Honing your storytelling skills might be the key to boosting your sales numbers. Skeptical? Read on…
Whether they come in the form of ancient fables, 19th century novels, or tall tales told around a campfire, storytelling has always played a key role in our ability to connect with one another on a personal level. While the notion of selling with stories might seem a bit far-fetched, don’t write it off until you’ve actually tried it – you might be pleasantly surprised by the revenue boost that the soft-sell can provide.
Ditch the Jargon and the Hard-Sell
When it comes to closing deals, establishing a common ground with the client is key — primarily because it builds trust and encourages good rapport. The first step in making a solid connection with a new lead is removing the heavy jargon and overly-complicated facts from your pitch.
While you may be eager to show off your expertise and establish yourself as an authoritative expert, an onslaught of data and insurance-speak can alienate prospective clients, as LifeHealthPro warns — especially if they are not very familiar with the industry or the type of policy you’re selling.
Of course, facts and logic are vital when convincing a client to pull the trigger on a deal, but they don’t actually encompass the full spectrum of the decision-making process — your pitch must appeal to their emotional side as well.
Harness the Power of Storytelling
In this regard, the soft-sell is a much more effective approach. Don Goldmann, VP at Word & Brown University and President of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), knows from experience that a good story or anecdote can, in fact, be the clincher.
In his keynote speech at the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo, Goldmann isolated the three core characteristics of a good story: the ability to educate, persuade, and motivate the listener. Case in point: Goldmann described how his initial efforts to convince the primary breadwinner of a family to acquire life insurance were met with indifference.
However, when he followed up with the man six months later, he described how he’d personally witnessed the suffering of many families whose primary earner had passed away without having bought life insurance. As you might expect, transforming the product’s value from an intangible concept into a relatable scenario was enough to seal the deal the second time around.
Emotions as a Motivating Force
But don’t just take our word for it — today’s top scientific experts affirm the persuasive and motivational power of stimulating the emotional processing areas of the brain. According to recent research by leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio in BigThink, people with damage to the parts of the brain that generate emotions couldn’t make decisions as easily as those who showed no damage.
For those afflicted, even simple choices, such as what to eat or where to sit down in a room, were impossible. Though they could explain in logical terms what they thought they should be doing, the act of choosing was impossible.
This example translates directly to the sales process: if you fail to appeal to a prospective client on a personal level and evoke an emotional response, they’ll probably have a hard time making a definitive decision. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily invent tall tales to trick leads into purchasing your products.
However, harnessing the emotional resonance of stories in order to appeal to the decision-making faculties of your clients could definitely pay off. By refraining from the hard-sell, you can build the level trust necessary to separate yourself from your competitors and experience a dramatic increase in your revenue stream.
(Main image credit: Lia Leslie/Pexels)