Dilemma! You’re a technical or B2B company with an important message which comes across as a bit dry, descriptive, or flat. Though packed with information, it doesn’t really resonate exactly like a compelling conversation or fireside chat.

You’ve been told that stories attract conversations, yet you still have a lot of vital factual information to impart. So you wonder if you should tell stories or state facts, leading from the head or conversely from the heart? The answer is both, for different reasons. As captured in the below infographic. Here’s why…

To bring your factual content to life, it’s important to turn your dry message into a unique story-led communication, weaving it like a golden thread throughout every conversation. Then you put across a universal and cohesive story that entices the right people to lean in and listen and more importantly, interact and act.

For example:

1. When opening or closing a sale

A story fuels a conversation, so use one that inspires the right feelings, when opening and closing a sale. According to research, 95% of our purchasing decisions are made using emotion, afterwards justified with logic, then finally switched back to emotion to check it feels right. Watertight Marketing refers to this process as the ‘logic sandwich’.

To use an everyday example, my brother,  at one point tried his hand at selling. Though he switched to something else, I wish he had persevered, because he really was a naturally gifted and exceptional salesman. Starting out by demonstrating kitchen products, he’d let the prospective buyer touch the new saucepan or colander on the market, with a warm, soft, engaging introductory story. They would then begin to bond emotionally with the product, refusing to let go!

Next, he would lay out the hard logical arguments for why it was better, stronger, and more durable than other incumbent kitchenware on the market or in the person’s home.

Finally, he would return to the emotional software of storytelling, demonstrating how the buyer’s life would be transformed by the experience created by the new piece of equipment. He’d paint a picture of gorgeous gatherings of family and dinner party guests, around the dinner table, sharing delicious food as well as stories… you get the message. 

Therefore, when selling with storytelling, make sure initially you appeal to the heart. Then give a strong reason for investing and end with how that would “feel right”. Apparently to induce fear or pain in the process is good. However, storytelling softens that process by inspiring a “what if?” feeling if the problem remains or (after investing in the relevant product or service) is solved. This will support the buyer in actually visualising the outcome, guided by expert opinion, if by then they do feel they actually need or want what is being sold.  In essence, selling with storytelling, presented as a service, which would quickly transform their lives.

2. When teaching someone how to do something, for example, when presenting

Have you ever remembered a presentation that was full of facts but missing a compelling story that left you wanting to know more? I  remember working for a Manager who maintained a huge bank of PowerPoint slides, all with a very dry, flat, unexciting factual message. He would take the same one and cut out the elements least relevant. The end product was disjointed, not at all like a story-led piece of intriguing content that inspired a conversation. 

I can remember the presentation being colourful, as well as packed with interesting facts and statistics. Yet I couldn’t call to mind the punchline or the point he was making. This is because (backed up by research), advice is 22 times more likely to be remembered when wrapped up in an interesting story rather than presented as plain facts. The advice then appears meaningful because it is real, relevant, and memorable, inspiring the listener to act.

3. When marketing your brand

A brand story incorporating your WHY, and what you love doing for whom, speaks volumes to those looking for you. It’s what people are saying about you when you are not actually in the room. Everywhere they come across you, whether virtual or in person, it feels like your real human face, mind and heart are actually speaking directly to theirs. A bit like an everyday personal conversation… chuck another log on the fire, pour a coffee, and pull up a chair. 

This means including elements of your core story from your marketing plan, to your marketing content, communications and conversations right through to call to action. So remember when creating your core story to COPE (Create Once Post Everywhere) whether it appears on your website’s About Page and other pages, social media content, blogs, articles, case studies and collateral right through to mugs and mousemats! In fact everywhere where someone may be looking for you. Then when it’s time to introduce yourself properly, they feel they already know and trust you. And they like what they see!

So a dry factual message brought to life with a captivating story will always be remembered. Are you pointing the right story at the right people who actually want what you do? The like-hearted, like-minded people who are looking for you?

Storytelling vs Fact-Based Content Infographic

If you are trapped in the wrong story, which doesn’t show and tell the difference you make to your clients as well as the depth and breadth of what you do, then let’s have a chat. Let’s talk about the tailored step-by-step content marketing solution which points the right story at the ideal customers you would love to reach, so you are easily recognisable everywhere, through a consistent brand identity.

Contact me on +44 (0) 7703545117 or katherine@copythatsells.co.uk. I’d love to chat!

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