Selling With Stories
Let me tell you a quick story. Perhaps you will find it relevant.
In the early 1990s Fortune magazine decided to do an article on selling. The question they set out to answer was:
Why were some people so good at selling while others so blatantly bad?
To find out the answer the writers interviewed 24 top sales performers across a broad spectrum of fields. Among those who were interviewed were financial advisors, insurance producers, executive recruiters and a wide variety of consultants and high-value services providers. Here is what they learned.
The most successful sales people sell without it ever being apparent that they are in fact, selling. There was nothing obvious or obnoxious about their presentation. No Trial Close, Ben Franklin close or Take Away closes. They sold, but they sold invisibly.
Moreover the Fortune article concluded that the more you are marketing and selling high-value services the more important it is to be able to sell invisibly.
So what exactly does this mean? How did the top performers go about building trust and credibility? How did they overcome often deep-seated skepticism? How did they persuade others to their point of view?
The one thing in common was, they all told stories.
Lots of stories. Stories that demonstrated how others had successfully achieved results by using their services. Stories that preemptively addressed objections or concerns. Stories that made it easy for others to refer them to their friends and colleagues. Stories that built credibility and reduced skepticism.
So why do you need a marketing story?
You need them for your brochures, sales letters and your website. You need them for your face-to-face sales presentations. However, we believe that the most important reason to have a marketing story is
It differentiates you from your competition and establishes your brand.
Ultimately, the stories you tell about who you are, your uniqueness, the results your clients achieve, are what will establish you as a unique player in your field.
Excellent marketing stories don't scream, "I WANT TO IMPRESS YOU." They don't scream, "BUY MY SERVICES NOW." Rather, the gifted marketing storyteller takes the reader or listener on a journey. And if the story is well constructed, at the end of the journey, we are going to be impressed. We are going to be interested. We are going to want to take the next step in the sales process.
And that is why the most successful marketers tell stories.
So, what is your marketing story?