Facts tell, stories sell

Peady’s Selling Engagement

Think about the last time you watched a great movie or read a good book – compelling stories, interesting stories, relatable stories involve and intrigue us.

By understanding and implementing the art of storytelling, we can also create magic moments for our customers (and prospective customers). But the key is delivering the right story to captivate attention and imagination while building the relationship.

In my experience top sellers are top storytellers too.

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

Facts tell, stories sell

I’m not sure who first said “facts tell, but stories sell” but it’s a real sales truism. 

The meaning is obvious.  If you want a customer to interact with you, pay attention and consider your products or services, you must tell them a relatable story. You can’t just tell them what the product or service does or the statistics behind them, it’s all about the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor – what it does for them or has done for others!

People forget statistics and only retain 5-10% of them; but people remember good stories with retention rates as high as 65-70%.

And like any good storyteller, a good salesperson knows that the hero of the story is how customers successfully used the product or service, improved business or reduced risk.

Becoming a storyteller

Like most things in selling, there is a format or path you can follow. Additionally, you need to practice your stories and storytelling skillsbeforeyou go into the field. Maybe your next sales meeting could be a good place to start?


Try these six steps:

  1. Write out the story so you can put all the pieces together (who, when, where, why)
  2. Know who you are telling the story to – it must be relatable (we are all different)
  3. What are you trying to achieve with the story? What’s the message or takeaway?
  4. Find an emotional angle (fear, happiness, anger, surprise, are all strong emotions)
  5. Show evidence of ‘truth’ in the story (testimonials or recommendations)
  6. Ask for an action or response

Great storytelling in sales isn’t as complicated as it sounds – it’s all about being authentic and communicating how you have helped people in real-world scenarios. Storytelling can make all the difference in making your communication relevant and impactful (and maybe even fun).

If you’d like to look at another great post on the subject check out “Storytelling in Sales

​Until next week, good selling and storytelling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]