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Sell with Happy/Sad Stories

December 15, 2007

Sounds simple enough but why don’t more sales professionals tell prospects about existing customers that overcame this or that problem with his/her products/services? Sure, they may mention that x company purchased xx but they don’t go into the various reasons with a story that has a beginning, a middle and an end.  I think the reason that some sales people don’t tell a good story is because they are not trained to do so and in some cases it is just plain lack of preparation.

While many companies have sales toolboxes for the sales team with success stories and case studies in it, some sales people will gloss over them and forget the story. Some ways a sales manager can help is to continually review one or two past and present wins at each sales meeting and correlate them to some existing pipeline opportunities. Have one of the team members who is good at story telling role play with another member and get a good flow going. Have everyone make comments. This will keep fresh in the teams minds the success stories and how to use them in different situations. In addition, you can have a customer focused technical type attend a sales meeting monthly to discuss difficult problems and how they helped win the deals. Since not all success stories are in the sales tool box, sales people can also do research on their own with technical teams prior to making a sales call or presentation to see if they worked on a similar vertical issue in the past and see how it was overcome.

Remember in sales people love stories if it’s relevant to their situation. If the story is a good one it will go a long way towards getting the prospect to want that to happen to them, if it’s a bad story they will want to make sure it does not happen to them.

Good selling!


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