Messages from the Masters
Once Upon a Time There Was a Story... by Jeffrey Gitomer

Ever wish you could tell one great story that when you finished, prospects would say "Wow!" -- then buy your product? You can. In fact you probably have several stories that would take your sales presentation to the next level -- from sales presentation to sales performance. 

Paul Homoly, business development entrepreneur and master storyteller has developed a powerful and persuasive sales breakthrough called StorySellingTM

"StorySellingTM blends the images and appeal of storytelling with the logic and intention of selling," says Homoly. "You take the benefits and features of your product and tell a story about them. The value of telling a story is that it projects images and appeal onto the critical selling dialogues. The concept is simple but powerful - facts and benefits are forgotten, but stories are retold."

What stories are you telling your prospects that compel them to buy?

You may think you don't know great stories, let alone one that would rock the prospect to his socks. Wrong. Everyone has great stories within them. Your challenge is to uncover them and then tell them with appeal and prospect focus.

Here's a six-step formula to help you discover (rediscover) your great sales stories:

1. Start a StorySellingTM MasterMind group. Three to five intelligent energetic people who'll participate and urge the process on. It's best if they're all sales people.

2. One at a time, each of you tell about a customer from a sale you made. Select those who had outstanding success with your product or service. Use minimal written notes or scripts - tell your stories from the heart. (Record each story on audio cassette.)

3. Be sure to include any trouble you had with the sale. Any reluctance to purchase, previous bad experience, etc. Great stories have highs and lows.

4. As one person finishes, each of the listeners asks questions about the sale. These questions represent information your listeners wanted, but your story didn't answer. You'll find these questions, when answered, enrich the story. You'll also notice one story will remind the group of other stories, each building on each other. (Now is the time to take notes.)

5. The listeners must also comment on the part of the story that would have made them buy - the most compelling part(s).

6. After everyone's had their turn to tell and hear comments about their sale, retell each sales story with the additions inspired by your listeners' questions and their stories. Record the second story and compare it to the first.

Discovering your stories is a growth process. Let your stories evolve into their final form. Don't set your expectations such that you'll have great stories after one session. This process will lead your group to creating stories that illustrate each step in the sales process. 

You have a choice as you sell -- you can use the traditional method of telling facts and benefits -- or you can tell a story about their successful use. StorySellingTM captures the imagination of the prospect from beginning to end. Here are some examples of areas to tell stories within the selling process:

• GettingTheAppointmentStory
• RapportStory
• CredibilityStory
• OvercomingTheOddsStory
• SatisfiedUserStory
• AmazingResultsAfterPurchaseStory
• ObjectionStory
• ClosingTheSaleStory
• TestimonialStory 
• FollowupStory
• ReferralStoryAll of us tell stories. The key in sales is to tell compelling, relatable, true stories that capture the prospect's interest, and create a buying atmosphere. This sales strategy will separate you from your competition by miles -- and orders.


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to www.yoursuccessstore.com.  (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.

Provided courtesy of  Jim Rohn International