For a long time, when thinking about storytelling, the image we had in mind was totally related to someone telling stories to children.

We now know that there is an incredible science behind storytelling and that, among the countless benefits it can offer, improving our leads’ experience during a conversation is certainly among them.

Want to know how? Come with me!

The science behind powerful storytelling

In order to better understand the importance of storytelling we need, first of all, to understand how our brain behaves when listening to a story.

There are basically four stages:

Stage #1: Dopamine release

Best known for controlling pleasure, dopamine also works to control memory and movement.

Soon, after experiencing strong emotions, the brain releases this neurotransmitter so that it is easier to remember the main points of the story effectively.

Stage #2: Neural coupling

When a story is told, our brain activates parts that make us feel like we’ve already experienced it, or even that it’s our ideas.

In this way, the narrative manages to gain more attention from people and even take longer to be forgotten.

Stage #3: Synchronization

We like to feel that we are not alone, which is exactly why our brains have the same brain activity as other listeners, and even that of the storyteller.

Stage #4: Activation of the cortex

When we hear a story, our brain activates two specific areas of the cortex: the drill, responsible for language, and the Wernicke, related to the association of information, interpretation and knowledge.

Oh, and it’s worth remembering that a story, when told very well, can also activate other areas of the cerebral cortex. 😉

the hero’s journey

You’ve most likely heard that expression, right?

Which isn’t strange at all, as this is a phenomenon that runs through pretty much every story you, me, and all of us know about.

Also known as a monomyth, the hero’s journey is a narrative concept created by Joseph Campbell and first introduced in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Campbell argues that a hero’s trajectory is basically always the same, generally understood in three stages: acceptance, challenge, and change.

All this path can be easily assimilated by us, making us identify ourselves without any major difficulties with the situation of the character in question.

Remember the behavior of our brain I showed you up there? 🙂

But, you might be asking yourself now:

Okay, cool… But how exactly is this related to sales?

Well, we know it’s a good sales pitch when we can be simpler to get maximum engagement, right?

And that’s exactly why figuring out how to tell a powerful story through storytelling can help us a lot!

Joseph divided each of the stages of the hero’s journey into 12 stages, but for now, we’re going to focus on just 3 big moments: the beginning, the middle and the end.

Ready? So let’s go!

The beginning

It is at this point that we need to look for a connection between the person who listens to us and our character.

And how can we do this? Well, bringing into our conversation a clear example of someone we’ve talked to.

Ah, an important tip: when introducing this person, we must be careful not to be too general, but also not to bring in irrelevant information that won’t add much to the story.

A good example would be:

João, who, like you, is the commercial manager in Blue World City.

When I give the character a name and describe to the interlocutor how close the relationship is between him and the character (both commercial managers), I am able to create that connection automatically.

On the other hand, if I decided to be more impersonal, and tried to focus exclusively on the company name, it would be much more difficult to generate this connection between character and interlocutor.

Take a look:

This happened exactly with one of my clients, Company X…

By focusing solely on the name of the company, I make the speech very impersonal and I can’t create any feeling of empathy between my interlocutor and my character (which in this example doesn’t even exist).

The middle

Of course, a good story needs to have a crisis point, right?

And it is exactly here that we are going to work on these aspects, highlighting the challenges faced by our character, and reinforcing all the negative details that emerged during the process.

Our main point of attention here is to be careful to bring as much detail as possible from this critical moment.

Here’s an example where this clearly doesn’t happen:

They were constantly struggling to understand why their salespeople were performing so poorly…

Here, despite showing that there was considerable conflict, the demonstration of how this was affecting each person is still to be desired.

The absence of a key character in the story is also a downside.

After all, if you can’t fully explore the negative aspects of your story, how can you make an impact when it comes to the positives?

For the person talking to you, it would be equivalent to going to the cinema and watching a movie with great potential but full of holes in the script. Nobody likes to lose money on a bad movie, right?

A good way to bring this detailed description of the negative factors of our story is to tell it from the point of view of our hero who, João :

João was also having a lot of problems for not getting scalable and effective training for the salespeople on the team, and this caused them to enter the second year without having reached the goal.

Not to mention the team’s growing turnover rate.

Got it? Instead of simply mentioning the problems the company was suffering from, we presented João’s point of view to the interlocutor.

Thus, we are able to maintain the connection created earlier and generate empathy between the person who listens to us and our hero.

The end

So we come to our grand finale!

And it is here, after having managed to create a connection and generate empathy with our interlocutor, that we present the solution and the positive impacts of our story.

We must remember, at all times, that our hero is our customer, not the company he works for, ok?

The impression that should be in the minds of anyone listening to our story is that we were responsible for offering assistance and assistance to our hero. Only that.

We don’t save history, the hero is the one who does. Obvious, isn’t it?

To be clearer, just think of examples of classic stories from the entertainment industry:

Our solution should be how Morpheus was to Neo in The Matrix, or how Rafiki, the Chuck of The Lion King, was to Simba. 😉

Without this, it is very likely that our speech will be very close to a traditional sales pitch, much like this here:

After hiring our solution, they were able to easily solve this problem and got the profit they had been waiting for so long.

