According to Professor Steven Pinker of MIT and Harvard:
“Our brains are about three times too big for a generic monkey or ape of our size. The major lobes and patches of the brain are different as well. The olfactory bulbs, which underlie the sense of smell, have shriveled to one third the size of the expected primate size (already puny by mammalian standards), and the main cortical areas for vision have shrunk proportionally as well – while the areas for hearing, especially for understanding speech, have grown to twice what a primate our size should have.”
What the heck does that all mean and why am I quoting Harvard professors?
It’s proof that, as humans, our superpower is our unique ability to attach complex meanings to sounds.
In other words, our minds are designed not only to communicate – monkeys do that in high pitched screeches and the occasional grunt – but to share stories.
So what does this have to do with sales?
How many times have you met with a prospect and detailed facts and statistics and data only for them to either yawn and stare at their phone or tighten up faster than your pants during Thanksgiving dinner? Facts, statistics and data aren’t engaging. It’s as simple as that.
Stories on the other hand captivate audiences, promote memory retention, and allow prospects and customers to connect emotionally with you, your product and/or your service. Also, stories prompt buyers to actually buy. What a wonderful notion that is.
Your prospect will do nothing without first seeing themselves doing that thing in their mind. The goal of sales should be to cause your buyer to imagine doing what you want them to do. And presenting data analysis of why your product or service is statistically better than your competitors won’t get the job done. Telling a story in which your buyer can relate to the main character and how their lives and the lives of the people around them greatly improve after implementing your product, please, you won’t even need a call to action.
Just ask Square, the credit card processing company, who in 2017 debuted a series of 12 short films that chronicled how people lifted themselves up despite impossible circumstances. Each film featured a real customer sharing their dream of entrepreneurship and how Square helped them achieve that dream. What is more inspirational for a first-time small business owner than a story about a former prisoner who owns a successful second hand goods business that originally started on a street corner?
In addition, when we actively encourage buyers to share their own stories we are able to gain deeper insight into their situation, find out what’s important to them and establish their trust more quickly and in a meaningful way.
Now you’re thinking; ‘selling with stories? But how?’