Applications of Corporate Storytelling
Applications of Corporate Storytelling
Bread and Pretzels are essentially the same ingredients but prepared with different recipes. Persuasive presentations, sales conversations and proposals should have a lot of the same ingredients but you should prepare for them differently because you will deliver them differently. For the most part, you are in control of the order and timing of how you deliver the ingredients in a presentation. However, a sales conversation is more fluid. You are part of a dialog in a conversation (not a monologue). Proposals are delivered in a document. They aren’t spoken like conversations or presentations. Also, proposals involve a process to show you are compliant, but that does not mean you cannot persuade and advocate. For this reason, we work on these three different skills (Presentations, Conversations, and Proposals) separately.
See below for details on each one.
Presentations are high risk, high reward. Many people fear presenting more than death. However, people who are good presenters are held in high esteem by their audience. Effective presenters tend to advance careers faster and make more money. Corporate Storytellers are remarkably good presenters and it’s about more than your body language or your slides.
After helping more than 10,000 people and seeing over 40,000 presentations, we have seen many applications of Corporate Storytelling. Click the green “Contact Us” button to see how we can help you with your next presentation. Some typical Corporate Storytelling presentations include:
- Persuasive presentations—Are you trying to convince the audience to take action? Most presentations are too informational, with very little persuasion. Corporate Storytellers advocate an idea, solution, or point-of-view in such a way that people take action.
- Vision—A vision is intangible. How do you turn the intangible into something real for the audience?
- Product/Service Presentation—Is your presentation about the product/service/solution, or is it about the value/outcome/benefit that product delivers that audience? Realize, the audience does not care about you. They care about themselves. Corporate Storytellers deliver audience-centric messages.
- Technical Explanations—Technicians can have the greatest ideas in the world, but if others cannot understand them, those ideas are worthless. Corporate Storytellers help the audience understand complex topics.
- TED Talks—Why are TED talks so popular? They are clear, concise, and compelling. So are Corporate Storytellers. In fact, we help people create TED talks.
While Corporate Storytelling has been applied in a variety of business situations, Articulus focuses on sales conversations. More specifically, we focus on how to bring the skill of Advocacy or Persuasion into a conversation. Our research shows the number of conversations for every presentation is at least 4:1 for complex sales. Professional sellers must interact with a variety of people from the C-Level all the way down to the users. Most of these interactions will not allow for a formal presentation and it is much more likely to be a conversation (in person and phone) with individuals/small groups than a large group presentation.
There are too many different types of conversations to list here. Call Articulus if you want to discuss a recent struggle or practice an upcoming conversation. Typical applications of Corporate Storytelling in sales conversations include:
- Validation—Do you have a solution you are ready to share with the client? Is it clear and compelling? Does it move the customer to the next stage in your sales process? Corporate Storytellers articulate that solution such that the customer understands it, and as a result, can discuss/validate it.
- Capabilities —How do you respond when the customer asks you to come in a “explain your capabilities?” Do you spend your time going through all the details, facts, and features? Corporate Storytellers prepare a message, not a list of features. A message that persuades, not just simply informs.
- Executive Briefing—How much time do executives have to hear your message? How many messages are they hearing that day, let alone that week? Corporate Storytellers get to the point!
- Discovery—You may need to earn the right to ask the customer questions. How do you earn that right? You may need to inspire thought, challenge ideas or share a point-of-view. Corporate Storytellers articulate points-of-view in a way that builds credibility.
Proposal writing is a thankless job. And yet proposals are required to win all competitive business in complex industries today. Because proposals are sales documents, they are a perfect application for Corporate Storytelling. They need to advocate and sell, not just inform.
In business proposals, written responses need to be simple and concise, with all the ingredients of persuasion. Our research confirms that merely compliant proposals, those that tend to inform instead of persuade, are the biggest risk of being eliminated early. Written Advocacy, when done correctly has the ability to become remarkable advocacy. Corporate Storytellers are able to create remarkable written advocacy in a variety of ways.
Typical applications of Corporate Storytelling in written advocacy includes:
- Proposals– Does your proposals have an undeniable winning strategy with strong differentiators? Are the proposals you produce clear and compelling? Does your proposal move the customer to choose you? Corporate Storytellers create proposals that answer the question, “Why Us?”
- Brochure- Style Executive Summaries– Are you getting through to the client decision makers, the ones who don’t read the proposal? How are you convincing them that your offer is the one they need? Our focus on brochure-style Executive Summaries help clients decide if they want to work with you, by focusing on the outcomes and benefits you provide, in a media that is highly visual and easy to consume.
- Effective Cover Letters– Are you getting to the point with the client from the very first page? Do they know the benefits of your best differentiator? Are you making this a persuasive document and not a throw away letter that merely thanks them for the opportunity? Corporate Storytellers use cover letters to persuade and create a positive first impression.
- Social Media– Social media platforms displaying effective written advocacy go beyond creating awareness for a company. Are you able to showcase results through your social media creating a deeper connection to potential clients? Corporate Storytelling through your social media posts drives real results.