What is storytelling for business?
If you are looking to raise the profile of your company. Increase sales of your products or services and grow your profits, then you need to learn how to tell good stories.
The art of good storytelling allows you to convey meaningful and relevant messages about your company. And explain exactly what it is you are trying to achieve in business.
When describing the USP (unique selling proposition) of your product or service, it’s not just simply a collection of bullet points of facts, features and benefits. Your message has to address the customer’s pain point or problem. Then detail how your product/service is the ideal solution.
A good storyteller can capture the customer’s attention. Empathise with their problem. Engage them in a way that establishes enough trust for them to buy your product or service.
Through the power of storytelling, you can create visceral reactions to your customer’s problems. Then, like a superhero, come dashing to their rescue at the moment they think all is lost.
Basic Story Plot Lines
There are seven basic plots to tell a story.
There’s the Quest, the Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, Re-Birth, Overcoming a Demon, and the Underdog. All good stories, traditionally, follow one of these plots. These basic plot lines allow the reader to understand the story being told in a clearly defined pattern. Every bestselling book and million-dollar box office movie which has been produced will have followed one of these plot lines to get their story across.
The Psychological Superpower of Storytelling
Quite simply, we use stories to explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade and influence others, how we understand who we are, and our place in the world, and as a tool to teach others about our philosophies and values.
Stories are used as a vehicle to stimulate our brains and trigger our imagination. Through engaging our imagination, we are drawn into the narrative of the story and immerse ourselves in that world. The power of storytelling can transport us from our own surroundings and drop us in the centre of a world which doesn’t actually exist. Purely by the power of our imagination. As we become part of the narrative. We can see the world from a new perspective. Which makes us feel empathy for others.
Storytelling has a way of allowing us to let our guard down and be drawn into a new world. The more we harness the power of our imagination, the more realistic the fantasy world of our story becomes.
How Does Storytelling Feature in the World of Business?
So, how does storytelling carry over in the context of business?
Through storytelling, you can take a complex business matter or technical subject and make it easier to comprehend and understand for your audience.
You can achieve this in the form of metaphors, analogies and case studies so people can follow along and understand exactly what it is you are saying and what your message is.
When using stories to sell products or help your audience understand how your service will benefit them, you can write your business story in the context of presenting a problem that your prospective customer can identify with. This leads to you showing empathy to their pain, and describing how you have faced similar issues in the past. Next you can transition into how you overcame the problem with the help of your product or service.
By telling your business’s story in this way, you present your customer as the damsel in distress, with the problem they have being the villain of the story. Then you, the superhero, swoop to the rescue at the right moment to save the day.
In Layman’s terms – Your business highlights the problem, empathises with the audience and then provides the solution.
Great story tellers won’t just talk dryly about a product or service, they will look to engage the audience by entering their mind and touching their heart.
Think back to any great book you have ever read and you will notice that the plot meanders through a state of conflict followed by a state of conflict resolution. And this is what you need to do with your business to engage your audience. Whether you are looking to create new customers, or simply want to win over a prospective investor, the effectiveness of telling great stories in your business is exactly the same.
Next time you have to write a blog, a pitch, a social media post, or speak at an event on behalf of your company, look to tell a story. Stir the imagination of your audience, and guide them in a way which helps them to understand at a much deeper level, who you are and what it is your business can do for them.