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Don’t Act Like a Seller, Think Like a Buyer! Presenting Your Story

Don’t Act Like a Seller, Think Like a Buyer

Chapter 6: Presenting Your Story

We find it interesting that

although many salespeople detest the “scripts” the company provides,

they themselves are always creating their own “scenarios”

and are not aware of it.

It’s also a “script”.

They just don’t like what the company offers.

They don’t like long and clichéd words,

which is fine

– as long as they have better things to use.

But often they don’t;

so the focus of this chapter is

to introduce you to ways to improve a script,

even if it’s already a very good one.

Every product or service needs

to occupy a place that leaves a deep impression

in the minds of customers

and potential customers.

In today’s market,

most sales professionals agree that very few customers are convinced

by the traditional “features and utilities” form of presentation.

We also found that very few salespeople,

when asked to stand up and present their product

– and the compelling reasons customers should use their product

– were able to present it well and Consistency.

Or maybe they have a “recorded” speech,

and often that’s not the optimal solution.

Therefore, we encourage salespeople

to invest in thinking

and developing their own stories.

By the story here,

I mean the seamless logic you use

to connect with your customers,

so that they understand how you are,

your product really is different,

and suitable for your needs.

What is their situation?

Based on meaningful dialogue

and the questions you ask,

you truly believe that there is a fit,

that your customers feel there is a fit.

And now it’s time to put everything back together.

Then based on what the customer tells you,

you will know if your product

or service is suitable

for the customer’s situation and problem.

Your story needs to be persuasive,

reasonable,

and “eyes and ears.”

It should include similarities,

anecdotes

or eyewitnesses that the client can easily contact.

Ideally, customers will find themselves in your story.

You need to come up with a basic reason

to specifically explain

why you came up with this story,

this idea.

That rationale should explain exactly

why your product

or service is a perfect fit in this customer’s case.

And finally,

that rationale needs to be linked

to what you’ve learned in previous conversations

with customers about their own business

(during the Enter and Learn stage).

Almost every product

and service needs three or four stories,

and every story needs to flow smoothly,

because what works for this prospect may not be right

for the customer in other potential.

By exploiting only one story,

you may be missing out on selling opportunities

to certain customers

who will respond to another type of story

that better suits their needs.

So, first you have to understand

what kinds of stories you can present well.

Every product and service has some reason

why people should buy and use it.

“To maintain your enthusiasm,

you have to make your goals substantial enough

that they keep your attention.” – Grant Cardone

You must learn to present those reasons clearly and convincingly.

So, what are six principles you can use to craft a powerful story?

1. Your story should build on your irrefutable positions,

and revolve around that position,

not competition with another company.

2. Your story should include data,

features,

benefits,

questions,

and anecdotes,

but it should be clear,

grounded,

relatable,

and impactful.

3. Your story should contain both argument and emotion.

4. Your story needs to be based on a premise

or hypothesis that is relevant to meeting a customer’s need.

5. Your story should help customers see that

there is minimal risk when doing business with you.

6. Your story needs to be real.

In the remainder of this chapter,

I will talk about the above principles in detail.

“Success tends to bless those who are most committed

to giving it the most attention.” – Grant Cardone

*********************

BUILD YOUR STORY IN THE IMPOSSIBLE POSITION

From a sales point of view,

irrefutable standing means that

the quality of your product or service,

if placed in the right place in the market,

one will not be able to deny it.

You’re in an irrefutable position

when a feature

or utility of the product you’re selling perfectly matches a customer’s need,

at a price they can afford.

When your relationship

with a potential customer is not strong enough,

irrefutable standing becomes extremely important.

In case a customer

or potential customer has a close relationship with another company,

then you need to be more solid than that play his many.

Buyers must not only decide whether

to buy your product or not,

but also have to defend their purchase decision against their friends

and your competitors.

Southwest Airlines,

one of the most financially successful airlines today,

is a prime example of establishing an irrefutable position.

They have built the status of a leading low-cost airline.

You can’t argue with that:

the position is great and effective.