Listening to this speech, the person who has been following our story all this time may end up feeling cheated, thinking that, in the end, we were trying to push our solution.

Notice how this radically changes when, once again, I use João’s perspective on the story:

As João realized that the best way to solve this problem would be to create a structured process, he hired a sales consultancy.

With that, he was able, in less than six months, to standardize the training of his team and reach the goal they hadn’t achieved two years ago.

Did you see? Despite making it very clear what solution João found, by not telling the story from the point of view of my company, I manage to involve my lead and remove the sales pitch from my story.

And the benefits of storytelling don’t stop there. I still have a bonus regarding using this strategy in our speech…

Changing the focus of rejection

When we use the strategy of telling a story to generate a greater impact on our lead, we still have another benefit: changing the focus of rejection that it can present.

You see, when I give a transactional focus to my speech, offering my solution without first bringing a context, it won’t come directly to me:

Now, when I change my approach and present a story with a whole context close to what I believe my lead experiences, the scenario completely changes:

Even though that’s not a situation he’s been facing, when using a character, I take the focus off what I’m talking about to present a point of view he didn’t know or had thought about.

João’s story

After all that, I’m sure you’ve already understood the real importance of using good storytelling and how it definitely changes the way a person listens to us, right?

I even imagine you’ve already started thinking about possible examples of stories you can tell your leads.

Thinking about this and how I could help you, I want to take the opportunity to leave here the complete story of João and how our hero managed to overcome the challenges:

João had just been hired as a commercial manager of a medium-sized company in São Paulo and had a big challenge in hand: he needed to manage a team with 15 SDRs.

He was having a lot of trouble not getting scalable and effective training for the salespeople on his team.

This made them enter the second year in a row without reaching the goal, in addition to the team’s growing turnover rate.

As João realized that the best way to solve this problem would be to create a structured process, he hired a sales consultancy.

With the consultancy, he was able, in less than six months, to standardize the training of his team and reach the goal they had not achieved two years ago.

Using storytelling during our approaches with a lead can greatly improve the experience you both will have during the negotiation.

Not to mention that it makes the conversation much more interesting, do you agree? 🙂

I hope this text has been enlightening in the sense of knowing a little more about this wonderful technique that storytelling is.

Have you had any storytelling experience you’d like to share? Account here in the comments. I will be very happy to hear your story too.

Stories that sell: how to make an impactful storytelling?

For a long time, when thinking about storytelling, the image we had in mind was totally related to someone telling stories to children.

We now know that there is an incredible science behind storytelling and that, among the countless benefits it can offer, improving our leads’ experience during a conversation is certainly among them.

Want to know how? Come with me!

The science behind powerful storytelling

In order to better understand the importance of storytelling we need, first of all, to understand how our brain behaves when listening to a story.

There are basically four stages:

Stage #1: Dopamine release

Best known for controlling pleasure, dopamine also works to control memory and movement.

Soon, after experiencing strong emotions, the brain releases this neurotransmitter so that it is easier to remember the main points of the story effectively.

Stage #2: Neural coupling

When a story is told, our brain activates parts that make us feel like we’ve already experienced it, or even that it’s our ideas.

In this way, the narrative manages to gain more attention from people and even take longer to be forgotten.

Stage #3: Synchronization

We like to feel that we are not alone, which is exactly why our brains have the same brain activity as other listeners, and even that of the storyteller.

Stage #4: Activation of the cortex

When we hear a story, our brain activates two specific areas of the cortex: the drill, responsible for language, and the Wernicke, related to the association of information, interpretation and knowledge.

Oh, and it’s worth remembering that a story, when told very well, can also activate other areas of the cerebral cortex. 😉

The hero’s journey

You’ve most likely heard that expression, right?

Which isn’t strange at all, as this is a phenomenon that runs through pretty much every story you, me, and all of us know about.

Also known as a monomyth, the hero’s journey is a narrative concept created by Joseph Campbell and first introduced in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Campbell argues that a hero’s trajectory is basically always the same, generally understood in three stages: acceptance, challenge, and change.

All this path can be easily assimilated by us, making us identify ourselves without any major difficulties with the situation of the character in question.

Remember the behavior of our brain I showed you up there? 🙂

But, you might be asking yourself now:

Okay, cool… But how exactly is this related to sales?

Well, we know it’s a good sales pitch when we can be simpler to get maximum engagement, right?

And that’s exactly why figuring out how to tell a powerful story through storytelling can help us a lot!

Joseph divided each of the stages of the hero’s journey into 12 stages, but for now, we’re going to focus on just 3 big moments: the beginning, the middle and the end.

Ready? So let’s go!

The beginning

It is at this point that we need to look for a connection between the person who listens to us and our character.

And how can we do this? Well, bringing into our conversation a clear example of someone we’ve talked to.

