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Connect With Your Visual Learning Prospects Through Storytelling


Connect With Your Visual Learning Prospects Through Storytelling

When you talk to people, do you tell them stories? More importantly, do you tell stories when you are selling? If not, you should start now. It will be one of the most effective ways to better connect with your audience and increase your sales success.

According to a study by the Social Science Research Network 65% of people are visual learners. That means these individuals will gravitate more toward charts, graphs, and pictures instead of long narratives in printed materials. But, visual learning is not strictly confined to the printed page – if it was there would be no need for sales people, we would only need order takers. You can deeply connect with visual learners verbally as telling stories and drawing “mental pictures” for them.

Telling stories and painting mental pictures can be difficult for many sales people, especially in the medical, industrial, and investment fields. In the first two instances products are often discussed based on their technical specifications – pharmaceutical compound formulas, tensile strength, speed, etc. – and within investments the variables tend to be statistical – yield, tracking error, alpha, etc. To be a great salesperson you need to be able to understand and discuss these technical and statistical specifications in order to fully understand what you are selling, how it compares to your competitors, and how it best fits the technical/statistical needs of your customers. This tends to cause most sales people in these industries to be non-visual learners.

Unfortunately, we are at our most comfortable in a sales situation speaking from our strengths – non-visual, for many of you. Yet, the majority of people we will be selling to are the opposite – visual learners. How do we bridge this gap? It’s actually not that hard.

The first step is to think of yourself when you are outside of selling situations. Think of social settings when you have met new people and seem like you hit it off well with someone you just met. What were you discussing? How were you speaking?

Taking a wild guess, you probably were not speaking in technical specifications, but instead speaking in pictures – sharing an experience or a story about something you had in common. It’s that same way of speaking that you need to incorporate into your selling.

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Think of existing customers who are using your product. How are they using it? How is it helping them in their business or with their customers? What do they tell you about how pleased they are with your product?

Sharing those examples, anecdotes, and stories with prospective customers will lead to more successful sales situations than simply sharing the technical/statistical specifications of your product along with a graph or chart showing how your product is better than your competitors’. Certainly, those specifications and visual charts and graphs play a role, but it is the stories and mental pictures you paint of how efficient, successful, and happy the customer will be after using your product that will seal the deal much more effectively.

So, start telling stories and painting mental pictures. Not only will it lead to greater sales, it’s actually kind of fun!

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