Using Storytelling to Sell – Part One: The Storyteller
Storytelling is a key tool that people can use to inform, educate and ignite the imagination of their buyer. For franchisors, storytelling can be a way of inspiring potential franchisees to take the next step in the franchise buying process. Franchisees can use storytelling as a way of effectively selling their product or service.
To quote Robert McKee, “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” As much as buyers will want to know the facts, this alone will not inspire them. Stories allow us to better communicate our ideas and be more personal. In doing so this gives us a competitive advantage.
You may think you have a fantastic idea but if you cannot communicate it well then no-one will want to listen. In this first part we will be finding out what makes a great storyteller.
So how can you become a more effective communicator through storytelling? The first step is to get over fear of public speaking. You must remember that great storytellers are made - not born. We must all hone our craft to become experts. And you cannot inspire others without being inspired yourself. What you have to say is important and inspiring. Your ideas are meant to be heard.
Great storytellers also know how to embrace struggle and triumph. A story about overcoming your hardships can be a powerful tool to have in your arsenal – especially if you learned something along the way.
By sharing a story with your clients that is personal and triumphant, it helps to underpin the company’s core initiatives and background. It gives value to your ideas and where the company is headed.
What if you’re no good at telling stories?
To repeat, great story tellers are made not born. Many of us would have heard of King George VI’s plight with public speaking. The reluctant King’s stammer restricted him for a time. But practise, determination and a duty to speak turned him into an empowering force to rally behind. His speeches during World War II brought hope to the British people and inspired them to carry on through the struggle.
It is natural to be nervous ahead of speaking to an important group as we all hope to be accepted. It is not that you are no good at telling stories; it’s just that you haven’t had enough practise yet.
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