Individual people respond to stories about individuals. Read the book Made to Stick. The authors are Dan and Chip Heath. They tell a story of two different add campaigns soliciting donations of food for starving people in Africa. One solicitation gave horrible statistics about literally hundreds of thousands of deaths. The other spoke of the suffering of one particular seven-year old girl. The individual story about the individual girl’s suffering out performed the overwhelming statistics by far.
Think about the very short beginnings to these stories:
A wolf in sheep’s…
The tortoise and the…
The boy who cried…
You can fill in the story. And, I will bet that you believe the principal demonstrated by the story.
Get your stories in order. Have them ready and shorten them. Then you will have success. Use one of them in your opening sales statement. Use an individual story of success each time you counter an objection. Use personal stories to connect when building rapport.
Example of use of a story in in your opening sales statement:
This is John Cameron, with customsalestraining.com. Joe, over at Joe’s Insurance had me come in last month and coach his appointment setters for a day. As of today, Appointments are up by 14% and sales by 22%.
This is a very specific story about a very specific success that will engage a potential customer. The story, even with me identifying myself, took fourteen seconds to tell and is all of 37 words long. Good stories are short. Good stories are specific and good stories are about someone very similar to the person you are talking to.
Example of using a story to get through to a decision maker when talking to a receptionist:
Joanie, this is John Cameron with customsalestraining.com calling for Mr. Morgan again. I’m not having much luck getting through to him. Now, when we had so much success over at Jones and Leonard, my contact was their Director of Sales. Should I be talking to someone else here?
This story with introduction and a question was all of 48 words long and took 20 seconds to tell and ask. Again, the story was short, and specific. And, the most important thing about the story was that it was true.
Action Items/Activity Triggers
1. Get your success stories together in one place. You might call them testimonials.
2. Shorten them so that you can tell the meat of the story in less than 20 seconds.
3. Identify places in your sales process, such as opening sales statement, getting through to the decision maker, preventing and countering objections, where these stories will be useful.
4. Practice using your stories.
5. Enjoy greater sales