As an individual seller,

how do you establish an irrefutable position?

You start with a deep understanding of your customers,

and understand what is important to them.

You also need to understand every detail of your product

and each of its potential benefits,

both tangible and intangible.

Your product or service will always be meaningful

to most potential customers (or potential customers),

regardless of their background,

if you present it clearly

and clearly correct location for it.

That’s what you have to do,

if you want to do business…

Let’s be more specific about what I mean.

First, consider the undeniable merits of your product or service,

and locate each category.

Do this by making a list of all the undeniable merits of the product

or service you offer.

Next, think about your customer’s needs.

Wednesday delivery might work for the first customer,

a low price might be for the second.

The third customer,

on the other hand,

wants the product to be made to his

or her own specifications

without regard to (as far as is reasonable) a delivery date.

For this customer, having products made

to his own specifications,

and always delivered on time at an acceptable price,

is an undeniable position.

Finally, be transparent

with customers about the difficulties

they may encounter

when using your product,

and if possible,

discuss and adjust to suit their needs.

Mike Accardi, who provides packaging services in Memphis,

makes a very interesting remark,

“In my practice,

I always have to look to see if there is a way

to create an element of exclusivity.

This will be the only place you can buy this product,

and you have to buy it from me.

It took me a lifetime of work to find that uniqueness,

and now I have it.

I don’t sell duct tape or wrapping paper,

nor do I sell boxes,

lanyards,

or stickers…

All of which my customers can buy from any vendor.

When I meet a client,

I sell the only thing I have – that’s me.

My customers,

in order to get me,

have to buy packaged products

from the Wurzburg company.”

You see, a top seller is an intangible asset that adds value

to the things being offered for sale.

Every product and service is competitive.

Customers often have to decide which product

or service is best for their job.

Some decisions are made based on price;

others based on relationships;

Still others rely on thorough analysis

and comparison of features,

utilities,

costs,

and more.

One way or another,

in the end,

the customer will still be the one to decide whether

to use your product

or someone else’s.

In a multitude of industries,

customers find that

many of the products they buy

or use are nearly identical.

Once customers see the products are the same,

they will have to see the seller

as the difference to make a choice.

So you really need to try to make yourself different.

To put it bluntly,

a salesperson is a part of the product

or service they are offering,

and ideally,

they are the add-on that makes the product

or service unique and inimitable.

The seller may be part of

(or is) the irrefutable position of the product.

What if that’s not the case?

What if the customer finds

that this seller can be replaced by any other seller,

and the products are all the same?

Then the purchase decision will probably be based on the lowest price.

You certainly don’t want to be in this situation.

I once asked a doctor what he usually prescribes for patients with diabetes.

The doctor replied,

then added that the person

who provided the drug was his former high school basketball coach.

The chances of me being able to sell my products

to this doctor are not very high,

as he already has a long relationship

with other sales representatives.

So I pose a question based on the irrefutable status

of the product I’m selling,

“Doctor, I looked around your room

and it seems that some of the people

who come here don’t have much money.

What percentage of patients treated

with these types of products consider spending ten dollars a month too much?”

The doctor replied is up to half.

The product we were recommending was ten dollars a month cheaper than

the one he was prescribing

– that’s my irrefutable position.

In this situation, the product I recommend meets the needs of customers

for whom ten dollars a month is a large amount of money.

And by using the phrase “[is] ten dollars a month a lot of money?”

I made the doctor think about his patients differently.

Again, words are very important.

Once you have defined your position,

you need to convey that message to the customer clearly.

I communicated the difference

between my company’s rates and those of other companies

by asking questions about the doctor’s patients.

The questions I asked made him think about a fact:

he really needed my product.

In doing that,

I got half of the business with him.

Take a look at your clients

– do you have all the business deals you should have?

Have you captured a significant market share in your potential business?

Identify potential customers

you don’t already have the business relationship you should have;

Those customers are where you are most likely to make new deals.

Ask the following questions to determine

where your position is strongest:

° Do you know what your strongest argument is

for a particular customer or product feature?

