Storytelling to increase sales? That’s right, it works. If you use an honest narrative, you can grab the attention of consumers and stimulate interest in your business enough to generate sales. What follows are some storytelling strategies that can help boost your business.
1. Focus on the Milieu
Deal with the facts of life. Use a story to help customers visualize a situation that they can relate to but haven’t really considered a problem. Tell them how your business can help. Ideally, your story should come from personal experience. Remember the time when people lugged around several devices such as the mobile phone, the PDA, and the MP3 player? Recount your experiences and how the hassle of having to carry several gadgets at the same time was addressed by the smartphone.
An entry point for your company could be the problem of customers who are forced to pay large money just to avail of services that are monopolized by only one firm. This becomes your opportunity to peg your company as the stronger alternative. You may even stress that there is always a better way to do things: your way.
2. Pinch the Heart
Aside from presenting the milieu, you must pinch the heart of your audience. Bank on their emotions. Have a detailed discussion of the problem and the limitations of your competitors by emphasizing and building up every point. Make them realize that the situation they’re currently in isn’t ideal. Tell them how you can relate because of a common experience. You can understand their feelings because you’ve been there, done that, and know better.
In the 1984 super bowl ad by Apple, IBM was presented as the dominant controlling player in the industry and that Apple, the underdog, is the only company that will stand in its way. This strategy worked wonders and can also work to your advantage if you are a new business player. Just present yourself as the promising upstart trying to make a name in the business.
3. Show and Tell
Do you recall when you were kids and asked to bring something to class for show and tell? Remember how excited we got? We’d go home and tell our parents what the other kids brought and how cool their stuff was. Wouldn’t it be great if the same thing happens when we show and tell our business? That’s the reason why there are so many product demo booths in malls and trade fairs. People get entertained by products in action even when they them the cold shoulder. It gives them a chance to see how they themselves can use it at home or work. They can even touch the items shown, which facilitates a connection to the product.
If you are selling a camera, don’t just tell them how many megapixels you have. Instead, appeal to your audience by telling and showing them how easy it is to use your camera and the great pictures it takes. Explain everything in simple language instead of bombarding them with technical jargon. You may quote other people who’ve already bought the camera and experienced how great it was. Allow them to feel an affinity with other satisfied customers.
4. Stick to What’s True
Your audience can get transfixed by the story about your product. But mind you, this is not the kind of imaginary story that you tell in front of a camp fire. Stick to what’s real and true or you will regret it later on. Have you encountered those street hawkers who sell all sorts of products which they say can do this or that but turn out as duds in the end? You’d swear you’d not buy from them anymore once you’ve fallen victim to them. The same principle holds true when presenting your product. Remember that when you craft the story, it must revolve around what’s true. Unlike street hawkers, your customers know where to find you.