- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On December 11, 2018
- 0 Comments
Telling a story about your product or service is the key to a successful B2B sales engagement. Through our sales experience, we’ve found that prospects don’t respond to a hard product pitch or pure quantitative data, but rather a pitch that mixes real life usage stories combined with quantitative data and qualitative information. You would not think of a salesperson as a story teller but honestly, the best sales people are. What really sells a story is the emotion, the realness of seeing your product or service assist a client and make their job easier, save them money, reduce a risk, drive efficiency and so forth. It is the helping aspect of the story that really resonates.
I believe storytelling should be used by both large and small companies when selling. As I mentioned earlier, storytelling is a way to convey to your prospect how you are providing value to their peers. Look at how popular Google review 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 too? The same goes for B2B selling. If you have great stories that will be backed up by a client or a testimonial then you need to promote them and get them on the table.
Storytelling will help you convey the benefits of your product to your prospect faster and in a more personalized way. Ideally, your prospect is having some of the same challenges your customer has had. Relating to a customer story and the solution will likely resonate with him or her.
Storytelling can also help you close business faster. The more stories and positive experiences you can convey, the less reason there is for your customer not to move ahead with you. Be sure to back up your stories with real life customers. A false story can kill any trust you have built.
Now, if you are just starting up and currently don’t have many clients that can be referenced then you may have to build a theoretical story but be sure to be transparent with the prospect and keep it real. 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.
The bottom line is that a good story helps a prospect envision how they could utilize your services. When you are building out your sales stories (which can be used for marketing purposes as well, such as in blogs or whitepapers) some key points to include in your story are:
- The Situation – industry your client is in, state of the market, client business cycle.
- The Challenge – this is the challenge or business pain the client was having and is directly related to how your solution or service helped solve it.
- The Answer – this is how you were able to help them solve their business pain.
- The Result – outlines how successful you were. Be as quantitative as possible. For one of our clients, they were able to help their customer save over $200,000 per annum by going with their solution versus their current way of business.
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