° Do you know which potential customers need your product or service the most?

° Have you built your position to make it irrefutable?

° Have you asked questions to get customers

to think about your position in a completely different but still meaningful way?

Now analyze the selected leads.

What is the point where you are sure to convince those customers?

If some potential customer is looking for a low-cost supplier,

and you are a low-cost supplier they do not know,

then simply let them know about your prices,

and more the likelihood that you will make a sale

– if price is their main buying motive.

With most products and services,

you always have points that can be won relatively easily.

The trick is to identify those points

and get the customer convincingly aware of what you’re offering,

and get them thinking.

Since potential customers are always different,

one spot cannot fit all.

Once you understand what is important to your prospects,

build two or three irrefutable and powerful positions,

and build them on the basis of perfect arguments.

Positioning your product in this way will make it easier

for potential customers

to see this as a reason they should use your product,

in addition to providing customers

with more relevant information

when making a decision in front of the organization,

they can defend your decision

to buy a product,

and equally importantly,

defend your decision

to buy a product against rival companies

who may still be the same person on a daily basis in their friends.

Asking questions is the most powerful way

to establish an irrefutable position,

because it will get the prospect to think about your product.

Speeches or informational presentations do not guarantee

that customers will think about the information.

Once you ask the right questions,

and once you understand what your customers

and prospects need,

you can claim your irrefutable position.

They will understand you

and you will make their purchasing decision easy.

Selling is never easy,

and that’s why once we identify

and effectively communicate a product’s irrefutable status,

we make it easy to buy than.

If we get customers to think about our products differently,

using perfect arguments that can satisfy their real needs,

we will surely sell because used his irrefutable position.

“One of the major differences

between successful and unsuccessful people is

that the former look for problems to resolve,

whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” – Grant Cardone

*******************

COMBINATION OF DATA, UTILITIES AND MORE

In his book, Persuasion:

The Art of Getting What You Want,

author Dave Lakhani writes:

“The challenge many people face

when persuading is that they refuse to give up.

Take the time to think about what their story is.

If you want to successfully convince someone you’re trying to convince,

it’s important to tell a well-crafted story.

Your story needs to have lots of pictures

and use strong verbs

to move the reader or listener.”

We can all recognize gifted storytellers

from those who can’t tell a story,

no matter how hard they try.

Lakhani continued provides us with the steps to tell a compelling story:

“You will not have a successful life surrounded by negative people.” – Grant Cardone

****************

1. Understand the story you’re telling:

The reason most of the stories you tell these days aren’t convincing is

because you haven’t thought through them thoroughly,

or the materials or experiences you use in them aren’t yourself

“The world isn’t going to come and make your dreams come true.” – Grant Cardone

****************

2. Structuring the story:

A persuasive story must answer the questions:

who,

what,

where, why and how,

according to the following structure:

° Hold my ears:

You want your presentation to be so impactful

that people 15 feet away will have

to stop what they’re doing to come and hear you,

or they’ll have to strain their ears

to eavesdrop.

° Laying the foundation:

It is necessary to build the foundation.

Include information the customer needs

to know to understand the story,

fill in the customer’s knowledge gaps,

and give them enough background

to help them understand

what you’re talking about.

° Engage the customer’s emotions:

Get the customer excited or lead them

to a place where they feel pain,

longing,

desire,

or loss…

Make sure to use the points where the client

is either hard to argue with,

or knows immediately that these things are going

to happen to them

or to someone they know.

As my partner,

Mike MacLeod,

put it:

“You learn about your client’s suffering,

as well as their desire to do something about it quickly.

And then make sure the story you tell shows how you’re going

to try to remove

or minimize that pain.”

° Give evidence:

It is best to give the client an example of someone they know,

or someone who is in the same situation they are in.

If you don’t have a reference,

tell your own story,

which will add credibility and verifiability.

° Answering customer questions:

Prepare a minimum of three to five

of the questions customers are most likely

to ask and answer them in advance.

