Psychology and Sales: Why Storytelling Works

Those in business have long understood that telling a story can boost sales. The psychology of storytelling is active in every nook and cranny of a corporation. Yet precisely why it has such an impact is often less well understood.

Several studies support the power of storytelling and describe its impact on brain chemistry and neurological pathways. However, here, I wish to offer you three key reasons for the powerful impact of storytelling.

1. People hate sales pitches…

but they love a good story. It explains why cold calling is not as popular as it used to be, and some may say it’s dead. However, we still go to the movies. We do not like it when we know that someone is trying to sell us something, and younger people are particularly averse to the ‘hard sell’ approach.

By telling people a story, you can sell in a subtle, even hidden way that appeals to your audience’s emotions. It allows you to appeal to people’s emotions and build a connection long before an offer is even on the table. Most importantly, a story can create a bond between your audience, you, and the product or service you are selling. Storytelling indicates that you see your customer as a person, not just a target, which can lead to an authentic rapport.

2. Statistics don’t stick in people’s minds…

but stories do. Cast your mind back to the history classes you sat through as a child. You may not remember the precise dates on which a battle occurred or a political leader was born, but you probably do remember the stories about what happened during that battle or an anecdote about that political leader.

We struggle to remember statistics because they often lack context and thus appear meaningless. Numbers need a narrative. For figures and statistics to affect your audience, you have to make them come to life.

3. Logic alone doesn’t drive us…

emotions also have a part to play. The Myers-Briggs personality test may suggest that some act out of logic and others emotion, but none of us are exclusively logical or emotional. Some of us may think of ourselves as very logical beings, but emotion always has a part to play in our decision-making. When it comes to purchasing decisions, both logic and emotion are heavily involved.

The power of storytelling is that it allows us to integrate logic and emotion seamlessly. By describing the relationship between a cause and an effect, we can satisfy our audience’s logical impulse, and by presenting information as a story that involves success or personal improvement, for example, we can appeal to their emotions.

So, remember, whatever you’re selling, facts and figures, and the hard sell won’t cut it. What can help you is a story that brings your product or service to life and creates an authentic connection between you and your audience. Storytelling is a powerful sales tool and one that will help you close the deal.

Want to find out more about how sharing your personal or brand story can boost your business? Contact me and let’s chat! I’ll get in touch soon.

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