In selling you often need to get your customers to change their thinking before you can make a sale. And stories can be a very powerful way to do that.
In his excellent book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey talks about how you can change your actions and even your feelings based on how you think about a certain situation.
Stephen then uses a wonderful personal story to illustrate his point.
Stephen was enjoying a peaceful suburban train ride on a Saturday morning. At the next stop a man got on the train with several children. The children began running around the carriage, making a lot of noise and yet the man sat there and did nothing about it.
Stephen could see the other passengers were getting irritated with the disturbance and so he went over to the man. He asked the man if it would be possible to do something about his noisy children as they were disturbing everyone in the carriage.
The man looked up and apologised. He told Stephen that the children and he had just come from the hospital and their mother had just died an hour ago. He said that neither he nor the children were coping that well.
Everyone in the carriage heard the man explain his situation. Suddenly no one was irritated with his noisy children. They all offered sympathy and asked how they could be of help. As Stephen explained, the situation was still the same.
In other words the children were still running around and making a noise.
However the people were no longer concerned about this because they saw the situation differently. And it’s the same in selling.
Sometimes all your client needs is for you to tell them a good story to get them to change their thinking.
What do you need your potential customer to change their thinking about before they can make a buying decision for your product or service?
What stories can you tell that would help them to change their thinking so they become more receptive to what you are offering them?