as we did in the past. Consumers today are more knowledgeable than ever before and will do more research on you if they are considering whether to make a purchase from you. However, when you are able to show them the success stories you have created for others, they will find your value proposition more believable. This is why video testimonials are so powerful today.

What is your story? 

So what is your story? What are some stories you can use to strategically arouse behavior change from your prospects and customers? When you learn the art of selling through stories, you will be on your way to achieving higher closing ratios, shorter sales cycles, and higher margins.