Let them know you’re an expert because you know exactly

what they’re asking about.

° Give your prospect enough information

so they can deduce your conclusion:

Just provide enough details,

so that they still have a few small questions

that need to be exposed to you.

° Collecting feedback:

Customers want to make sure they have the problem figured out;

They don’t want to have to guess,

so ask for feedback.

Now let the client provide you with additional information

after they have heard your story.

“Never lower your target.

Increase your actions.” – Grant Cardone

******************

3 Tell your story:

This is the fun part, but most people fail.

Remember when you were a kid,

and read stories to them.

It is extremely interesting

that the reader can make the story come to life.

The dragon roars,

making you scream in fear;

the servant spoke in a high-pitched voice

that tickled your ears;

The low voices of woodcutters can make your bones crack.

You’ve been mesmerized

and can’t wait for the next word.

When you listen to a good storyteller,

you never get tired of listening.

Captivating storytellers engage your senses with their words,

gestures,

tone of voice, eye contact,

and emotions.

They dazzle you with emotion,

make you laugh with humor,

and bring you to the only logical end possible. (first)

“Success is not the result of making money,

money is the result of success.” – Grant Cardone

*******************

PREPARATE YOUR STORY WITH BOTH EMOTIONAL ARGUMENTS

You need to have a very clear concept of the real difference

between your products and services

and those of your competitors.

To benefit from this information,

you must be able to state,

using both logic and emotion,

when those differences make sense.

This point is important,

because when you say to a customer,

“Here are the differences in our product,

and this is where those differences matter to your situation…”

that would imply that sometimes they don’t matter.

That shows you’re trustworthy.

When you indirectly indicate that your product is not the best,

newest, and greatest,

you are building credibility,

because the previous customer

thought you would say otherwise.

Customers often hear the best,

the absolute best from sales reps,

and you know in general customers won’t believe those claims.

They adopt honest,

humble but trustworthy language.

What you need to say is:

“What are the differences…

and when are they important?”

and immediately add

that “they are important in the following two

or three situations…

In other situations they may not be meaningful.”

Salespeople often have a problem

with this kind of talk,

because they think that if they speak well of their competitors

or acknowledge their position,

they will lose customers.

But the opposite often happens.

When you recognize the strength of your competition,

the trust you build will earn you significantly more customers

than if you didn’t confirm your competitor’s position

– especially when it that is real.

This is nothing complicated.

If you don’t ship on Friday,

and your competitor does,

but you deliver on all other days including Saturday,

here’s what you should say,

“Use our service! us from Monday

to Thursday and Saturday;

use their service on a Friday.”

If a customer needs a Friday delivery,

the customer should use their service.

I’m not saying you have to take all the sales;

where I say you should take all the deals you deserve.

But what deals do you deserve?

The answer to that question comes

from the serious work you’re doing,

based on irrefutable positions,

and from the way you develop your stories.

Decide where is the right fit for your product,

and those are the deals you deserve.

Presenting the difference of your products

and services will become credible not by hitting your competition,

but by recognizing what your competitors deserve.

In fact, when someone says,

“I use company X,” or “I use product Y,”

the words you should immediately say will be,

“X is a good company;

Y is a great product.”

It doesn’t matter if it’s a good company

or a great product;

the question is where are the differences

and when do they make sense (and make sense)?

So the next sentence you should say is,

“What I want to do is share

with you some of the differences

between that product and our product,

and let’s determine if those differences are true.

Is that important to you?”

This means you have to have a pretty deep understanding

of your client’s business,

and you’re going to have to have a smart conversation about

when those differences make sense.

At the same time,

it also means that you have to know your product

as well as your competitors’

before you can spot the differences

and act like a consultant,

not a salesperson.

There are times

when you’re not as knowledgeable about your competitor’s product

as you are about your own,

and can’t do a relative,

objective analysis

because you don’t know it well enough.

In that case,

you can ask more.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say,

“I don’t know much about that company,

which I should have known.

If so, what do they do that you like best

and what do you think would make their product or service unique?

