Everybody Loves a Story

posted in: Sales | 0

Many years ago I was calling on a customer at the University of Montreal. He used a lot of plastic centrifuge tubes (these are tubes that are spun at high speed in a centrifuge to separate samples), and he was having a lot of tubes breaking. Big problem, not only did he lose the tubes, he also lost his samples, and had a big mess to clean up. My company had a line of premium tubes that were specifically designed to prevent breakage. Being premium tubes, they were quite a bit more expensive, but my customer shrugged off the extra cost saying, in a wonderful Quebec French accent, “buy cheap, buy twice”! I asked him if I could use that line, and I have used it many many times in my sales career. In fact, I often tell the full story.Everybody loves a story! And a good story can be a great part of a sales presentation. Sure, you can recite a bunch of statistics, features and benefits, but nothing beats a good story. So your customer needs help with a problem. Imagine how much more effective your presentation could be if you have a story about how you solved a similar problem for another customer.

So where do you get these stories? If you have been selling for any length of time, you already have a wealth of stories. When you prepare for a sales presentation, think about other customers who have purchased your product or service. How did it address their need, and how did it solve their problem? Were they happy with the solution? Did it save them time or money? Are they still using the product? Then work that into your presentation. Be specific, use names where possible. And don’t make stories up! It’s a small industry, good chance your customers may know each other!

Build your repertoire, so that you have stories on the tip of your tongue when you need them. And don’t be shy about borrowing stories. Stories from colleagues, vendors and friends are all fair game. Nothing wrong with the story, “My colleague in Edmonton solved a similar problem at ABC company…”

Try it out, I guarantee you won’t be sorry.

Would your sales people benefit from one-on-one coaching? Give us a call for a free needs analysis.