Story-telling is a term thrown into the boardroom more often than I drink coffee! But have you ever wondered what story-telling has got to do with ‘Social Selling’ business! Well, the answer is: Everything![bctt tweet=”Paraphrasing seasoned digital marketer, Seth Godin, people are no longer interested in the products you sell, but the stories you tell!” via=”no”]
Why so? As I highlighted in my latest book: Think Digital: The Ultimate digital transformation guide for SMEs: Storytelling has the power to captivate the senses of our audience on a level that’s simply unattainable when we keep on bragging about our products or services alone!
Let me explain this further by sharing with you 5 quick RULES of telling great business stories!
1. Relatable – Make the audience the hero of the story!
I don’t search the internet to see if someone else is as successful as I am. I look to see if someone else is going through the same challenges that I am facing and have they found a solution![bctt tweet=”Stories that highlight issues, failures, flaws and problems are the ones people can relate to the most!” via=”no”]
As a marketer, your goal is to make sure that this story (with your audience as the hero) has a happy ending thanks to your offering!
Portfolio Manager and Commercial Real Estate Expert, Peter Taylor believes that “stories that closely resemble the actual situation my customers are going through are the ones that can actually compel them to deal with us. As a sales professional, I think making the audience the hero of the story, does just that!”
2. Using the 5 Cs – Conceptualising business story-telling
Context, characters, conversation, curiosity and challenge! Got your head-spinning? Hang on while I explain!
The context of the story refers to the main idea – the basic concept around which the story revolves.
Next comes characters and conversation that help develop the story further. Do you know a story that has no people and hence no dialogues? Well, if you do, it probably sucks!
Next follows curiosity! If your audience knows everything already, why would they be interested to read on or look further for your product or service?
Lastly, [bctt tweet=”just like every hero needs a villain, every story needs a contrasting situation (a challenge) faced by your audience.” via=”no”]
“Being a keynote speaker on leadership, I have to know how to keep my audience engaged with inspirational stories. Stories and metaphors are a powerful way to facilitate learning and I find the 5 Cs of business story-telling particularly helpful in this regard!” says Leadership Trainer and Management Consultant, Jeremy Carter.
3. Likeable – Bring your story to life with V.A.K
Since these are the three out of the five senses that matter online, they have the power to keep your audience engaged in the story!
“After spending more than two decades in sales and marketing and now more recently as a market research broker, using the V.A.K. approach helps me interact with my clients. Using V.A.K. helps me engage with them on another level and in a much more meaningful way,” believes The Research Broker Managing Director, Roma Hippolite.
Want to learn more about using VAK? I have explained this in greater detail in my latest book: Think Digital: The Ultimate digital transformation guide for SMEs.
4. Emotional – Make your audience feel something!
If emotions didn’t matter, we won’t be hearing people say “I’m only human” all too often!
As human beings, emotions such as love, joy, trust, surprise, anxiety, anger and grief make us feel connected to others, because at some point we have experienced the same.
Happiness makes us want to share. Sadness helps us connect and sympathise. Fear or surprise makes us cling to something a bit longer![bctt tweet=”The stories you tell must force your audience to feel something! Unless your audience is tied to the story emotionally, chances are they will listen and forget it in no time!” via=”no”]
“At the end of the day, people want their concerns to be understood and like to be treated well because it makes them feel good. As a Corporate Etiquette Trainer, I believe this can prove to be a powerful arsenal to build trust with your target network on the Social Selling channels whether it is on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook,” explains Treska Roden.
5. Significance – Tell a story that provides value at the end!
A story that’s relatable, likeable, has emotional appeal and uses the 5 Cs will only result in a loyal customer base if it can deliver true value! The story must address an issue, answer a challenge and provide a solution to a problem!
Unnecessary details will only bore the audience. Cropping what’s not required and including some solid takeaways from the story is all that you need to make your customers buy!
Bruce Gleeson, an Australian Insolvency Practitioner who specialises in advising SMEs and individuals who are in financial difficulty believes listening to the client’s story is paramount in his field. “It enables solutions to be discussed by way of examples similar to the client’s present position and how other instances were resolved. This not only is a powerful way to get a message across, which can be challenging to those in financial crisis because they have so much going on, but most importantly it gets the client to “buy into” and focus on what needs to be done.
Business storytelling has come a long way from being a buzz word to a timeless skill that can have tremendous rewards to those who are willing to master the art of Social Selling using their appropriate Social Media Platform(s).
If you want to learn from an actual case study, then Nike’s “Make it Count” campaign is one out of several examples discussed in my latest book: Think Digital: The Ultimate Digital Transformation Guide for SMEs:
Are you a small business owner seeking to digitally transform your business by learning the art of business storytelling? This book will help you device and implement social selling strategies to put your story-telling approach into action and to relate to your target audience on an emotional level.
The step by step approach offered here will help your business gear up for the digital future, closely examine the digital competition in your industry, and help you craft a story that’s best suited for your business.
The book provides a great opportunity to business owners, marketers and other stakeholders to learn through case studies from leading global brands and map out their digital journey with my comprehensive digital transformation checklist for success.
The book is available in paperback on Amazon as well as Kindle eBook version.
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