How to use Storytelling to Increase Sales
You've developed your business and now you have some amazing products or services. But now you have to sell them.
You my think of advertising the products by emailing about it, or showing them off on social media. But it may seem like you're not getting the results you're expecting to.
This could be due to the fact that you potential clients aren't a fan of the usual sales techniques such as having adverts all over social media, the television, banner adverts on websites and even printed on the sides of cars.
But, there is another technique you could use that you may not have thought about. You can do it though storytelling.
Buying attention is not enough
It used to be simple. You would be able to have an advert and people would buy what you're selling. This is no longer the case as marketing has evolved to new techniques, and adverts in almost every place we look.
Over the last couple of years there has been information overload in the world. Nearly everyone now has access to the internet or television, and most people are on their smart phones checking out social media or just browsing the internet. With the instant access that's now happening, attention spans are getting shorter and people are not paying attention to adverts that pop-up on a website. In fact, these are now becoming a nuisance and potential clients have resorted to using apps like ad blockers which try and remove all adverts from their browsing.
How are you going to get through to people who don't even see the adverts you're producing?
The answer: Tell engaging stories
Adverts are intrusive - they force their way into your lives.
Stories are engaging and slowly bring you to the point of being liked. They tell how you helped overcome a problem and saved the day for the client.
Stories should lead the reader through the problem, how you were the only people who could help with the problem and then to the eventual solution.
Make your audience the Hero
It's natural that you want to be able to talk about your business and your successes. However this can lead to it being all me, me, me which will seriously bore your audience and will be very counterproductive.
You need to make your audience believe that you're talking about them and how they were the hero, righting wrongs and saving the day.
Remember this is about your audience, they want to know how you can help them achieve their goals. In order to do this you have to be the guiding light and not just the knight in shining armour.
Start where it gets interesting
Have you ever read a book and wondered where the actions going to start? You have to read through most of the first chapter before the story really kicks in. Boring right?
If your story does this you may lose the interest of the reader. Remember, they're already having information overload. They may start to skip bits or even give in entirely.
You don't even have to keep the story in order. You can start in the middle of the story, where the client is now facing the problem and looking for a solution. Or you can even start at the end, where the client has had all of their problems solved before going back to see how they got there. Remember your clients are coming to you for help. They know how they got into their problem, they don't need you to retell that part of the story.
Keep the stakes high
Who wants to hear a story about something small and everyday such as cutting the grass? But what if the story was actually about a wager between two friends as to who could cut the most grass in 2 hours? Then what if this was happening while there was a drought and there was no grass anywhere apart from in a garden on the other side of a mountain? What if these 2 friends risked their friendships and their lives over this, what started out as a, simple bet.
OK. This went a bit far, but the point is, make the small seem over the top. Exaggerate a little and embellish a few things here and there. Keep your reader interested in your story. Everyone is interested in over the top stories.
Take the example of a plumber. A client knows that if they don't use a plumber they could have a leak and water damage, not such an exciting story. However you could lead on to the fact that this water damage could lead to soil erosion and property subsidence if left unchecked. Keep the reader on the edge of their seats.
Have an ending in mind
Every story has an ending, whether it be happy or sad, action packed or a cliffhanger, your story should be the same. You should have an end that speaks to the reader, maybe even drop in a call to action. Don't leave them hanging though!
Make the reader feel as though they have gained something from reading your story and leave them wanting to come back to you for more advice in the future. This is where the true gains are made with storytelling.
Involve the senses
Ever read a book and felt as though you were there? As though you were seeing and feeling what the main character was? This is through the art of using taste, smell, sound and feel in order to get across what's going on.
This is done in order to immerse the reader in the story. To pull them in and make them want to read on. It's not about brainwashing them into doing your bidding. It's about wanting them to read more of the story and keep going until the end where they may get a subtle call to action.
This is a small guide about how to use storytelling to enthrall your readers and sell without selling. It's about getting them interested in what you have to say and keep them coming back for more. Use a case study, and build the story around and show off how your business can help new clients, by using the methods that you've used with old clients.