December 9, 2011

Driving Business with a Customer-Focused Sales Story and Fresh Techniques

My clients’ businesses run the gamut from from leading edge technology consulting all the way to simple old-school product distribution. I love helping to drive new sales across this wide spectrum of business types, and more often than you’d think, I end up tackling the very same issues in very different businesses.

Earlier this year I did some coaching and consulting for a friend’s business in South Carolina. My friendship with David goes way back to college where we were fraternity brothers with much heavier New York accents than we have today! He asked me to take a look at his sales team and sales process at the modular home business he has owned for thirteen years. It was fun working with an old friend, and I was amazed how tech-savvy and progressive his marketing had become. As everyone knows, the new home construction industry has been devastated over the past five years. David’s company has withstood the storm and continues to invest for the future. They are positioned to maximize sales today and ready to capitalize big-time when the housing market rebounds.

The company does fantastic work and delivers significantly more value to customers than the competition. With just a few tweaks, we were able to refine their sales story to better articulate the maze of issues they solved for customers and highlight the many differentiators setting them apart in the market.

I only spent a few months directly coaching David’s sales team and recently have simply served as an outside sounding board for him. Just a couple weeks ago, David surprised me with a link to check out one of their latest sales weapons. If you’ve got 80 seconds to spare, check out this great vehicle they are using to communicate their story to potential customers.

Why share this with you? Because it is such an excellent (and rare) example of a truly customer-focused sales story. Notice how little the company talks about itself. The focus is not on what they do, but on what they do for customers — the problems they solve, the hassles they handle, the dreams they fulfill. And aside from the succinct, compelling, differentiating story, what a cool way to deliver it. How many modular home salespeople are armed with a link to a one minute video they can send to prospects? Not too many.

Sales Leaders: When was the last time you invested the time, energy and brain power to sharpen your team’s sales story? Are your people excited about the story they use and proud of the company they represent? Have you armed the team with any new weapons lately? Are there some fresh techniques that could be used to better deliver the message and help win the sales battle?