Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Storytelling

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When you think of storytelling, what do you think of?  Kids snuggled in bed listening to a story before bed.  Or as a kid, sitting in a circle on the floor listening to a story at school or at the library.

Did you know that the best way for your business to stand out in the crowd is when you make an emotional connection to your audience?  Think about your target audience.  Can you picture them?  I mean down to the smallest detail – age, sex, occupation, favorite things to do, etc?  If you can’t and you are just tossing your business out there – you are getting lost in the clutter.

In direct sales we are often taught that “if they want it, they will come”.  You know sort of like the “if you build it, they will come” BUT the truth is you need to stand out.  Your customers need a reason to select YOU over all of the others.  Will it be because of your awesome customer service? Will it be because you have a great story?  What is the reason that people stay with you as their consultant?  What are the compliments that you receive from your customers?  Do you host a great party?

Your success is dependent on your ability to trigger the right emotions, from the right audience, at the right time.  Scary, right?

The real connection to your customers happens when you share a story that helps them to see themselves in your story. So here are the 3 outcomes that you want from your story:

  1. It’s memorable – your story is relatable and people feel a part of it
  2. It inspires action – a great story will draw people in and motivate them to act (buy, book or join)
  3. The story travels – meaning it will be recounted and shared with others

So what does your story do?  I have always hoped that mine will inspire but depending on the group it sometimes draws people in so that they can easily retell it. According to Bridget Brennan, author of Why She Buys, “women talk to connect” If your main audience is women, storytelling is the way to inspire them.

A great way to share your story is with a “why” bag.  I can hear the  groans as you think – “here comes the importance of your why lecture”.  Nope, not going to happen.  Just a few suggestions for your why bag:

  • if you are working to pay off debt – have a cut up credit card
  • if you are working for a vacation – have something that represents it
  • if you are working to stay home with your kids – have a picture of your kids

See, it really isn’t hard just think about what you are using your commission check for and share it.  When you share your story or your why at a party, keep it to 2 – 3 minutes.  Just enough highlights to spark their interest and hopefully trigger an emotion to help them connect with you and your product.

When you shift to talking about your products – it should be about the benefits first and the features second. It’s important to explain what your product can do for your customers.  We can all see the features but we may need a story so that we can see it in our lives.

The final key is to not overwhelm your customers with too much detail.  Did you know that too many options can have the reverse affect on your customers?  Inside of reveling in the choices they become overwhelmed and frustrated to the point where they don’t want anything.  In some cases, more options can actually mean fewer sales and less satisfaction.

Think about it, what happens when you have too many options?  Our customers are the same way.  The best is 2 or 3 items from each “category” of your business.  In the long run, narrowing down the options will be drive more sales in the long-term.

When your customers connect with your story – whether it is your why or your products in their life – you become valuable which helps you to sell your product solutions.  From there, you can continue to strengthen your emotional connection with them so that you can] build long-term, profitable relationships.

So, who wants to share their story? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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