Used during a sales presentation, telling stories to clients can either be a powerful tool for building rapport, or they can blow up in your face.
Read on to find out why…
Storytelling is a powerful tool for building relationships with potential clients. The reason most people fail at taking full advantage is because most people tell crummy stories that they think are really interesting.
I’ll give you a quick example citing both ways.
Let’s say you decide to tell a story you think will break the ice between you and your prospect. If you can remember that you told the story and the response was, “you know I had something like that happen to me except for I had twice as many cars on the highway that were crashed.”
Then your story meant nothing, or worse yet did more damage than good.
Chances are they weren’t even listening.
That’s the kind of story – the story that you haven’t tested in front of somebody, trying to communicate, how you communicate it. Usually people tell stories at a sale because they’re not sure what is necessary for the sales presentation.
On the other hand, stories can work to your benefit.
Storytelling dates back to tribal culture, when before recorded history, storytelling was used to teach lessons, entertain, and preserve historical accounts.
Even in contemporary times, most people love a good story.
When you’re building relationships or attempting to make a sale to a client, stories humanize you, especially if you tell a story that is uniquely relevant to the person and is often self-deprecating in humor.
In other words, pick on yourself!
I tell a story and if it picks on me; I’ve got to confess, this is how I made a lot of sales when I was in face-to-face sales for advertising. I did a lot of self-deprecating stories.
They were very short, tight, 2-minute stories. Shorter stories make it less likely that the listener will get bored, especially if they have really cute, cool finishes, all very true and very real.
If you, as a marketing consultant want a quick way to build rapport with clients, learn how to tell a good story. You’ll move yourself far ahead of the competition, and may even build a relationship for life.