This month’s blog post is provided by our guest blogger Chris Kogler at Narrative IQ.
Stories are one of the most powerful forms of human communication we have. In a sales environment, they paint a vivid and compelling picture of your company’s products and services. Here’s an example.
Last year, one of our international partners, Mark Schenk, was working with a large group of Microsoft sales and marketing professionals in Sydney, Australia. About 500 people were in the room. During the event, Mark asked the group to share some impressions of the company’s new products and services. Microphones were passed throughout the audience and people began describing some of the new features and unique attributes of the company’s newest products. After listening for about 10 minutes Mark said, “O.K., that’s great. Now, can someone in the audience tell me how one of your products or services has helped another person?”
One woman in the audience, Angela, raised her hand and shared her experience. “About a year ago, my little girl, Emma, fell down the steps. It was a terrible fall. She was knocked unconscious, her jaw was broken and at the time we thought there might be additional complications. It was the worst day of my life; I can still see it like it was yesterday! When we got to the hospital, I had to be escorted out of the Emergency Room because I was too upset.”
Angela continued. “The good news is today my little girl, Emma, has completely recovered. Her jaw has healed nicely and she’s a normal 6 year old. But, I always wondered, how could those 10 doctors and nurses possibly keep track of what they were doing in the Emergency Room during the heat of battle?”
“So, while we were visiting her attending physician, Dr. Smith, for a check-up, I decided to ask him. ‘Dr. Smith, how can you possibly keep track of what’s going on in the Emergency Room with 10 people working at once?’ He looked at me and said, ‘Angela, that’s easy. We use a product called Microsoft Lync. It’s great. We can keep track of each other’s activities, it’s easy to use, and it’s really helped in decreasing errors when we’re working so intensely’.”
Angela then said, “When I heard him say Microsoft Lync, I can’t tell you how proud I was to be a Microsoft employee knowing that one of our products helped save my little girl!”
Stories are facts wrapped in context and delivered with emotion. And, the science behind using stories in business is compelling. Embedding facts in a story increases the retention rate of the information 700%! This has great implications for your business. By using a personal business story, your customers will be drawn toward your products and services and remember what you’ve said. Remember. Facts tell; stories sell.
About Christopher Kogler
Chris Kogler is the CEO of Narrative IQ and is Partners with the international consulting firm, Anecdote. Using his program, Storytelling for Leaders, he teaches sales teams and corporate leaders how to use personal business stories to increase sales, communicate more effectively and initiate and manage change. To learn more, contact Chris at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him at 908. 334. 8263. www.narrativeiq.com.
Also download the Yammer Case Study to learn how the social media firm, Yammer, has successfully used the Storytelling for Leaders program to strengthen and align their international sales force.