One of the key things that is not mentioned often when engaging in sales closing is the power of storytelling. Based on my experience and when I look at the most successful clients we have, the ones with the most wins in B2B sales closing are the ones that have the most stories.
Educating Through Storytelling
There is nothing wrong with a powerpoint deck that flows through a step by step process of educating the customer about you on a technical level. However, I would argue that using a sales deck as a basis for discussion and then educating your audience through storytelling can be a very effective way to inform them of your solutions and help you close faster.
Core Story Components
Great sales people are often great story tellers. The best ones tell stories that are based on truth, emotion and the real benefits clients receive. Remember the four key aspects to any good sales story – make sure you include at least one or two of these core components – the financial benefits: drive more revenue or reduce an expense, risk reduction or generate an efficiency.
Storytelling and Startups
Integrating storytelling into your sales closing efforts is easiest I would say for larger firms with a track record as you can talk about customer wins, the benefits provided and so forth. It is harder for a startup but still can be done. You will have to base your stories on your personal experiences and you may focus on the challenges you are solving. Having a strong base value proposition is good but being able to articulate it and outline how someone benefited from it solidifies how real it is.
Look at how popular Google reviews or Yelp reviews are. Do you look at those before going to a car dealership, restaurant or hotel? Do you read about people’s experience and then make a judgement call about whether you are going to go. The same goes for B2B selling. If you have realistic stories and have articulated the benefits, your ability to close the sale will be greatly increased.
B2B Sales Bottom Line
The bottom line is that a good story helps a prospect envision how they could use your services. When you are building out your sales stories some key points to include are:
- The Situation – industry the client is in, state of the market, client business cycle
- The Challenge – this is the challenge or the business pain the client is or was having and is directly related to how your solution or service can help solve it
- The Solution – this is how you were able to help them solve their business pain.
- The Result – outlines how successful you were and be as quantitative as possible.
A good sales story should only take 1 to no more than 2 minutes to go through. Keep them simple, informative and to the point.
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