- Published: Saturday, 13 May 2017 07:00
- Hits: 429
Have you ever noticed that successful people always use stories in all their events? Did you ask yourself why?
Storytelling is an effective and influential tool. Stories carry emotions, which resonate on a personal level making your story part of the listener.
Read on for the 7 types of StorySelling you want to know:
- "The Elevator pitch" - This is a short story that quickly gives away what value you bring to the table.
- "Cinderella Story" - This is a story that shows triumph over adversity. You share your success journey about your triumphs while communicating the strengths and values that propelled you at every stage. Listeners identify better when the story has values similar to their personal/corporate values.
- "Why your brand? " - A story that allows you to share the factors that influenced your professional success and turned you into the industry authority you are.
- "Success Story" - A story about your influence on another person/organization, and the role you played in their success.
- "My own mistakes and disgrace" - An opportunity for you to flaunt your weaknesses (only those outside your area of expertise) and relate with your audience at a personal level.
- "If you do not follow the rules, you will get shot" - This story sets strict boundaries while clearly communicating the rights and obligations of each party
- "Killer-Offer" - Here you simply give an offer that your audience cannot refuse
The reality with storytelling is that you will have a bank of stories to choose from, you must identify stories that resonate with your listeners’ personal values. Take time identifying moments that will interest the listeners, evoke specific feelings and inspire them to take immediate action.
Failing to test your story ahead of time means that you will test it out in front of potential customers, employees, and partners, where there is no guarantee that your story will have the impact you are looking to make. This may end up being a huge waste of time, and you risk losing your credibility.Add a comment
- Published: Thursday, 27 April 2017 07:00
- Hits: 486
March 9, 2017
I hear it every day in Ottawa.
“Our sales are slowing down.”
“Google Ad Words are not bringing in new business like before.”
“I receive more ‘Unsubscribe’ requests than new prospects.”
The technology industry is increasingly showing symptoms of a plague that’s affected us all: Relying solely on social selling and email campaigns to generate sales.
Forgotten is the personal contact, which many have been quick to label as too slow and inefficient, and frankly, dreaded.
The results? Lost markets, declining sales and unrealized profits.
Last month I met with Invest Ottawa and learned that more than 75 per cent of the high-tech incubator companies are planning to offer products and services that already exist in the marketplace. The big question is always the same: How will they differentiate themselves from the crowd and position their products for success?
Engaging with clients
Enter i-Sight. This Ottawa company makes customized software that compiles, stores and analyzes data on all types of business misbehaviour, including violations of federal privacy laws, bullying and fraud.
The company originally offered generic case management software. It did not pay off well, in large part because the market was already too crowded.
The solution was simple at the time: Engage directly with the clients and start talking to the market.
After initiating dialogue with many clients and prospects, i-Sight identified a unique need for customized software that did not force users into rigid, pre-configured solutions.
As a result, it created a distinctive ecosystem that caters to the specific needs of a wide array of clients in the investigation markets. Since then, the company has propelled itself into a global leader providing configurable case management software for investigations.
Because the company’s market analyses – based on direct communication – brought such solid results, it was natural to introduce the same approach to business development.
I-Sight’s initial marketing focused on pay-per-click advertising, but the firm eventually realized Google would only give so much. The company subsequently increased investments in outbound sales, emphasizing live conversations with potential customers.
The sales team learned how to overcome sales objections through storytelling techniques and found new market opportunities with U.S. colleges and universities.
Meanwhile, the company’s workforce ballooned from 20 employees in 2013 to more than 100, requiring two separate expansions at its 2255 Carling Ave. office.
So, what can be learned from i-Sight’s experience?
Live conversations are a must
Live prospect engagement is hardly new. After all, for centuries direct contact was the only way of identifying a need or promoting a product. But there’s been a drastic switch in the last decade towards interaction-free, computerized marketing techniques. They’re promoted as fast, inexpensive and effective. But do they actually work?
Sure, it is easy to electronically send a message to thousands of prospects. But it’s even easier for those thousands to say “no” or, more commonly, ignore it completely.
As i-Sight shows, successful companies realize that there’s no substitute for human interaction and no marketing automation system to replace genuine, two-way conversations.
These companies are the ones that enjoy the biggest successes and sales breakthroughs. Communication, persuasion, listening, negotiation – all these skills can and must be learned, implemented and mastered in order to develop the corporate ability to stay in touch and immediately respond to clients’ changing underlying motives, desires and fears.
Advantages of outbound sales teams
The biggest advantage of the outbound sales team is its scalability. Once you establish the call ratios and metrics, you’re able to forecast the sales outcome.
Granted, live contact can be perceived as annoying, ill-timed and insistent. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to find sales teams that lack the skills to break the ice, build trust and develop a relationship.
Storytelling opens doors and influences decision-making by sharing a narrative that creates an emotion and desire for the product.
This is even more important in an era when it’s so easy to research technical information about a product that educated customers may know more about a company’s offerings than the sales team themselves.
Converting trust to cash
As a director of sales, I used to receive on average more than 30 prospecting emails or LinkedIn connect requests a month. In contrast, over the course of six months I only received two phone calls.
We ended up buying from both of these companies (one was the CRM system and another one was a dialing solution for the outbound team).
Personal contact is what leads to sales. While marketing builds brands – which, in turn, builds trust – sales are done one-on-one in the trenches.
This is where that trust is converted to cash.
Ed Bilat is the North American president of Beyond Consulting.
Computerized marketing techniques are promoted as fast, inexpensive and effective. But do they actually work?
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