Facts tell, stories sell

10th January 2023

Imagine talking to someone who wants you to help her start exporting into Belgium.

You know you can help her achieve this.

Q: What’s the best way to prove to her you can help?
A: Well, you could tell her lots of facts – about your products, service, experience, the year you started in business, the map of all your offices …
… or you could tell her a story about how you helped somebody else successfully export into Belgium

Clearly, the story is more persuasive. It shows you can help her – because you’ve done it before.

Hence: facts tell; stories sell.

And the best way to tell your story?

In reverse.

In other words, start with the outputs you achieved for the other person, and then work backwards from there. So it goes something like this:

  1. So, you want to export into Belgium
  2. I can help you achieve that. I’ve done it before
  3. For example, I worked with Company X, and helped them get a 10% share of the Belgian market
  4. Please can I quickly share with you what I did with them?

When you ask the question in the bottom point, the other person will definitely reply “yes”!

So, you now have their permission and desire to hear more about how you helped someone else; and therefore an early idea about how you might be able to help them.

You have many opportunities to use stories to evidence your impact – for example in job interviews, sales conversations, etc.

In fact, today, you will have to persuade someone of your ability to help them.

And the best way for you to sell yourself?

Remember that facts tell, stories sell.

Action Point

Identify your best story. What’s the greatest thing you’ve achieved?

Practise telling this story in reverse – starting with the outputs.

The more and better you do this, the more people will choose you!

Want more Tuesday Tips?

Every week, Andy releases a Tuesday Tip via email and his website, let’s take you back to the archive of tips.

Back to Tuesdays Tips