How would you rate your storytelling skills? Knowing how to turn an ordinary pitch into a captivating narrative can help you engage with prospects and make your message stick. Stories are memorable and relatable. They help bridge gaps and forge connections, showing prospects what’s truly possible with promo.

That’s why Michelle Richardson, a vice president at The Brooks Group, says storytelling in sales is so powerful. When used correctly, stories can convince your prospects of the value of your solution.

How do you go about telling a good story? Read on. We share Richardson’s tips for using storytelling in sales in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Structure your story. Give it a beginning, middle and end. In a sales story, the hero is likely the client. Your product should solve the hero’s challenge, Richardson says.

Appeal to emotion and logic. Stories trigger an emotional response, which is what makes them so effective in sales pitches. Richardson recommends encouraging your sales reps to think about a decision-maker’s pain points and personal goals when developing a story to be used in a sales presentation.

Keep it brief and engaging. Ideally, your story should be under two minutes. This ensures it has the most impact. Richardson says stories should be used to enhance a sales presentation, not replace it.

Rehearse but don’t memorize. You should know the gist of what you want to say, but you shouldn’t memorize a script word for word. Richardson suggests developing a handful of stories that sales reps can use in their sales presentations and then having them practice their delivery.

Customize the story to the prospect. Aim to have several stories your sales reps can use during presentations – just make sure they tailor them for different audiences.

Sprinkle in some humor. According to Richardson, a story is a great opportunity to get a few laughs. Coach your sales team to identify prospects’ personality types. This can help them determine how much humor to use.

Thoughtfully choose the final words. How you end your story matters. While you can wing it a bit in the beginning and middle, make sure you nail your closing words.

When you want to differentiate yourself and rise above the noise, tell a good story. Know your audience and determine the key takeaway you want them to remember. Then, make it personal with testimonials and real-life examples. Finally, paint a vivid picture to help prospects visualize the story. Doing so can help make your sales pitch a persuasive and memorable experience.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Michelle Richardson is the vice president for sales performance research for The Brooks Group. She has more than 25 years of experience in sales and sales effectiveness functions.