Engage Your Prospects Using the Power of story

The standard approach to sales and marketing communication is to bombard the market with all of the stuff that you do that is a mistake, here is the solution.

Somewhere along the line, we business people learn that the best way to engage prospects is to impress them with qualifications, history, and details of how we work.

But it isn’t. Nobody cares.

When you explain what you do to your prospects, they must translate that into why it matters for them. The reptilian brain receives the information and decides whether or not to pass this on to the Neocortex. It filters out extra work.

People won’t bother to do the work to understand why what you do matters.

One of the key rules of marketing is that you can’t make people do the work, it turns them off.

Take a look now at your website: could a random visitor understand the problem you solve, why it matters to them and how to get started in under 8 seconds?

You care because you only have 8 seconds to engage your audience.

Or, is your website like the vast majority of sites out there: full of text and proof that your prospects have to piece together to gain a picture of you?

I am not saying that all of this never works. Sometimes people will connect with what you write, but it will be painfully rare.

There is a better way: use the power of story.

Take this example: Imagine I give you a list of words, something like this:

• Unhappy woman

• Mean people

• Opportunity

• Rodents

• Shoe sizes

• Getting even

Then I ask you to remember and internalize them, maybe take some action based on them.

I have instantly given you work to do.

You may even be irritated now as you read this wondering where I am going with all of this and why you have to bother with a list of stupid words.

If I mention just one word, though: “Cinderella”, the list above all of a sudden makes sense. It comes together as a whole. The random words fit together. And your brain doesn’t have to do any work – you get it.

You can probably recite the story even if you haven’t thought of it in years.

Stories connect with prospects on a visceral rather than intellectual level. They speak to something deep in human DNA.

Daniel Siegel, professor of psychiatry at UCLA put it this way

 
Storytelling is an integrative process… Research shows that we remember details of things much more effectively when they are embedded in a story. Telling and being moved to action by them is in our DNA.
— Daniel Siegel
 

Because of this integration in the brain and the fundamental nature of stories, the story structure is just as effective in business as in fairy tales.

When you tie what you do together as a story, you stop convincing prospects and start connecting with them. You begin to engage your prospects rather than sell to them.

Just like the list of words above make sense when you understand the Cinderella relationship your offering makes sense when you use a story to bring it together.

Your prospect doesn’t need to do the work to understand what you do they just get it.

That is the power of storytelling.

The best part is: it isn’t hard to put in practice.

We know how to use story structures to communicate. Humans have been honing the story for millennia, and there is a natural formula that you can use right now to improve your marketing today.

Start now by downloading our guide to crafting your story.

Also, check out our EngageStory workshop. In one day with 12 follow up lessons we teach you to craft your brand story and use it effectively. You complete live workshop in a group, so you even get immediate market feedback.

Creating your EngageStory will allow you to avoid the endless effort of bombardment and will enable you to engage your prospects easily. Your prospects will start to understand you, they will value what you are offering, and they will want to do business with you.

All because you are communicating in a way that is meaningful to them.