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THERE IS PERHAPS no greater weapon in a salesperson’s arsenal than a great story. There are fundamental selling skills salespeople must have to find success, like how to uncover a prospect’s needs, formulate customized solutions, overcome objections and ask for the business. You would assume having these skills, along with the proper selling tools and training, would always lead to success. Why then do so many sales professionals fail to close consistently? Often, the missing link is the intangible ability to connect with a prospect in a meaningful way. One way to build trust is to share powerful, engaging stories. It may be easy to tell a prospect how your product or service is different, but if you can bring those differentiators to life through inspiring, practiced storytelling, your prospects are much more likely to relate — and to remember. Sharing how you’ve gone above and beyond for a specific customer, for example, gives your prospects a chance to picture themselves as part of your story. Storytelling is a powerful technique for delivering complex information in a way that builds an emotional connection with your audience. If you’re not sure which stories should make the cut, there are five kinds of stories every salesperson should have in his pocket. Paint a picture of your unequivocal commitment to your customers, showing that your clients aren’t just stepping stones on the way to reaching your sales target. Share your subject-matter expertise. For example, you could tell a story about a client with flat sales and customer attrition, outlining how you were able to turn it around with relative ease. Use stories to demonstrate your willingness to partner with your clients to find unique solutions that get the job done. Consider sharing an anecdote about how your entire team worked all weekend long at no additional cost to the client to make sure a project was completed on time. Tell a story to showcase your ability to communicate clearly and frequently with clients, so there aren’t any surprises. Lastly, there’s nothing better than a story to reveal your company’s integrity. The formula for telling a memorable story is to organize it with a clear beginning, middle and end. Start by telling your prospects what you’re about to prove. Use transition words such as “first,” “next” and “finally” to help organize the story in their minds. Evoke emotion at pivotal points in the story. Like the most powerful prose, end where you began by restating what you’ve just proven. Once you’ve unleashed the power of your own storytelling abilities, consider using this skill outside the sales process, too. Stories are powerful tools for motivating prospects, but they also allow your team and outside influencers to see just what makes your company so unique.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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