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8 Quick Rules to Follow When Storytelling

Storytelling Rules for Sales Success


It’s Q4 and the smaller deals in your pipeline aren’t going to make your year. But, you have a solid chance to make club on the beautiful beaches of Fiji while the rest of us are fighting the snow and slush in the dark days of February.  You’ve got one large, highly-competitive deal teed up.  It has been a 5-month sales process and you’re having one final preparation meeting before the demo. How are you going to make sure you close the deal?

Your prospect plans to announce their vendor of choice the week of December 8 which gives you plenty of time to push through demo follow up, negotiations and legal. There are four members of your team including yourself, two pre-sales specialists and a line of business expert that will be there in support of your position in the market. You remind the team that the top executive will be there for the opening of the session and, because she frequently uses stories in the form of analogies for top level messaging, you want to use narrative, imagery and story to communicate the felt-benefits of your company and your solution.

At 2Win! we say, “Go for it!”  Follow these rules:

  1. 60 Seconds The story is a means to make your main point and executives have short attention spans. Make the connection between your analogy and their business issue within 60 seconds.
  2. First Person No one likes to hear a story about someone you knew who knew someone else. Tell the story in first person: I, We, not her, them.
  3. Make it Limbic – This is the area of the brain that decides “Do I pay attention to this”. Feed it! Use images and sounds, describe feelings and sensations, and leverage existing memories to tell your story.
  4. Land the plane – Two to three minutes maximum! You need to make your main points and land your story before it runs out of fuel.
  5. Give it a name sometimes these are called “Tag Lines,” or “Call Backs.” A scrappy title or symbolic reference provides an opportunity to reinforce your message and revisit your story throughout the event. Make the tag line about them.
  6. Disembark – Have a solid transition from your opening to your first demo or business topic. This is where you introduce your tag line. “So, today we are going to discuss how your new solution from 2Win! deliver on your need for (Tag Line).”
  7. Revisit Every member of your team should revisit key messages from your story and tag line during their contribution to the meeting. “This is another example of how we support your (Tag Line) initiative.”
  8. Close the door When you summarize the key value benefits of your solution in your closing, bring back your emotions and imagery from the opening to help make your value statements more memorable.

Let us know what you think!