Knowing who you want to sell to determines how you want to sell it
Up to this point we’ve discussed what storytelling is and why telling stories over reciting facts is important to connect with your audience. Now it’s time to get focused and discuss how to create stories for different people.
In marketing we call this the process of creating Buyer Personas. Here we gather information from a customer discovery process to best support how we want to communicate with our target audiences. This can lead to multiple stories as, undoubtedly, there will be many types of people you’ll be sharing your story with.
While field experts may be able to process a more theory-based sales pitch, managers or investors may need something less technical. Think of all the different groups of people in our lives. If you’re joining your professional colleagues for a drink after work, perhaps you’ll order a martini straight up with a twist. If you’re hanging with your high school buddies to watch the big game, a cold draft might be your order. If you order that martini at the pub, your pals might react with, “really dude?” Using the wrong story at the wrong time sets yourself up for, in this case, ridicule, which in sales equates to potential failure.
To understand what story we need to make the sale, we need to determine what we want to sell to whom
To do this, we need to consider the goal(s) of our pitch before we start sharing our story. This process takes into consideration a person’s background and position, what problems they need to solve, what other options they have tried before and what will motivate them to partner with you. Here’s a Persona Profile Checklist for a list of persona details and samples of questions to ask. At the end of the day, asking questions and testing your audience makes the world of difference.
Now that we know the direction in which we’d like to go in, let’s start exciting customers, investors and partners with our stories! To do this, we need to construct messages that get their attention right out the gate.