Storytelling Guide for Sales Professionals

Mastering Storytelling for Sales Professionals

Storytelling Guide for Sales Professionals 

This blog post will help you understand how to better craft your sales story to get more prospects to listen to you and ultimately build trust and rapport to where they do business. Storytelling is extremely important in the sales process as you want to avoid selling features and benefits until after you understand the problem and craft an effective way to tell your business story. People remember images and in order to paint a picture your prospect can truly understand, you need to follow a specific structure on how to design your sales story.

Steps to consider when crafting a story

  1. Who is my audience?
  2. What do I want them to do, feel, or think?
  3. What action do you want them to take after hearing your story?

8 Questions to Answer When Telling a Memorable Story

  1. Why should I listen to this story?
  2. Where and when did it take place?
  3. Who is the main character and what did they want?
  4. What was the problem or opportunity they ran into?
  5. What did they do about it?
  6. How did it turn out in the end?
  7. What did you learn from it?
  8. What do you think I should do now?

Top 5 Soft Skills in Selling

  1. Empathy – Can you relate to your prospect’s challenges?
  2. Connection – Can you build rapport and get along with your prospects?
  3. Listening – Be quiet and try to understand what their challenge is and uncover true needs.
  4. Communication – The ability to dig deep into the root problem and inspire confidence in your solution.
  5. Relationship Building – Follow-up and show you care for your customers as people.

Top 5 Hard Skills in Selling

  1. Sales Systems – Deploy consistency in the way you approach sales. Have you built a system in your way of selling?
  2. Lead Quality – the ability to define, research, and find qualified sales leads to target in your sales process.
  3. Track, Measure, and Adjust – Do you know how to track your progress, measure results effectively, and make adjustments where needed?
  4. Sales Technology – Do you utilize and properly use the tools and technology that help increase sales?
  5. Negotiation – Do you know how to create a deal that works for everyone involved? This skill requires a soft touch to master the sale.

The 7 Phases of a Winning Sales Call

  1. Build rapport and identify the buyer’s style.
  2. Share the agenda and get buy-in and seek input.
  3. Clean up their issues (existing customers)
  4. Deliver the power statement (2 minutes)
  5. Ask probing questions, more discovery
  6. Sell, Sell, Sell
  7. Determine the fit and seek out objections
  8. Define and schedule the next steps

How to craft a value proposition

1. Business Driver

    1. Lead conversion rates
    2. Time to profitability
    3. Pipeline growth and sales velocity

 

2. Movement – use words that describe some sort of impact on the business’s revenue, costs, or brand reputation.

    1. Increase
    2. Accelerate
    3. Reduce
    4. Enhance
    5. Save
    6. Eliminate
    7. Minimize
    8. Maximize

3. Metrics – most businesspeople would like to see some past numbers or case studies that show exactly how much your solution has impacted businesses before.

Add specific numbers such as a 51.26% increase to your story.

What is a value prop? 

A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. It’s outcome-focused and stresses the business value of your offering.

How to craft a message that delivers results (Follow your NOSE) – from Tom Sant 

  • Needs – Discuss the specific client’s needs and their responsibilities in their role that will be most impacted by your solution.
  • Outcome – Talk about what life looks like after your product or solution is implemented. 
  • Solution – Incorporate the solution into your message without overselling.
  • Evidence – Leverage case studies, referrals, reviews, and published articles that demonstrate return on investment.

What is the brand persona? 

  • A brand persona is the relatable human traits that represent your brand, anything from cheap, legendary, smart, powerful, geeky, safe, dependable, etc.

What is a value proposition? 

  • A value prop is a service or feature that makes your company or product attractive to customers and interests them in a future purchase.

The 3-Act Story is the basis for a narrative fiction often starting with setup, then some type of confrontation, and ending with the resolution. It is one of the most popular screenwriting techniques and an effective way to outline a novel.

  • Beginning – the introduction to the main character, antagonist, and the character’s world
  • Middle – main character attempts to solve the problem and the hero tries to help
  • End – the main character finally solves the problem and hero helps

References

Konrath, Jill. Snap Selling: Speed up sales and win more business with today’s frazzled customers.

Powell, Meridith. Soft Skills for Sales Professionals. Linkedin Course

Smith, Paul. Learning Impact: the Importance of Storytelling. Linkedin Course

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