Industry News

Do you believe storytelling is an important skill when it comes to making a sale?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Do you believe storytelling is an important skill when it comes to making a sale?

  • Absolutely. Great storytellers are much more effective salespeople: 80.3%
  • Kind of. Storytelling confers a slight advantage in selling: 15.4%
  • Not really. It doesn't sway a sales decision much: 2.7%
  • Not at all. Selling is about product, price and promotion: 1.6%

Tell me a story. Storytelling definitely drives sales. 80% of you found storytelling to be a critical skill for salespeople, and I’d venture to guess not all respondents were sellers but many were buyers. If you think more broadly about “selling” and consider you’re always selling ideas, shouldn’t you become a better storyteller, too? Any recommendation you’re making can benefit from your ability to tell a story. Learn the skill. Build your own inventory of stories to help you be more compelling and influential. You just might close that “sale” you’ve been working on for a long time!

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."