It might be easy to resist a sales pitch, but few can resist a good story. We grow up feeling that a story is a reward. In sales, stories are the best way to clarify the complex, create emotional connection, and persuade. David Hoffeld, author of The Science of Selling, was a guest on my Fripp Sales Series webinar and discussed the science behind the unparalleled power of storytelling and a lot more. I share a video replay of our conversation – plus, David’s article explaining why stories are essential to sales.
The Science of Why Stories Are Sticky
by David Hoffeld
Stories are also sticky. Because they produce an emotional response that will often cause the brain to release dopamine, a chemical that improves memory, the retention rate of stories is elevated. One experiment conducted at Stanford University found that after listening to a series of speeches, 63 percent of the students remembered the stories the speaker used, but only 5 percent remembered any statistics from the same speech.
Perhaps the most significant finding about stories is that the brain reconstructs them as they are being told. Princeton researchers monitored brain activity in pairs of subjects, one who told a story and the other who was listening to the story. The researchers noticed that the neural activity in both of the participants’ brains was synchronous. When the speaker imagined the story while articulating it, the listener had the same brain activity while he was mentally recreating the story he was hearing. Neuroscientists refer to the formation of a mental image of a behavior, idea, or situation that a person hasn’t witnessed in real life as “mental imagery.”
Research suggests that when you tell stories, your prospective customers are not just listening; they are recreating the story in their minds. The easier it is for buyers to picture a story, the more likely it is that they will be influenced by it. This science discloses an important insight into successful storytelling—anything that hinders your buyers’ ability to imagine the story will also hinder its influence.
David Hoffeld is the author of the acclaimed book The Science of Selling and the CEO and chief sales trainer at the research-based sales and consulting firm, Hoffeld Group. He is a sales and leadership contributor to Fast Company and has been featured in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CBS Radio and Fox News Radio. To learn more about his science-backed sales strategies visit: www.HoffeldGroup.com
Purchase David’s new book The Science Of Selling and send proof of purchase to info@HoffeldGroup.com and you’ll receive the 10 Scientifically Proven Sales Hacks Infographic that explains each of the sales hacks and shows how to apply them to boost your sales.
Replay from FrippVT Sales Series – The Unparalleled Power of Stories
If you and your sales team are losing out because of poor presentation skills, why not get the help you need on your own schedule? Become a great speaker easily, conveniently, and quickly with FrippVT. Take a trial now and get three free chapters on Stories, Openings, and Sales: http://frippvt.com
“In my 12 years in sales and marketing, you are the most dynamic, charismatic, and knowledgeable sales presentation trainer and executive speech coach that I know. After your presentation skills training, both my sales and technical support team are closing more sales!”
– Bill Lewis, Director of Sales and Marketing, North America, Unitech America, Inc.
“Story Strategy to Improve Your Sales Presentations,” “The Importance of A Good Story,” “The 5 Secrets of An Effective Sales Story,” “12 Biggest Mistakes Salespeople Make in Their Presentations,” and “Harness The Power of Third-Party Endorsements” are just a few of the complimentary resources on Fripp.com to help you harness the power of storytelling to increase your sales.
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.