- by Mike
Sharpening what I call our “Sales Story” pays more dividends than you can imagine. When your sales story is spot on selling becomes a completely new ballgame. A compelling, customer issue and customer outcome-focused, differentiating message changes everything, and I mean everything!
- 1. It gives you confidence – confidence to prospect and confidence to meet with anyone. I will talk to any business owner, senior executive, sales leader, or salesperson because I know that the first few thoughts out of my mouth will create interest, intrigue, credibility, and a willingness to dialogue. Give me between ten seconds and a minute to share my “story,” and I will string together compelling and salient talking points that I know with certainty will hit the spot. When you have that level of confidence in your messaging, prospecting becomes a whole lot easier. So much so, that you actually look forward to it instead of dreading it. And the reverse is true as well. If you are not confident in your message, I don’t how in the world you would muster up the courage to pick up the phone or even believe that you could be effective pursuing prospects or conducting a presentation.
- 2. A powerful customer issue and customer outcome driven message gets your target contact’s attention. When the lead in your story is about things that matter deeply to your contact, they immediately engage and begin to listen.
- 3. A highly effective message (story) changes the entire dynamic of the buyer-seller interaction. Most pitches lead with the product/service/solution. This self-focused messaging turns off customers who immediately deploy their defense shields. It’s automatic. The seller speaks or emails (a self-focused pitch), and the buyer instantly recoils, resists, and assumes a defensive posture. However, the seller with a compelling customer issue/outcome focused story gets a very different reception. Instead of getting the Heisman stiff arm stop sign, the buyer hearing a relevant message focused on the issues and outcomes that matter to him, wants to hear more. A customer-focused message immediately gets sellers perceived as value-creators and professional problem solvers, as opposed to pitchmen peddling a product.
- 4. Your customer issue driven message warms up buyers for your discovery effort and increases their willingness to answer your probing questions. When customers hear that we are helping people in positions and businesses similar to theirs they become more open to sharing about their own situation. A good message credentials us as experts and increases the buyer’s comfort in being more transparent with us.
Sales friends, the #SalesTruth is that…
“Customers do NOT care what you do, how much you love your company or your product/service, or how long you’ve been in business. They want to know what’s in it for them.”
There is nothing that will increase your sales effectiveness more than crafting a compelling “Sales Story” that leads with the issues you/your company/your solution address for clients and the outcomes you help produce. Do. The. Work. necessary to upgrade your messaging!
The majority of this post is excerpted from Chapter 10 of my latest book, Sales Truth, A Compelling Message Increases Your Confidence and Effectiveness. That chapter offers a framework and exercises for sharpening your story and leading with customer issues and outcomes.
It’s been a blast doing podcast interviews about Sales Truth. We’ll share a summary list of the different episodes soon, but if you’re looking for straight talk about sales, a debunking of myths, and some powerful advice around topics that don’t get a lot of attention from authors and trainers, check out this just-released unique, thorough and really fun conversation with Curt Mercandante. He posted both audio and video versions. Would love your takeaways from our exchange!