Not everyone likes the idea of doing a sales presentation, especially when it strikes people as one uninspiring and one-dimensional. The great sale reps are those who incorporate effective storytelling into their presentation. Even if you are not really big on sales presentations per se, having a few storytelling techniques up your sleeves can drive home your sales message with great clarity.
Why model your sales presentation like a story
Everybody likes a good story. If you’ve ever told a good story, you know what makes it tick all the right boxes. If only you could use the techniques used in delivering a compelling story to make your sales presentation more engaging. When delivered effectively, a sales presentation can be as entertaining and engaging as a good story. Just like a story, your presentation could use some compelling subject matter, hooks and climatic rewards. The big idea is to create a memorable impression that can eventually inspire users to take profitable actions.
Why should you take a storytelling approach to presentations?
Whether you are trying to sell a new product or increase your followers, nestling your sales presentation within a cleverly crafted story format will help you entertain and educate the audience. Being a good storyteller comes with its own set of benefits. If you know how to incorporate storytelling components into your sales presentation, then you can go a long way in influencing the decision-making process of your audience.
When you are presenting a product or service to users, you’re not just selling it to some stranger, rather you are using a chance to actually connect with your audience. Nothing leaves a better impression on your audience better than a well-told story. Mind you, this is not just something we’re making up. It’s basically a universal truth and is backed up by science. Yes, studies demonstrate that a good story has the capacity to produce oxytocin, also known as trust hormone. The hormone can inspire your audience to put their faith in your product or services.
So, let’s look at some tried and tested means of structuring your presentation with powerful storytelling techniques. Start using these tips and turn your audience into customers.
Before we get down to using storytelling techniques, have a look at what you will get out of it:
- Hold the attention of the audience through effective storytelling
- Generate brand awareness for your products and services
- Build curiosity around your brand
- Create memorable experiences that resonate with the audience
- Building a proper connection between you and your audience
- Inspire your audience into action
Make the customer the sole hero of your story
Every customer wakes up in the morning to see the world through the lens of a hero. Customers want to be the self-anointed heroes of the story. They don’t look for another hero in the story. Instead of placing yourself as the hero your story and running the risk of competing with customers, you must let customers position themselves as the real hero. What a customer could actually use is a guide that can help them achieve their goals along the way. Your band can play the role of that guide. Try to understand their real-life problems and empathise with them.
Start focusing on issues that demand your immediate attention. Your sales pitch needs to directly address the pain points of your customers, rather than offering glowing descriptions about how good your product or service is. Use your sales presentation to tell your audience how you can help them solve their persistent issues and overcome challenges. We want to see in every story a hero that grows in strength and character every minute. Remember, each member of your audience wants to be the hero of their own story.
Effective sales pitches don’t just focus on how amazing the product is; they focus on how the product will help the buyer solve a problem or overcome a challenge.
So, when you use a narrative to support your sales pitch, make the customer (or a very similar business) the hero of your story. This allows your prospect to feel inspired by a business just like theirs that overcame similar obstacles.
Keep your everything engaging and entertaining
“A story is not just about entertainment”
Entertaining your audience should not be your only goal when giving the sales presentation.
While you should do everything possible to keep your audience entertained, you must present your audience with all the facts and figures that can turn potential leads into customers. Make sure to stay on topic and resist any urge to go off at a tangent. At the same time, don’t prompt people into thinking that the whole presentation is just about your product or service. Of course, you must give your brand due attention provided that your audience is able to connect with the details you offer. Yes, you can talk about your product but just don’t try to hog the limelight in the process.
You will have a better chance of engaging your audience if you can promise to solve the problems of the audience. Understanding the challenges and problems of the audience is the first step engaging them. Once you know about their problems, you can craft your story to help them solve specific issues. Spend some time to learn more about their companies and challenges they may be facing on a day to day basis. Include their pain points in your narrative so that the audience can easily relate to it at a personal level.
Giving people a real sense of purpose
Before making your sales presentation, ask yourself these basic questions: Why do I have to tell this story? Is there a need for it to be told or heard by some people? Give your audience a real reason why they should be interested in your product or services. The objective of the sales presentation may be to get the audience to buy a specific product or subscribe to a service. Your job is to understand how a specific product or service may properly serve the needs of your prospect and craft your story to address the same needs.
Irrespective of your goals, if you can’t give the audience the reason why you’re making the presentation in a line or two, then you probably don’t have a story to begin with. Of course, your audience will walk out of your presentation with a very little understanding of your sales pitch.
This is where you need to write down your purpose statement. It’s something you can always come back to meditate on if you ever lose your way. It should tell you why you wanted to tell this story in the first place.
