In this episode, we are going to talk about how to tell a story that connects and sells. We tell stories to inspire others, show empathy, and more. The problem is, we don’t know how to tell stories in a way that consumers will be compelled to buy our products. This is what Jude Charles is going to teach you in this episode.
Jude Charles is a story-driven filmmaker, brand strategist, and a speaker who’s been running a video production company for the past 13 years. He’s been helping entrepreneurs tell stories effectively to be able to connect with prospects and clients.
What is a story?
Stories are universal. There is no difference between a story about your normal day and a story you might tell during a sales meeting. The only difference is the ending and its goal. Stories are about a specific moment in time. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. What happens at the end will make your story impactful.
When you’re telling a story in sales, you want the listener to buy into the service you’re selling. This story has to matter in a way that by the end, they will want to buy your product or service. Stories can make a connection.
Case Example: Money Heist
Storytelling works because it’s relatable. A Netflix show called Money Heist has a story that pulls you in. It includes a group of nine guys that are getting ready to rob a mint in Spain. Although viewers aren’t robbers themselves, as the movie unfolds, the audience begins to relate to these men and become more invested in the characters and the plot. The viewer gets to know these nine guys and sees their reasons for wanting to rob the mint.
The same is true in selling. You want to share a story with your client that he/she can relate to. Instead of just selling your products and services outright, or presenting bullet points of the benefits, share a success story instead. Set the scene by beginning with the problem. You’ll then go into the actual journey that leads to solving the problem. As the story unfolds, the client or prospect should be able to picture themselves in the scenario. By the end, they will see themselves as the ones rescued from the problem by the solutions you have to offer.
The basics of presenting a story
When forming a story, think about how you will sit with the client and talk to them about what you’re doing.
The number one question in your client’s mind is about who you are and why they should do business with you. It’s during this assessment your storytelling should be an integral part of the sales process. It will become part of the conversation you’re having with your client. The basic framework of storytelling is pretty much the same:
- Start with a problem
- How you went on the journey of solving the problem
- Reveal the solution
- Share the results of the solution
Jude keeps a story bank and saves story notes throughout the day, from the biggest details down to the minute ones. It’s these pieces that are used to create a story that is meaningful to the client.
Kinds of Stories
There are different kinds of stories. When you talk about yourself, then you are telling the Who are you? story. Other stories include Client Success stories. These kinds of stories not only build your credibility but they prove your process has worked for someone else.
There are also Closing Stories and Value Stories. These are your core values. Clients like to see integrity and transparency so you can tell a story that illustrates these values.
To see examples of great stories, a recommended book is The 10 Great Stories That Leaders Tell by Joseph Lalonde.
Raising the stakes
Let’s look at Money Heist again. The objective of the movie is for nine robbers to be able to get into the Royal Mint of Spain. The first thing they did was to pose as cops. The story raised the stakes when the police commissioner decided to try to break into the Mint of Spain while the robbers are there. The robbers say they have hostages and that one of them is the daughter of Spain’s ambassador. The police could rescue all the people but the stakes are high because the ambassador’s daughter will die.
Raising the stakes is getting to the moment in the story where it looks as though you think the journey is way too hard. A great story will illustrate how the characters overcome.
What happens at the end
The end is where you become very strategic about your story. It will include the lesson you want the client to learn. Your goal is for the client to understand that they need to be all in. The important factor at the end of the story is how you frame the lesson. What are the results after the solution? That’s a question you need to answer.
A great way story lets your client know you have an understanding of who they are, what their problems are, and the solutions they need. You want to set the vision of what the future looks like with, or without, your product or service.
Another book called The Story Factor by Annette Simmons also talks about storytelling. While it’s not in the concept of a framework, it shows you how to use storytelling in everyday life. It shows you how you can influence the person you are talking to so you can get your message across.
You can get better at telling stories by doing it every single day and observing how people react. It’s a skill worth learning.
“How To Tell A Story That Connects & Sell” episode resources
Connect with Jude Charles via his website, judecharles.co
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