Customer Experience News & Trends

Ways to tell stories that turn prospects into customers

Many sales presentations are boring, banal and inert. These offensive qualities are troublesome for today’s busy prospects who may have short attention spans.

Some salespeople mystify their audiences with annoying jargon or put them to sleep with endless visuals.

Compelling stories

Compelling stories deliver meaning and information, while enabling your prospect to see and feel your message. Stories have an almost mystical power that has a huge impact on closing rates. Select stories you find compelling. They should stand out like someone wearing an orange safety vest in a roomful of people in suits.

Successful presentations

If your presentation is successful, you will take your prospects to a special place that involves the new knowledge you give them. Every presentation should set out to be persuasive and to transform the prospect in a beneficial way.

The big idea

A storytelling presentation requires resolving a conflict — shifting from “what is” to “what could be.” Your content should point prospects toward the destination you’ve chosen to pursue.

Develop stories that make your big idea meaningful. Consider as many concepts as possible to find your big idea. Try to find ones that deliver emotional and logical appeal.

Adventure and action

A memorable presentation should jolt your prospects. It should feature two clear turning points: the first is the “call to adventure,” which represents the void between what is and what could be. The other is the “call to action,” which spells out what you want your prospects to do or change.

Inspire your prospect

Try to inspire your prospect at the end of your presentation. Explain that your idea is not only totally feasible, but also your prospect’s best option. If you handle your presentation properly, your prospect may close the sale for you.

The star moment

Every presentation needs something that prospects will always remember. Try to create yours with emotional storytelling. The late Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s super-thin MacBook by sliding it easily into a manila envelope. Prospects frequently repeat such unforgettable presentation moments to others.

Like a radio broadcast

A presentation is like a radio broadcast. Make your presentation message strong and clear so prospects receive the information you’re conveying. Your big idea must turn out all irrelevant frequencies. Pay attention to your presentation’s signal-to-noise ratio.

Noise takes four forms that you want to eliminate:

  1. Credibility noise. You make a poor first impression and prospect don’t believe you.
  2. Semantic noise. You use too much jargon or too many buzzwords.
  3. Experiential noise: You exhibit poor body language.
  4. Bias noise. Your material is self-centered.

Adapted from: Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Inc., who wrote the best-selling and award-winning book Slideology.

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