Recently I have observed several sales people doing customer calls and noticed a glaring deficiency in their skill sets.
Quite simply it is the ability to engage their customer with their storytelling skills or in their case a total lack of story telling skills.
The ability to capture the imagination of the customer and quickly engage or engross them into your story will give you a huge competitive advantage over the feature and benefit legions calling on your customer.
One of the most powerful weapons in your sales superstar kit is the ability to engage the customer in such a compelling way that they actually place themselves into your story line. When you see a customer getting into your story, you can see it in their faces, their body language and soon after you finish in the quality of questions they begin to ask you.
Yes, the key is to get them so engaged in your story – the customer begins to see them selves dealing with the same type of issues and wanting to find out both the answer or what it will take to solve the issue and how You solved the issue. It is now time for your credibility to kick in with this customer.
Again, the key factor is for you to prepare for these moments for gaining the upper hand against your competition. There are four things you must do to make this work well for you.
One, you need to have a strategy for winning the account. In this sense, you must give thought to what types of issues does this customer have? And, how often have you or your company dealt with this issue successfully?
Two, capture a success story relative to this issue with the most similarities to your targeted customer’s issue. Begin to identify the key milestones for the transition of success with this customer.
Three, put the success story together with the identified key milestones – writing it out is an important step as it allows you to internalized all the important factors you found during your research.
And, finally, practice telling the story – preferably using a video camera. The reason for the video camera is two fold. First, you get to actually see how confident and real your story is for others. And, two, the fastest method I have found for improvement comes from using the video feedback process. You can immediately see where you are sure of your content (the story line) and where you need to improve it.
Take the time to do all four steps and you will have the attention and confidence of your targeted customers much faster than you could have using any other method. If you have not tried story telling (again the topic is your success stories with other customers) then you will not understand the power of this simple technique.
The video practicing will make you true sales champion. It certainly helped my success with my targeted accounts, so if I can do it – I know you can do it too.
By the way, for you media shy types. The video practice always gives you more self confidence to do the exercise and the practice is a form of repetitive preparation which you are the best suited of all the sales types. So Just Do It and win more accounts for you and the team.