The Perfect Sales Demo & the Art of Storytelling
The sales pitch. It's one of the most thought about aspects of selling. It's the part where you have an opportunity to WOW potential clients with your presentation and the chance to strike the deal. The ones who can make this happen aren't the ones who simply read off bullet points from a PowerPoint slide and generically discuss features. They are the ones who paint a picture, they make their listeners visualize their lives improved with the presenter's product or service. Some take a strenuous amount of time to perfect this... and others are born with the gift.
Sales is all about connecting with the people on the other end of the transaction. Storytelling allows your audience to see deeper into your product's or service's true value and meaning, and mostly seeing themselves USING your product or service.
Storytelling and Relating With Others
Storytelling connects all of the people in the room as human beings. It's the best way to present a sales pitch in an emotional forum where everyone can understand what really makes us tick. As Erika Napoletano, a columnist for American Express Open Forum, puts it, "the best storytellers know how to weave us into their stories, showing us how our hopes, fears, successes and foibles make us more likable and human—make us less different and more like everyone else." Put them in the driver's seat.
The Don Draper Effect
We all want to have the effectiveness of Don Draper, the main character from AMC's "Mad Men." What made him so amazing at presenting wasn't some kind of blind magic that he was using. Rather, it was his ability to weave a good yarn about how brands can ingrain themselves into the emotions and subconscious of potential consumers.
For example, in the scene where he's pitching a potential ad for a photo-viewing carousel (this show takes place in the 1950s and 1960s), Don Draper waxes poetic about the meaning of nostalgia and how viewing old photos with the ease of a carousel brings people back to an old, familiar place. Simultaneously, he's showing his own family photos, which sparks up authentic nostalgia in him. He's able to masterfully weave a narrative about the importance of commiseration, while demonstrating its effects. In the end, his authenticity leaves the clients speechless. Paint the picture of why the NEED your product or service, without saying so.
Undoubtedly, you experience a roller coaster of successes and struggles in your professional life. When you take those experiences and inject the resulting emotions into your sales pitch, you show your clients that you are a functioning human before a salesperson. People don't like being sold to. Rather, they want to realize the value of investing time and money into a partnership. Don't tell them how your product will improve their life, ask them how it will..."How do you see this affecting your company?"
Storytelling is your hook, line and sinker to ultimately extend the initial sales pitch into a full-blown business relationship.