Broker Fair 2019 featured Kindra Hall as the keynote speaker, who’s message centered on the power of storytelling in sales to capture the attention, resonate with customers and humanize the transactions between us.
But how does storytelling work?
Effective storytelling induces an emotional response in those listening/watching to capture their attention (wrestle it away from everything else that could be distracting them) and engage them at a deeper level.
The key objective in storytelling is to induce three biochemicals (the emotional response): cortisol, oxytocin, and dopamine.
Cortisol – is the stress hormone released in response to a perceived threat. It causes our fight or flight reaction, especially if there is a perceived danger, risk and potential reward. Cortisol sharpens your focus and dials in your attention to whatever is causing this emotional tension. It is valuable to the storyteller, because it grabs attention and cuts away distraction.
Oxytocin – is the ultimate empathy hormone. In many scientific circles it is also known as the “love hormone.” It is released when we are bonding with others that we like or love. It is strongest in new mothers directly following birth, and will even generate a protective response if there is enough connection there. This hormone, unlike cortisol, feels good. Cortisol might hook us into the story, its oxytocin that keeps us there. It is very valuable to the storyteller because, as long as the story has at least one character we can identify with, we will empathize and bond with this character, thus bond to the story, and the one telling it.
Dopamine – is one of the most important neurotransmitters, which releases the pleasurable feelings of satisfaction as part of the brain’s reward system. Now that we feel bonded to the character in the story, and we subconsciously feel our fate is intertwined with theirs, if there is a positive resolution to the story, we will feel satisfied and rewarded as if we arrived at the positive outcome ourselves. This is extremely valuable to the storyteller because he has satisfied us and shifted the audience into an emotional state of optimism charged to take action (and over come risks) on their own perceived rewards/outcomes.
So how does this help in sales?
Insert Funding Pro everywhere you saw storyteller above.
All stories don’t have to be 2 hour tear-jerkers, after all we actively work to shorten sales cycles, not lengthen them with unnecessary detours. The most effective stories are forging emotional connections and moving people to buying decisions on 30 second spots on Super Bowl Sunday.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Paul Zak has repeatedly shown in his research studies, those with highest levels of oxytocin in their blood, are most likely to trust and even give money to strangers.
Sometimes we are tentative to go forward with something until we see or hear of someone else do it first, then we think to ourselves, “I can do that.”
What stories are you telling to help merchants fund?