Is stealing money justified? What if I said the name Robin Hood? Will that change your opinion on the first question? The name Robin Hood, in the minds of most of us, is linked to a story; a story that evokes emotions of justice, compassion and good prevailing. Most of you learned your first ethical dilemma through that story. Now, the simple act of hearing “Robin Hood” will take you back to a whole story-line that you’ve held with you since.
Why is that?
We know that a story is basically a compelling narrative that touches on our thoughts and emotions. Perhaps something about stories makes us see things from a new set of eyes, almost in a childlike manner that gives us a taste of using our own imagination, and this can be very captivating.
Come to think about it, our whole life is built up based on stories, those of which are light and entertaining, and others that are more soulful and mesmerizing. Humans are in constant need of connecting to something, whether it’s funny, sad, educational, or even personal.
That being said, however you go about your daily life and tasks, a story is being told, and in most cases, you are the narrator.
So how do you know you’re telling the right story? And why does it matter?
First let’s back up the components of what makes up a story:
It includes a setting, a plot, characters, and a resolution – or even a hero. Something about this composition makes you want to stop and listen, imagine yourself in the scenario, and what you would have done had it been your situation – this makes people more engaged with you and your story. We are made up of emotions that demand to be felt and stories evoke these feelings, they make us feel alive. It’s in our biology.
Stories activate regions of the brain which releases hormones that allow us to focus, triggering connection and empathy and therefore an emotional response that make us more receptive to information and hence, impacting our behavior.
Take a moment to think about how this could be beneficial in the way you do business and generate sales.
You need to ask the right questions and communicate the right narrative.
How does your story relate to your customer or even their business?
What do you want them to learn?
What do you want them to feel?
What do you want them to do?
Identify the hero of the story: it’s always your customer, and never your product.
Through this approach, you are offering them leeway to make their own decision, as opposed to forcing them to believe they need your product or service because it costs this or does that. Not only would they leave happy with their decision, but if the story is good enough, they can share it with their surroundings too. When a story is worth retelling, that means it intensified our interest and increased our learning and memory.
Stories evoke emotions as you tell them, which means you’re presenting your piece of information differently and with more zest, as opposed to just stating facts. Of course, data and logic is important in decision making, but the impact doubles when you’re able to translate it in a way that appeals to their emotions, too.
With all that being said, whether you’re a salesperson or not, you are selling yourself every day. From the way you present yourself, to the way you communicate an idea, but we are not exactly conscious of this. Building up an awareness of your own story and working with it will reveal to you just how much stories amplify any presentation with more life and appeal. It doesn’t just sell your brand, it builds it.
Here’s the last thought we would like to leave you with:
What is the story you’d like your customers to walk away with?