The presentation needs to be a relatable fare
We are all aware of the impact a personalised story can have on an individual. When you personalise your story, it will generate empathy from the audience and leave a longer impression on their minds. So the next time you prepare a sales presentation, make sure to include some moving anecdotes that resonate with their real-life stories. You want them to easily understand how the product you offer could change their own lives for better.
So, is it possible to make your presentation more relatable for the audience?
Start by humanising the characters in your story and offering real solutions to their everyday troubles. Give them a case study demonstrating how you helped a company overcome similar troubles. Research the background of your prospects and craft your story with personalised details that will help prospects empathise with it. Make sure to produce material that is not just relatable but motivational.
Narrate your story with facts
People easily allow their decision-making process to be influenced by emotions, both rational and irrational. However, when it comes to the business world, people need to see tangible data and results that go with it. People want to make business decisions based on the data they see. If you don’t present them with relevant supporting facts, they may not be fully convinced by the story you tell them. Your job is to combine the sales story with stats and figures without actually info-dumping them. Include the relatable anecdotes in your sales presentation bit by bit. You have to do this without ever running the risk of overwhelming your audience with too much information for their liking.
You may get your prospects to actually believe in your story but if you don’t structure your presentation with the right balance of facts and anecdotes, you won’t get anywhere with it. A compelling story can keep the right side of your brain engaged, whereas the facts you incorporate into your narrative will offer a logically coherent structure to your sales presentation. When you get this combination right, you will have a better chance of making an emotional connection with your audience and growing their trust in your products or services.
Structure your presentation with three-act formula
It’s a proven strategy that presenting your sales story by drawing on the three-act structure can help you connect with your audience better. The well crafted three-act formula will contain all the essential ingredients necessary for an effective sales presentation, including story arc hero’s journey, internal and external conflicts. The more powerful your story arc, the greater its chances of engaging your audience and eliciting a positive response from them. But if your sales story is devoid of a proper three-act structure, namely a beginning point, middle stage and a climax, it will most likely fall short of connecting with the audience. A story with no structure will also be difficult to follow.
The biggest challenge lies in presenting your story with clarity. And that’s where a three-act formula can come to your aid. Introduce the main characters, challenges and problems in your story. Properly flesh out all the story elements before getting down to tackling the major problems. By the time you have finished your presentation, you should establish a human connection between the product and the solution you offer. Take this opportunity to show your audience how you can solve their problem.
Sharpen your storytelling skills
If your story does not have a focal point, it’s bound to confuse your audience. So it’s important that you tell your sales story in a skillful way that does not leave your audience confused. Once you have laid out an outline for your sales story, go through over and over again until you know it inside out. Of course, you don’t have to recall or recite every detail from your story, but being familiar with everything will help you deliver your sales pitch as organically as possible.
If you can manage to appear comfortable throughout your sales presentation, it will help you put your audience at ease as well. Maintain steady eye contact and talk with real confidence. Write down key points you can refer to in the course of your sales presentation. Focus on your narrative flow as you don’t want the presentation to look staged or sound laboured. You may want to work on your delivery skills so that your sales story remains to the point.
Build your story around powerful metaphors
A meaningful Metaphor can express in a couple of words what a book cannot say in two to three chapters. Metaphors carry a unique capacity to breathe life into your story. The best part about using metaphors is that it enables the audience to picture things beyond the confines of mere words in your story. Plus, Using metaphors, the audience is able to make a deeper sense of your story and its meaning. As a result, the message of your story will leave a lasting impression on the audience.
When used effectively, metaphors can elucidate the most complex topics and help the audience understand the information at a more personal level. Metaphorical expressions are also more persuasive in that they guarantee a greater level of engagement from the audience. The idea is to immerse your audience in your sales story with meaningful, relatable metaphors so that they will eventually turn into your customers.
Get customers interested in the conflicts of your story
A good story is that which gets people interested. But a great story is the one that really hooks the audience and makes them lose sleep at night. In order to get your audience right where you want, you need to include the right amount of suspense and conflicts in your sales story. You need to get them invested in your story. Using conflicts in the right place, at the right time can get your audience emotionally attached to your story. It will help you create tension, excitement, hope and climactic solutions that form the foundation of any story.
Any problem that can be easily solved will not pass muster with your audience. After all, easily solvable problems are often forgettable and will not leave a lasting impression on the audience. At the same time, if you offer the audience a quick resolution, it may not be enough to arouse their interest in your product or service. Instead, talk about the hurdles you faced and overcame in the course of the journey. Tell them about the conflicts the hero of your story resolved to reach their goals and how you guided them along the way. That’s a surefire way to earn the admiration and trust of the audience.
When you’re working around the clock to grow your business, it’s understandable as to why you may not have time to work out your sales pitch. The storytellers at Mr. Digital can save all your energy by helping you create a powerful sales pitch, allowing you to focus on your business.