Conventional wisdom holds that a lead’s fate is decided by the prospective customer, not the sales person. But if a satisfied client were to become an evangelist for your brand, sharing their experiences with peers on a grand scale, what do you think that would do for your sales?

People love a good story, especially if the outcome is something that would make their own lives more fulfilling. Brands can deeply and positively impact their sales leads by sharing their customers’ positive experiences.

Telling the story of a typical customer’s encounter with a brand is a potent method of persuasion that can overcome sales resistance and appeal to nearly any audience. From advertisements and infomercials to online product reviews and social media, prospects are always ready to hear personal accounts about life with your brand.

Find your audience and appeal to different types of sales leads with these storytelling techniques:

  • Firsthand is best. Uncover your most satisfied, successful customers and ask them to share their individual stories publicly, whether it’s via an interview, social media or a blog post.
  • Fiction is fine. But base your story on reality. Illustrate situations that let your target customer know you are aware of the problems for which they are seeking a solution, and how your product or service can fill that need.
  • Focus on the prospect, not the product. Although the product is the heroic knight in shining armor that solves the problem and saves the day, in the end, the customer reigns supreme.
  • Create some drama! It’s important to show the contrast between the customer’s current situation and the desired outcome that results after your brand provides the solution.
  • Use familiar language. Speak in terms that are relevant to the prospective customer, rather than using jargon or buzzwords that might interrupt the quality of your story.
  • Share surprise benefits. With true customer stories, one often finds that a brand had unexpected positive results that might not have otherwise been uncovered.
  • Expand your repertoire. With multiple stories from which to choose, your product or service can be revealed as a solution for various problems different customers may have. For example, a CFO might rather listen to a story about how lead scoring software can help their business generate more revenue, while a sales manager would love to hear about how it can make more effective use of their reps’ time.

The story doesn’t end here. Storytelling has benefits that go on and on – not least because one of the best things about a good story is that people like to share it.

So what’s your story? How have you used storytelling to drive sales leads?