Storytelling - 1Credit unions and banks don’t sell loans, checking accounts or investments. Or at least they shouldn’t. Financial institutions sell dreams. The new car dream. The perfect home dream. The debt free dream. The vacation dream.

You’ve probably heard the saying “features tell, benefits sell.” While that statement is true, let’s build on its premise. It’s not just benefits that sell—it’s stories. As Carmine Gallo says in Talk Like TED, “storytelling is the ultimate tool of persuasion.”  If you want to “sell” more products (loans, checking accounts, investments, etc.) then tell more stories.

But do financial products actually have stories? Absolutely. Here are the types of product stories you can tell:

(1)   The testimonial story—These are the best. Capture examples of how your members used a product or service to benefit them financially. Rather than information about a home equity loan rate, tell a story about the family who used that product to finance their son’s education and that son became a doctor.

(2)   The why story—Why are you even offering that particular product or service? For example, if it’s to offer free checking accounts to combat predatory payday lenders, then tell stories about one of your consumers who saved money with lower fees at your institution.

(3)   The history story—Some of your products have been around for quite some time. Or maybe some of your products are some of the first to market. Either way, your products have some history to them. And that history can be a story. As an example, you might could match your product’s history with the history of your community or niche markets you are serving.

(4)   The impact story—Your credit union or bank is making a difference in the lives of consumers every single day. Whether it’s dollars or time invested in giving back to the community, working with a particular charity or reinvesting in small businesses, the work of financial institutions is a key to our economy. Show those results with companies or individuals that are impacted by your positive work.

So capture those stories. Use video where possible. Tell them in your marketing materials. Every product has a story—it’s up to you to share it.