Once Upon a Time … You Used a Story to Close a Deal

If you have any experience in sales, you’ve probably heard stories are the best way to persuade prospects.

And it’s true: People enjoy listening to stories far more than they enjoy being sold to.

According to a study from two Yale University psychologists, our brains process metaphorical and literal information the same way. The researchers told participants the experiment was starting shortly. But it had already begun as soon as one of them started to struggle carrying an arm full of folders. He asked a volunteer to hold his coffee for a second.

Some volunteers were asked to hold iced coffee, while others were asked to hold hot coffee. Then, volunteers read the description of an individual.

Those who were holding the warmer cup said the individual had a “warmer” personality.

This is why stories are so powerful. They help us “connect the dots,” uncover patterns, and even understand how buying a product can help us get a desired result.

Let’s discuss how you can leverage stories to close more sales deals.

The Anatomy of a Persuasive Sales Story

Using stories in sales can be much more persuasive than just relying solely on data, logic, and facts to communicate how you can help your customers get a specific result.

Here are a few key components of a great story:

  • A hero: Someone your audience can relate to.
  • Stasis: The situation the hero is in when the story starts.
  • A trigger: An event that triggers a “transformation.”
  • Tension: Obstacles or challenges the hero must overcome.
  • The crossroads: Where the hero makes a decision that leads to the transformation.
  • The resolution: The hero (and other characters) should have been changed for the better.

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