If you are like most business owners of small or mid-sized businesses, there are times you must put on your Selling Hat. When you put on that Selling Hat, your mindset needs to change to one of “What do I need to do to persuade the person to whom I am trying to sell?”
The Selling Hat mindset also involves inspiring people to buy by utilizing more than just reasoning or rationale. One of the most powerful ways to do this is by infusing your message with emotion. And one of the best ways to evoke emotion is by telling a compelling story in which you weave a great deal of information while arousing your listener emotionally. You want to present an idea with a story that packs an emotional punch.
When done right, you will harness the imagination of potential buyers and give them a reason to follow through with the action that you want – the sale. A well-crafted, meaningful story will help the buyer make the sometimes difficult decision to buy.
Another part of a Selling Hat mindset is to try to learn and understand something about the buyer’s past experiences and current motivations. Current motivations typically involve the emotional wants of the buyer. Frame the type of experience you want to relate in your story or discussions to match what you feel the buyer will embrace. For example, you might want to use stories of how past results of other customers have met or exceeded their expectations.
If you are comfortable doing so, point out something amusing that has taken place. Humor is one of the best ways of infusing your message with positive emotion while pointing out why the buyer needs to make the desired decision.
Sometimes the most effective stories involve true but unfortunate situations that a keen buyer would certainly not want to repeat. Consider a story of how someone wound up chastising themselves over a poor decision not to buy or to turn to a competitor. The purpose of this type of story is for the buyer to understand that a wrong decision can result in an unhappy ending.
Regardless of your approach, your buyer stories must be based in fact. It is important to your credibility that you do not make up situations or use exaggeration or manipulation when you put on your Selling Hat.
Now go tell a great story.
Allen Fishman is the Founder and Executive Chairman at The Alternative Board (Worldwide) and Allen Training Centers, Inc. Fishman is also a best-selling author and former Business Insights nationally syndicated columnist.