It is my studied observation, having been in the energy business for over 25 years, that the most effective sales professionals in this industry are the ones who can tell their prospects stories about helping people in similar circumstances.
Doing that is more powerful than offering a brochure, a demo or a 100-page audit report. It's even more powerful than a one-page proposal. That's a lot of power, because if this person can define him or herself in a two to three-minute story, then you've essentially pre-sold them. You’re essentially proving you’ve already done similar things for their peers and/or competitors.
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 encouraged each of your sales resources to contribute at least one success story so that it could be archived in a searchable reference called a Success Story Archive™ that the entire sales team could access; 2) you began dedicating a ten-minute section of every sales meeting so veterans and neophytes alike could not only share their success stories, but also recount how they had used those success stories in the recent past to close more deals.
Once you have established your Success Story Archive™, it’s imperative that you and other members of your staff memorize those stories. I don’t mean memorize word-for-word. However, everyone needs to understand each story and its implications for your business and customers. Those stories 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!Bottom line, having a repertoire of success stories will make your sales resources not only better conversationalists, but also more confident sales professionals. After all, their ability to paint a picture that a prospect can identify with is the first step toward getting that prospect motivated to pursue your offering.