You might not immediately link storytelling with business in your mind, but telling stories has a multitude of benefits, including:
• They’re hugely impactful for overcoming objections
• You can use stories to install a belief—a major part of convincing someone to do business with you is to get them to believe
that your solution will help him or her overcome or solve a problem
• Stories help the other person to listen uncritically—we can understand large amounts of data logically, with our neocortex brain, but that is also where all criticism comes from. The limbic system, which deals with emotions, has no criticism
• Stories help you connect emotionally—stories by definition evoke emotion. A story draws people in and helps you to create a connection with them.
• Stories are the key to persuasion—a well-told story can help you be persuasive in a completely different way than trying to use logic to convince someone
What Stories Do
You might be asking yourself, “Ok, so why are stories potentially important to my business?”
Let’s start with some basic biology. Have you ever heard of the difference between the limbic part of the brain and the neocortex part of the brain in humans?
The limbic system is the part of the brain that deals with emotion. It speaks and listens in stories, metaphors, and symbols. The neocortex, on the other hand, is responsible for rational thinking. It deals with facts, figures, and logic.
Have you ever heard the saying that decisions are based on emotion, and that people justify them by logic only after they have already made their decision?
The question then becomes how to bring in the emotional part of the message before the logical part, which may be less convincing? That is where stories enter the equation. Telling a gripping story is like having a straight shot to the listener’s limbic brain, giving you a much higher chance of success in persuading them with your message.
Can you still convince someone by using just logic? Yes, of course. However, it tends to take longer, and your chances of success will be much better if you can also connect with the client on an emotional level.