One of the key elements of a successful selling story is the ability to connect with the customer and inspire them to take action and buy from us. In order to do this, it's important to understand the customer's needs, pain points, and desires. This can be achieved through market research, customer surveys, and direct conversations with customers.
Once we have a good understanding of our target customer, we can craft a selling story that resonates with them. This story should highlight the benefits of our product or service in a way that speaks to the customer's specific needs and desires. It should also include a clear call-to-action that encourages the customer to take the next step, whether that's scheduling a consultation, signing up for a trial, or making a purchase.
Here are some tips and examples for crafting a compelling selling story:
- Start with a strong opening The opening of your selling story is crucial for capturing the customer's attention and keeping them engaged. This could be a provocative statement, a surprising statistic, or a personal story that relates to the customer's experience. For example, if you're selling a productivity tool, you could start with a statistic about how much time people waste on average each day on unproductive tasks.
- Focus on the customer's pain points People are motivated by their problems and pain points. By addressing these directly, you can show the customer that you understand their needs and can offer a solution. For example, if you're selling a project management tool, you could highlight how disorganized projects can lead to missed deadlines, communication breakdowns, and frustrated team members.
- Highlight the benefits, not just the features While it's important to explain what your product or service does, it's even more important to highlight how it will benefit the customer. This could be in terms of time savings, cost savings, increased productivity, or improved quality. For example, if you're selling a CRM software, you could talk about how it streamlines the sales process, reduces manual data entry, and enables better customer communication.
- Use social proof to build credibility People are more likely to trust and buy from companies that have a track record of success. By including customer testimonials, case studies, or awards, you can demonstrate your credibility and build trust with potential customers. For example, if you're selling a fitness program, you could include before-and-after photos and testimonials from satisfied customers who achieved their fitness goals.
- End with a clear call-to-action Don't leave the customer wondering what to do next. End your selling story with a clear call-to-action that encourages the customer to take the next step. This could be scheduling a demo, signing up for a trial, or making a purchase. For example, if you're selling a SaaS product, you could end with a button that says “Start your free trial now.”
By crafting a selling story that resonates with the customer and inspires them to take action, you can increase your chances of closing the sale. However, it's important to note that the selling story is just one piece of the puzzle. It's also crucial to work internally with marketing, sales, and other functions to align external messages and ensure a consistent brand message across all touchpoints.
Some books that can provide further insights into crafting a compelling selling story include “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller, “The Challenger Sale” by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon, and “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.
In conclusion, the traditional approach of selling products and services is no longer enough for businesses to succeed in today's market. By selling projects, companies can offer a more complete and valuable solution to their customers, while also creating new revenue streams and building a stronger brand. However, this shift in focus comes with significant challenges, including changes to revenue recognition, pricing models, quality assurance, marketing, and sales. It requires companies to adapt and develop new competencies, but those who do will be well-positioned to thrive in the future. So, whether you are a small startup or a large corporation, consider the benefits of selling projects and start exploring ways to incorporate this approach into your business strategy.
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