Done right, storytelling for business can captivate your audience and make them interested in your offerings. A good story can evoke emotion, attract customers and make them excited about your product or service. However, when a story goes wrong, consumers can lose interest in your brand and your brand.
As leaders in their fields, members of the Forbes Business Council learn the importance of storytelling to business and why developing those skills is important. Below, he offers some practical tips for business owners who want to craft and tell effective stories.
1. Practice your story and get input from your team
Give real-life examples of your new product or service to show where you solve a problem or need. The best way to fix anything is to practice it over and over until it doesn’t seem like it. I recommend blitz role playing with your team and current clients to improve it because as you go people will tell you what is missing from your story. – Brandi Whitmire, Brandi Whitmire Mortgage Group
2. Be an active listener
Engage with customers and other industry professionals to better understand their needs, challenges, priorities and tone. Listen to how they say it, not just what they say. Ask questions to dig deeper. The more you understand and the better you can communicate, the more adept you will be at storytelling. – Kermit S. Randa
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3. Have it in your story and try it on strangers.
Practice, practice, practice to keep it short, tight and precise. Then test what you’re trying to sell in front of strangers. For reference, every five minutes of good material takes an average of a month of stand-up comedy. – Howard Rosen, LifeWIRE Corp
4. Think back to the ‘why’ and use that to shape your story
Storytelling art is similar to other genres in many ways. “A great storyteller never tells a story the same way twice,” said Peter Guber in an article. Remember why you started working on your idea in the first place. With your business, you tried to fill the void. what was it Focus on that and retell your story in a compelling and relatable way. – Udi Dorner, Set Schedule
5. Focus on the customer story rather than your business
Tell the story of your client’s illness, diagnosis, solution, and journey. Customers are looking for solutions to the problem; They’re not looking for a feel-good business narrative. Reflect the customer’s emotional experience and demonstrate your understanding of their needs while enhancing brand and brand engagement. – Samuel Johnston, nth venture
6. Show your personal connection with the product
Having a personal relationship with your product is key. For example, I have just launched a new digital platform for professionals in the industry, which is real estate. Being able to share my own story and how it led to the growth of this platform is critical. It helped convey my investment in the product and sent a clear message that it was built by and for insiders. – Kevin Markarian, Rupler
7. Learn and Address Obstacles that customers are facing
No problem is equal to opportunity. Storytelling should focus on solving customer problems rather than focusing on benefits. Focus on finding out what your customer’s pain points are and knowing what keywords to use. With this information, tell a story that will help them overcome their obstacles or challenges. This leads to more discounts won, repeat business and happy customers. – Amar Dayani, Distribution of the Prince
8. Use your company’s values to create a story
Zero in on the value that can be derived from your product or service. Then work backwards to come up with a story. Identify your target audience. The pain points you talk about should be your starting point. Make the story interesting. Also, test a couple of stories and get feedback on which ones draw the best responses. – Saravana Kumar, Kovai.co
9. Be personal and relevant
Customers like to have a real human face behind a product rather than simply a corporate name. In your product pitch, you can include details on how you came up with the product idea, the process your team put into developing it, and how it helped you improve your performance (if it’s something related to your own line of business). – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures
10. Listen to your customers when crafting your story
The age of companies simply telling stories about their products and/or services is over. The only meaningful, discovery communication comes from customers. Customers must decide which stories to tell and how to share them. Storytelling is just as much, if not more, hearing. Use social listening to improve your corporate storytelling skills. – Avi Poonwase, Revenue Management Labs
11. Show the value of your company
Telling a story can be hard! Start by researching stories that resonate with your audience. Address the best stories that engage your audience. Identify their concerns and be clear about how you can address them. Too often, storytelling turns into feature dumping and customers get lost in the details rather than the real value we provide. Always talk to the problem. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb
12. Use logic and emotion in your story
Roman mythology is important in storytelling. It taps into logic and emotion to trigger action. Cicero says, “Therefore it is rarely found among men as an absolute proverb.” There are basic restrictions to stories that the brand sets the tone for. This truth in marketing is tied to the story and allows the organization to be held accountable for what they do. – Paul L. Gunn, KUOG Corporation
13. Listen to your customers
Learn to be a good listener before you become a storyteller. Then make sure you follow the basics of good communication by listening and responding to customers. It will help you gain customer trust and loyalty and increase customer satisfaction. A happy customer is more likely to want to hear your new story. – Michael Podolsky, PissedConsumer.com
14. Be clear about the benefits your company offers
Storytelling is a great way to establish your narrative for your brand name. Paint a clear and detailed picture of the benefits of your services by sharing a real case study. People want to know how you solved the client’s challenges, so it helps to build common ground with your audience. As a professor once told me, you have to lead your audience by the hand. – Francisco Ramirez, ACE Group (TAG)
15. Tell stories of victory
Tell clear stories about the challenge with him without your solution and the outcome. Clearly package key features and associated benefits, but be guided by the price you receive. Make sure that what you “believe in” is prominent and respected, and that others want to agree with it. Deliberate appeal to the right emotions of pride, fear, greed, etc. – Michel Koopman, 2Swell, Corp.