This skill is outlined in depth in the first marker of organization effectiveness because it’s the way of communicating throughout the organization that speeds effective decision-making along. Storytelling is the way we process information. Stories are structured to ensure that the listener (e.g., customer) is engaged. Animate your value propositions with stories. No story, no sale.
All compelling stories have a villain, a burning platform, a complication, or a problem that engages the listener, who will hang around for the outcome or solution. Just as you do when you read a book or go to a movie. Without a villain you walk out of the movie or put the book down. It is essential to get the complication right. Only then can you save the day with your proposal, solution, or recommendation, which solves the customer’s problem and puts out the fire on the burning platform.
Sales won’t grow without oral or written proposals that are stories. Stories won’t always guarantee the sale, but at least you can be sure that you are clear and the customer “gets it.” And, stories alone won’t cut it unless they are anchored by rigorously developed value propositions ratified by the customer, and supported by the customer’s expectation of financial gain. Without stories animating a value proposition, you’re toast