Sales Presenting through the Power of Stories

a book is opened against a black backdrop with magical lighting and stars

As a sales person, one of the best ways to connect with your audience is with a story that involves them emotionally. 

This is a theme that comes through in any kind of presentation training, but especially in sales presentation training. Why? Because the point of a sales presentation is to grab the attention of your buyers and deliver a message that compels them to action. The more compelling and persuasive the story, the more the audience is likely to follow the presenter’s advice and recommendation.

Think about what would capture your own attention - certainly not a one-way lecture or a series of boring or over crowded slides. You want to listen to someone who knows why you are in the audience and what you hope to glean from the time. You want someone who clearly identifies with your situation and has some compelling insight or perspective that is new and valuable to you. You are there to learn and get something out of it.

Let’s say you are attending a conference around motivation and what works when you want to achieve an objective…quitting smoking perhaps. Here is a story that points out the power of setting specific goals and would encourage listeners to learn more about the presenter’s success at curbing bad habits.

Back in the 1950’s researchers asked the graduating class at Harvard University how many had written down specific goals and how they planned to achieve them.  Surprisingly in this class of high achievers and successful students, only 3% had a list of goals. But the results of their polling 20 years later was even more surprising. The same 3% who had written down their goals had garnered more wealth than the entire other 97% of the class combined. And if wealth alone is not what you would define as a worthy goal, they also reported being comparatively happier and healthier than their classmates.

The moral of the story? If you write down specific goals, you are more likely to achieve them.

For a story that has the power to grab and hold your audience, make sure it has the following characteristics:

  • Relevance: the story contains something the audience can relate to and identify with.
  • Challenge: the audience shares the challenge of the quest.
  • Resolution: the audience cares about the pain or the joy of the tale’s end.

Add stories to enhance your message and make it more memorable. But always make sure the story you tell relates meaningfully to what your audience cares about.

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