It is my studied observation, having been in the business for over 25 years, that the most effective sales professionals in the industry are the ones who can tell their prospects stories about helping people in similar circumstances.
To the extent that you can do that, it's more powerful than a brochure, a demo or a 100-page audit. It's even more powerful than a one-page proposal. That's a lot of power, because if this person can find him or herself in a three to five-minute story, then you've essentially pre-sold their product. You’re essentially proving you’ve already done similar things for the prospect’s peers.
Now the question is, "Where am I going to get these stories?" In small organizations, you may not have too many stories of your own yet, so you may have to seek them out. Do research online or subscribe to something like our Segment Guides™. For larger companies, there should be a treasure trove of stories to share with veterans and neophytes alike; however, if they aren’t archived or made available, they can’t be used to help close sales. Stories are meant to be shared. Imagine how much more successful your company would be if 1) you had a ten-minute section of every sales meeting where people were asked to share their success stories; and, 2) you kept a collective record available to everyone for future reference.
Once you have a Story Archive available, it’s imperative that you and other members of your staff memorize those stories. You don’t need to memorize them word for word. Just enough to understand them and their implications for your business and customers and to be able to recite them effortlessly when the occasion arises. They are an essential tool for ensuring better communication, and I’ve never had anyone tell me that sharing genuine success stories with prospects resulted in a lower closing ratio!
I can guarantee that if you do this, you’ll have more conversationally confident and effective sales professionals out in the field, whether they’re veterans or neophytes.