It is difficult to stand out in a crowded market. This especially true during tough economic times. Storytelling is an effective tool to improve lead conversion. While most people hate being sold to, stories help you open their minds and get your message across. It helps humanize your pitch and does away with the same boring sales communications that fail to convert. Stories are emotional triggers that people are naturally wired to connect with. In fact, a Forrester research found that 93% of consumers are more likely to purchase a brand they are more connected to. While B2B transactions are less about emotions and more about practicality and actual needs, let’s not forget that decision makers are humans too.
To employ effective storytelling strategies in lead conversion, you need to have these 5 elements to have an impactful story.
Characters – Identify the main protagonist in your story as well as the individuals who either helped or hampered them in reaching their objectives. Provide enough information so that the listener can understand the background and challenges of the person. The protagonist will drive the way the plot develops and is usually the “hero” who solves the problem or overcomes obstacles.
Business Setting – Setting is the location of the action. This helps the listener imagine the environment where the event occurred. By creating a vivid backdrop, the story becomes more interesting and thought-provoking.
Plot – This is the story line that follows the chain of events that make up the narrative. A plot should have a clear beginning, middle, and end so that the listener can have a sense of the action taking place.
Conflict – Conflict is the challenge that needs to be resolved. It is the rising tension that leads the protagonist to the climax: the peak of the story where the main character faces the conflict and prompts them to act to change and improve the situation. The conflict gives the audience something to care about, and you get them asking questions.
Resolution – This is the unfolding or solution of a complicated problem or challenge. This concludes the narrative.
Here are some ways to use storytelling to connect with your audience towards lead conversion:
1. Share the “Why” of Your Company to Connect w/ Your Audience
Simon Sinek, a business author and motivational speaker, once said, “People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.” To differentiate your business from the competition, you must be able to articulate your purpose. Purpose relates to your “Why” as a business. Purpose should encompass everything you do. In order to fuel their interest and connect at a deeper level, you must be able to tell a compelling story about what motivated you to start the business and why it pushes you forward.
2. Tell Stories to Showcase the Benefits of Your Product/Service
Providing a product/service demonstration can be a key value-selling activity to hasten the decision-making process for a prospect. It allows then to understand the impact your offering can have on their business. Demos are often straight forward and highlights why your product/service is a logical solution. Adding a storytelling element provides rich imagery and meaning to the process. When you engage both logic and emotions, it can overcome initial biases the prospect may have had at the start. When the human brain is gripped, it makes your demo much more memorable and aids brand recall. Of course this starts with a clear understanding of your prospect’s pain points, but lead conversion improves when you are able to relate it to a story.
3. Develop Stories for Different Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are research-based representations of your ideal buyers. It describes who they are (demographics), their goals and motivations, their mindset, the manner they purchase and what influences their buying decisions. Buyer personas are vital in positioning your brand and features and benefits that you offer. The more thoroughly the buyer persona is fleshed out, the more effective you will be in targeting the right audience. This is where storytelling can provide value. By developing background stories, you can humanize and empathize with your buyer personas and this will greatly improve your marketing messaging or sales pitch.
4. Relate Success Stories from Previous Clients
Experience is a powerful way to add credibility to your brand. The success stories of your previous clients can be a gold mine to aid in lead conversion. But simply presenting then with a dry narrative of the benefits of your product will not move your audience. Develop stories on the overall impact it had on your client’s business. Share their initial doubts and how these were quelled once they were on-boarded. Talk about how it not only saved them money but how it also significantly improved their business processes on a personal level. You can even create case studies that can be downloaded from your website. This vote of confidence from other firms, especially established ones, will give your prospect assurance and social proof that your product or service works as it should.
5. Use Stories to Bring Data to Life
Presenting data is important. But combining it with stories will make it even more powerful. Your audience sees data as just a collection of numbers until you are able to narrate the story behind it. Showing reports can be overwhelming and may cause them to lose focus. Storytelling brings data to life and makes it more interesting. Your ability to translate data into the value and impact it can have on the customer’s business will affect your lead conversion rate. Remember that even the best data, if not presented well, may end up becoming useless.
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