3 tips for better storytelling with clients

Why do people do business with you? What makes you stand out? “One of the key skills, if you want to be successful, is to tell stories well,” said Ty Bennett, a professional speaker on the power of influence and storytelling. “People retain information 500 percent better if it’s told within stories. Stories engage emotionally, and people take action because of emotions.”

But successful storytelling isn’t just an off-the-cuff exercise. Bennett recommends scripting it and practicing it, so you can deliver a strong story. Make sure the story is concise. “If it’s not necessary to say it, then don’t say it,” he said. “One of the biggest mistakes is that we talk too much.”

The following techniques can help actively engage listeners and move them to action.

  1. Place them in the scene. Use phrases such as “If you had been there when …” or “Imagine …”
  2. Create curiosity. “No one cares about your story unless there’s something that relates to them,” Bennett said. “Ask ‘you-focused’ questions at the beginning of the story, for instance, ‘What stops you from achieving your goal?’”
  3. Reinforce relatability. Throughout the story, touch base to engage them. Ask, “Isn’t that kind of what you’re going through right now?” or “Have you ever had that happen before?”

See more in the Round the Table article “Tell them a story” and Bennett’s 2018 Top of the Table Annual Meeting presentation “The power of storytelling”. (MDRT member exclusive content)


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