When you share practical, useful information your listener can implement, it has social currency. Stories are the best way to package those ideas and information. They will keep your prospect open-minded and generate interest because they want to know what happens next in your story.
Social Currency of Stories
Stories about how to improve your situation or to create an adventure provide higher value. Stories like these increase in value as they are told and retold. They become public relations or employee motivational communication messages. They inspire the listener to take action.
The Value of Stories VS. Case Studies
Both sales and marketing think they are creating social currency with case studies. However, case studies do not contain a struggle or an obstacle to overcome as a story does. They tell only the current state facts and that the product was the solution. Telling your story will put your listener in sync with your struggle and success as you relate the events. They are in sync because the brain of the storyteller and the listener experience the same response to the content. Research by leading universities has proven that storytelling provides the tension necessary to inspire a listener to achieve a transformational change.
Motivational storytelling in the sales process defines the prospect as the hero and takes her on a journey that includes moments of enlightenment and builds a desire for your product service or cause. In their bestselling book, Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath discuss the findings of psychologist Gary Klein regarding the value of storytelling. Klein found that storytelling is a powerful teaching tool because it is inspiring and motivational. The Heath brothers provide several stories about how emotional ideas make people care, and credible ideas make people believe. In their follow-on book, SWITCH, the Heath brothers describe how successful people unify the rational mind with the emotional mind to achieve dramatic results. In their latest book, The Power of Moments, they tell stories of people who have created memorable moments. They reinforce the storytelling as the best means of communicating information and creating transformational experiences.
The Value of Stories VS. PowerPoint Presentations
The salesperson who wants the prospect to make a change by using the solution she offers will be much more successful if she delivers a well-told story. A good story is exponentially more compelling than a PowerPoint presentation with lots of charts and graphs.
Connecting and Growing Your Business
So, tell your story. You will be authentic. You will re-experience the emotions as you tell the story, and you will make that all-important connection with the listener. They’ll remember you week, months, and even years later and your social currency will grow with every retelling of your story.