In the realm of sales, captivating an audience’s attention and evoking their emotions play a crucial role in influencing their purchasing decisions. To drive a person to make a purchase, you need to blend creativity and strategic thinking. Gone are the days when just a cold call to persuade random buyers worked.
Leveraging the power of visualization and storytelling can transform mundane sales pitches into captivating experiences. They will help you stand out and leave a lasting impact on potential customers.
I remember back when I was in school, visualization and storytelling were the languages I used to express myself. I would narrate all my experiences at school to my parents and tell them stories (sometimes made up ones!). I also used to find it easier to study when I was told stories, even during my college years.
If I had to study history, things would get hard. But it was easier remembering events and dates when I had a story to remember them with. This made me connect with my school friends a few days back. I was amazed to note how many of them had gone into sales, and the most expressive ones were thriving!
This interesting concept piqued my curiosity and I delved deeper into the dynamic interplay between two distinct demographics: children and corporate employees. By understanding how the perspectives of these groups differ and exploring the art of transforming “What if” to “We should,” let’s unravel the secrets to sales success.
The Magic of “What if” for School Children
To a school child, “What if” might spark curiosity and imagination. It could evoke a sense of wonder and excitement, as it encourages them to explore various possibilities and dream big.
For example, a school child might think, “What if I could be a superhero and save the world?” or “What if I could explore the depths of the ocean like a marine biologist?” It makes them dream bigger and visualize relevant images to spark their interests.
The Pragmatic Side of “What if” for Corporate Employees
For a corporate employee, “What if” might trigger a more practical and strategic thought process. It could prompt them to consider potential scenarios, risks, and opportunities in a business context.
For example, a corporate employee might think, “What if we implement this new marketing strategy? How will it impact our sales performance?” This is miles apart from the school child, but it stems from the same root — visualization. The employee is trying to foresee how things might change when they implement a new strategy.
“We should” – The Guiding Force for School Children
On the other hand, “We should” may seem more authoritative and direct for school kids. It might evoke a sense of responsibility or obligation, as it implies that there is a specific course of action that should be followed.
A school child might interpret “We should” as a suggestion from an adult or authority figure. It is fed to them as a direction to take, guiding them towards a particular behavior or decision. There isn’t much room to explore.
“I didn’t like it when my teachers told me I should do something. You should study hard for your exams if you want to pass. You should eat your lunch quickly and not talk too much. It made me feel small and I didn’t want to feel small when I could be big. When they changed it to “What if” statements, I felt better. What if you studied hard and became the smartest kid in class? What if you ate your lunch quickly and spent all your free time drawing? This sounded better!” said a 10-year-old schoolboy from India.
“We should” – The Call to Action for Corporate Employees
In a corporate setting, “We should” is often associated with concise decision-making and action. It conveys a sense of urgency and commitment to achieve specific goals. Corporate employees are more accustomed to receiving directives and setting clear objectives, so “We should” might resonate as a call to action.
“It was hard to follow instructions that were vague and without the goal in sight. When someone told us we should do something to achieve something, it felt concrete. We should follow this strategy to generate more leads. We should try this new method while onboarding our employees. This was better than “What if” statements that expected us to discuss and go round in circles. What if we tried this method…or we could try that one, too. It was pointless and no solutions came up,” said a senior sales executive from India.
What Do We See Here?
These two groups of people have responded in totally different ways. While “What if” statements give children the scope to explore and think, “We Should” statements are more concrete for corporate employees.
But both these ideas share the same roots — storytelling.
School children are naturally drawn to visualizations and storytelling. They enjoy colourful illustrations, animations, and engaging narratives that transport them to imaginary worlds. They can grasp concepts easily and remember them once they use visual cues to learn them.
Visualizations and storytelling capture their attention and make learning fun and memorable. For sales, this approach could be used to introduce products or services in a creative and relatable way, making them more appealing to the child’s imagination.
Where Do They Meet?
For sales professionals, finding the right balance is crucial. Visualizations can be tailored to present key performance indicators and market trends, providing corporate employees with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Storytelling can be used to narrate success stories, case studies, or customer testimonials that emphasize the practical benefits of products or services. They are useful for both employees and customers to understand things at a glance and act on them. This goes to show how despite being miles apart, both our target groups are oddly the same.
Both school children and corporate employees appreciate the impact of visualization and storytelling, but their expectations and preferences differ. School children thrive on engaging narratives and colorful visuals that take them on exciting journeys, whereas corporate employees seek data-driven visualizations and success stories that clearly demonstrate tangible results.
In the dynamic world of sales, comparing the differing perspectives of school children and corporate employees has opened the doors to crafting effective sales strategies. The transition from “What if” to “We should” represents a shift from curiosity and imagination to practicality and action.
Both aspects are perceived and implemented in different ways. But the core ideas behind why they are used result in visualization and the desire to connect the dots. Both parties wish to have a direction to travel and a goal to reach. Leveraging visualization and storytelling for sales requires a thoughtful approach that captivates both young minds and seasoned professionals.
Here are 5 questions that sales professionals should ask their team to leverage the power of storytelling before a pitch:
- “What is the customer’s pain point or challenge that we can address through storytelling?”
- “What success stories or case studies do we have that demonstrate the positive impact of our product/service?”
- “How can we personalize the story to resonate with the specific needs and interests of the client?”
- “What emotions do we want to evoke in the audience through our storytelling, and how can we achieve that?”
- “What visual aids or supporting materials can enhance the storytelling experience during the pitch?”
Sales professionals who recognize the power of these techniques and tailor their pitches can successfully engage their target audience and build lasting connections. By speaking directly to the emotions and aspirations of the target customers, businesses can leverage visualization to achieve sales success in diverse markets and demographics. Learn more about storytelling in sales from us.