There is nothing more natural than stories. From a very early age we are exposed to stories. When we talk to friends and family we share stories. It may surprise you to discover that one of the secrets of top sales people is storytelling. We are not talking fairy stories but anecdotes of experiences with customers.
There is one assumption that is safe to make. People are more interested in themselves and their problems than hearing about how wonderful your products and services are. Tell them about clients just like themselves who have solved similar problems and you will capture their interest.
The thing that will really engage them and want to discuss their problems in more detail is to hear that people you helped felt just like they do. Stories should focus on the drama before you helped them and also the happy ending. Don’t waste much time saying what you did for them. If they are interested, they will ask!
Case studies are great but are so often boring and dry. Why not spice them up by turning then into stories? Rather than giving people the print-outs, tell them in person. Chances are they would never read the hard-copy anyway!
You can also use stories when giving sales presentations, when having relationship building meetings, as well as including them in your training and seminars.
As friends natuarally trade stories, you can accelerate rapport and relationships by taking interest in the stories of the people you meet.
In my experience, when using stories in general conversation, it is better to have your stories natural and unrehearsed rather than highly polished. When doing presentations, however, it is better to have them a little more slick.