What Is “Storyselling” and Why It Works

One of the best books we’ve ever read about giving financial advice is, “Storyselling for Financial Advisors” by Scott West and Mitch Anthony.

As the title suggests, the book outlines the value of using short stories to help people understand financial concepts. It talks about why that approach is far more successful than boring people with in-depth analysis and hard-to-understand spreadsheets.

We too have seen first-hand the positive impact of using stories to illustrate complex financial concepts in selling financial products — when we hear from women investors they tell us they prefer a friendly less formal relationship with their advisor. (Note: even male clients tend to respond well.)

So, if you want to better connect with women and not leave them frustrated and confused, using stories is the way to go. But make sure the story you use is something she can relate to.

However, telling stories doesn’t come naturally to everyone. To ensure you don’t end up rambling or losing track of your point, write down your “story” and edit it until you are one hundred percent comfortable with it – before you approach her.

For example if you are trying to sell her an investment – whether it’s a stock, a mutual fund or a financial product, use a story about the company, about clients who’ve bought the product in the past and about how she can achieve her goal.

There are many different scenarios – this is just one example:

1. Talk about the company in terms of its purpose

“Company XYZ brings health care to people living in remote communities through a combination of onsite health care workers as well as telemedicine from specialists around the world.”

2. Next, tell a story about why a client currently invests in the company.

“One of my clients lived in a remote area that she and her husband very much enjoyed, but when he became sick they were forced to relocate away from everything they knew. This was very traumatic for them. When he died and she was managing their assets alone she didn’t want this to happen to anyone else. She wanted to invest in companies that were working to bring healthcare to everyone – regardless of where they lived.”

3. Finally, link to the client you’re talking to.

“I know how important investing in better healthcare for seniors is to you, especially after your own health issues. Here’s a company that not only makes a difference but can help you achieve your own retirement goals. It works to make sure that no matter where you live now and, in the future, you’ll have access to top-notch healthcare. I felt compelled to bring it to your attention.”

Now think of the next female client you want to sell a product to and think how you can make it meaningful for her – don’t forget to write it all out and practice it first.

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