Ah, an important tip: when introducing this person, we must be careful not to be too general, but also not to bring in irrelevant information that won’t add much to the story.

A good example would be:

João, who, like you, is the commercial manager in Blue World City.

When I give the character a name and describe to the interlocutor how close the relationship is between him and the character (both commercial managers), I am able to create that connection automatically.

On the other hand, if I decided to be more impersonal, and tried to focus exclusively on the company name, it would be much more difficult to generate this connection between character and interlocutor.

Take a look:

This happened exactly with one of my clients, Company X…

By focusing solely on the name of the company, I make the speech very impersonal and I can’t create any feeling of empathy between my interlocutor and my character (which in this example doesn’t even exist).

The middle

Of course, a good story needs to have a crisis point, right?

And it is exactly here that we are going to work on these aspects, highlighting the challenges faced by our character, and reinforcing all the negative details that emerged during the process.

Our main point of attention here is to be careful to bring as much detail as possible from this critical moment.

Here’s an example where this clearly doesn’t happen:

They were constantly struggling to understand why their salespeople were performing so poorly…

Here, despite showing that there was considerable conflict, the demonstration of how this was affecting each person is still to be desired.

The absence of a key character in the story is also a downside.

After all, if you can’t fully explore the negative aspects of your story, how can you make an impact when it comes to the positives?

For the person talking to you, it would be equivalent to going to the cinema and watching a movie with great potential but full of holes in the script. Nobody likes to lose money on a bad movie, right?

A good way to bring this detailed description of the negative factors of our story is to tell it from the point of view of our hero who, João :

João was also having a lot of problems for not getting scalable and effective training for the salespeople on the team, and this caused them to enter the second year without having reached the goal.

Not to mention the team’s growing turnover rate.

Got it? Instead of simply mentioning the problems the company was suffering from, we presented João’s point of view to the interlocutor.

Thus, we are able to maintain the connection created earlier and generate empathy between the person who listens to us and our hero.

The end

So we come to our grand finale!

And it is here, after having managed to create a connection and generate empathy with our interlocutor, that we present the solution and the positive impacts of our story.

We must remember, at all times, that our hero is our customer, not the company he works for, ok?

The impression that should be in the minds of anyone listening to our story is that we were responsible for offering assistance and assistance to our hero. Only that.

We don’t save history, the hero is the one who does. Obvious, isn’t it?

To be clearer, just think of examples of classic stories from the entertainment industry:

Our solution should be how Morpheus was to Neo in The Matrix, or how Rafiki, the Chuck of The Lion King, was to Simba. 😉

Without this, it is very likely that our speech will be very close to a traditional sales pitch, much like this here:

After hiring our solution, they were able to easily solve this problem and got the profit they had been waiting for so long.

Listening to this speech, the person who has been following our story all this time may end up feeling cheated, thinking that, in the end, we were trying to push our solution.

Notice how this radically changes when, once again, I use João’s perspective on the story:

As João realized that the best way to solve this problem would be to create a structured process, he hired a sales consultancy.

With that, he was able, in less than six months, to standardize the training of his team and reach the goal they hadn’t achieved two years ago.

Did you see? Despite making it very clear what solution João found, by not telling the story from the point of view of my company, I manage to involve my lead and remove the sales pitch from my story.

And the benefits of storytelling don’t stop there. I still have a bonus regarding using this strategy in our speech…

Changing the focus of rejection

When we use the strategy of telling a story to generate a greater impact on our lead, we still have another benefit: changing the focus of rejection that it can present.

You see, when I give a transactional focus to my speech, offering my solution without first bringing a context, it won’t come directly to me:

Now, when I change my approach and present a story with a whole context close to what I believe my lead experiences, the scenario completely changes:

Even though that’s not a situation he’s been facing, when using a character, I take the focus off what I’m talking about to present a point of view he didn’t know or had thought about.

João’s story

After all that, I’m sure you’ve already understood the real importance of using good storytelling and how it definitely changes the way a person listens to us, right?

I even imagine you’ve already started thinking about possible examples of stories you can tell your leads.

Thinking about this and how I could help you, I want to take the opportunity to leave here the complete story of João and how our hero managed to overcome the challenges:

João had just been hired as a commercial manager of a medium-sized company in São Paulo and had a big challenge in hand: he needed to manage a team with 15 SDRs.

He was having a lot of trouble not getting scalable and effective training for the salespeople on his team.

This made them enter the second year in a row without reaching the goal, in addition to the team’s growing turnover rate.

As João realized that the best way to solve this problem would be to create a structured process, he hired a sales consultancy.

With the consultancy, he was able, in less than six months, to standardize the training of his team and reach the goal they had not achieved two years ago.

Using storytelling during our approaches with a lead can greatly improve the experience you both will have during the negotiation.

Not to mention that it makes the conversation much more interesting, do you agree? 🙂

I hope this text has been enlightening in the sense of knowing a little more about this wonderful technique that storytelling is.

Have you had any storytelling experience you’d like to share? Account here in the comments. I will be very happy to hear your story too.