By Tim Fitzgerald on Nov 11, 2019 4:30:00 PM
Have you ever sat down and asked yourself, “what’s one word to describe myself as a professional?” You might have thought of words like “salesperson” or “client services”. But – what about storyteller? It might not have even crossed your mind, but storytelling is a huge part of being a broker! HubSpot’s Storytelling Guide says: “the consumer doesn’t decide to buy based on what you’re selling, but rather why you’re selling it. Storytelling helps you communicate that ‘why’ in a creative, engaging way.”
As a broker, HubSpot’s Storytelling Guide is especially relevant. Engaging your prospects is critical to landing and retaining clients. If you can captivate them with storytelling, you will be able to foster long-term relationships where your clients care about you as much as you care about them!
But the last thing you want is to tell stories that bore your audience or waste their time. To make sure your stories work for you, keep them relevant to you and your message. Make them impactful for your clients and as short as possible. Some timeless advice for writers that can help you integrate storytelling into your meetings is “show, don’t tell.”
The idea of “show, don’t tell” is that when you write a story, you should use words to paint a picture for your audience instead of just telling them. Even though you are a broker, not a novelist, this advice can help you build trust with your clients. Showing your point of view to clients with a short story or exposition can be a lot more meaningful than just telling them what’s different about you and your services.
Conflict and Storytelling
Storytelling by showing, not telling, gives your audience a narrative to latch onto instead of a statement that can fall flat. And one of the pillars of every story is conflict. As a broker, you can use conflict in your stories to present a problem they might be experiencing and show your clients that you’re the solution they need.
For example, if you are trying to tell your client about your company’s history, you might be tempted to say something simple like “we founded Company ABC in 2005 because we were dedicated to providing clients services that are transparent, easy to understand, and reliable.”
But if you frame your history as a quick story with conflict, it could look something like this: “In 2005 we saw an issue in the market where consumers weren’t being matched with insurance products they understood – and we set out to fix that. So, we created Company ABC on a foundation of transparency and customer intimacy that brings consumers benefits and educational tools they can understand and utilize.”
See the difference? Even when we present a made-up company history as a story, it makes the content more engaging. You are presenting an issue and making your organization a solution to that issue. And when you present your company as the solution to a conflict – you are encouraging your client to think about you that way.
Storytelling and Content
Storytelling can also make your points keep working for you long after your meeting is over. When your story brings value to your audience, it becomes a piece of content that they take with them. Think about the last good movie you watched. You remember the story, right? It’s likely that you do - and more importantly, you probably remember how it made you feel. When you tell a story that your client connects to, they’ll remember your story too - and they’ll remember you. That gives you a huge advantage. All it takes is telling a relatable story that shows your audience who you are and what you do for them.
Storytelling might seem daunting at first, but you already have experience doing it. And you probably already “show, don’t tell” on a daily basis. All it takes is a little mindfulness and thought about when and where your stories can be effective and bring value to your clients. If you’re looking for tips on how to speak effectively to sharpen your delivery – check out our page on public speaking and download our guide on how to sell your services!