You can create a strong brand, fill your site with all the features and benefits in the world, but if you want to really engage with visitors then you have to be a good story teller. Since we fell out of the trees and began sitting around fires, stories have been a way of passing on history, entertaining each other, passing the time and developing relationships.
If you tell a potential customer that one of your key benefits is customer service then they may, quite rightly, shrug their shoulders and tell you ‘that’s what everyone says’. On the other hand, if you tell them the story about a customer last week who had a problem and how you took out extra time to sort it for them, you are showing them that you believe in great customer service. They connect with that customer at a deeper level and they appreciate what you did for them.
Show Don’t Tell
Case studies are a good example of how you can include storytelling into your sales provision, showing how customer X had a problem and what you did to solve it and how you went that extra mile to make sure they got everything they needed. Blog posts are another place where you can tell a good story and give visitors the opportunity to become immersed in your vision and the experience of your business and your customers.
Good storytelling can:
- Engage your customer straight away.
- Motivate them to act more quickly.
- Help to build a level of trust that mere facts and promises can’t do.
- Turn dull data, features and benefits into more memorable pieces of information that stick in the consumer’s brain.
Stories are not only rich in language they’re also rich in imagery. Consumers can visualise things which they can’t when you talk about how many customers benefited from your latest gadget in a recent survey. They see how your product or service is used in reality and the results that follow. Think of your benefits and features as a black and white 15-inch TV. Storytelling sells your product with rich Technicolour, surround sound and a big cinema screen.
What Makes a Great Story?
A story should have a hero your consumer can identify with. The hero should also be subject to what literary types call a stimulus (a problem) that leads to conflict and tension. The key to the story is how they resolve this problem. When the solution to their problem becomes available, it will transform the hero in some way. The moral is that the solution to the problem allows the hero to navigate the landscape of the problem.
Okay, that sounds a little complicated when we put it like that. In sales terms, the hero is a customer and their problem can be anything from a legal issue, the need for better phone or a business that wants to improve its reach to potential consumers. Without a resolution to the problem they can’t move forward. That’s where you come in and solve the problem, save the day and make the consumer’s life a whole lot better.
Tell a story if you really want to be remembered
Finally, a great story not only depends on what you say but how you say it. It has to have passion and it has to mean something to you if it is going to have resonance for the customer. That means you have to believe in it. Get your potential customer to feel and react and you are creating something a hundred times more memorable than just a few features and benefits and you are more likely to sell.
We have been sharing our stories for nearly 5 years, in that time we have generated enquiries and therefore clients, because people read and remember our stories. What is your story?