Maybe in some way their product

or service is better than ours.”

This is where your Story will be presented.

The way you communicate the difference

between your product and another is very important,

because if you are biased,

if you indulge in praising the absolute good,

the excellent, the people.

I will no longer consider you different or trustworthy.

You must clarify and put into words

why your company is different,

or how it is different to do business with your company.

For example,

Nordstrom’s return policy states that

the company will take back all products

without a receipt and without any fuss;

while in other shopping centers,

returning goods is really hard work.

Look at your company

through the eyes of your customers and ask,

what experiences will customers have

when doing business with your company?

Once you answer that question,

you will determine how your company

is different from someone else’s.

Ask yourself:

what is unique about our company?

What makes us special

and worthy for other companies to do business with.

Often there are significant differences

between companies,

or between the ways they do business,

or both.

Think about these things carefully

and talk them out loud so your client

or potential client can truly understand

what makes your company different.

No two companies are exactly alike,

and customers will choose to do business

with one based on its reputation,

results, and way of doing business

– but only if they know them well.

The only way for them to know is for you to tell them.

“Great sales people build value.” – Grant Cardone

****************

BUILD YOUR STORY BASED ON CUSTOMERS NEEDS

To begin building your story,

begin by defining your irrefutable position.

You have pointed out the features,

benefits,

properties,

attributes,

and uniqueness of the product.

Now, you want to take those facts out

and start weaving them together into the most compelling

and meaningful story for your audience.

You have to keep the customer engaged

until the end of the story.

Sales people often use sales scripts

or aids

– pictures,

movies,

documents,

evidence,

tables

– and simply explain them.

They show what this, that means.

Many times an employee

The project will rely on the customer’s situation

to connect the last few points.

nd often, those last points make the difference

between “good” and “attractive”.

The first step in your story-making process is

to define the basic assumptions

or premise you’re trying to make.

In the dictionary,

a premise is defined as,

“a statement that is believed to be true

and from which a conclusion can be drawn.”

In a perfect environment,

you’re trying to get the customer to listen to your story,

respond,

and give feedback so you can see

if the story makes sense in this situation.

So your story must be rooted in a few related premises.

Your premise is developed from your irrefutable position(s).

You are looking for people

or companies that agree with your premise.

The next step is the planned questions.

Even if you’re telling your story,

it should still be a two-way conversation.

You want to find out if the customer agrees,

so you question the importance of your premises

to the customer’s needs.

If your irrefutable position is

that you can deliver equipment components

for finished product assembly on time,

you should raise questions about the importance of on-time delivery

to the company potential customers,

and its impact on financial performance.

Here are a few sample questions:

° What role does just-in-time delivery play in your plant’s success?

° How do you and your company define just-in-time delivery?

° What happens to morale when parts are not supplied right away?

° If you can plan your production better

by knowing that the necessary parts are available when needed,

what will be the financial impact on your company?

Note that these questions are both logical and emotional

– just-in-time deliveries can be financially materialized,

as well as boost morale.

Once you have the answers to these questions,

you’ll know right away if your position makes sense

for the potential customer.

If they clearly disagree,

then your company’s ability to deliver goods in time

for assembly is not matching their needs,

and you should change course.

If there is agreement,

you can move on to the next step

– a seamless logic.

Seamless logic is the point at which

you talk about the irrefutable status of your products and services.

This is where you articulate all of your customer’s wants and needs

(which you’ve discovered through questions)

by talking about what’s unique about your product.

While speaking and sharing your argument,

you want it to be interesting;

it needs to be genuine and relevant.

Your story also needs to be compelling,

clear, and should be rooted in real facts about your product.

You may also be in a position to compare your product

with a competitor’s product.

If you’re talking about an opponent,

you should avoid the “we – them” mentality.

This can make customers wary,

especially when they are using a competitor’s product.

Instead, focus your efforts on your product position:

why is your product the best?

Why do others find it beneficial?

It’s your job to show when your product is the best fit

– not why your competitor’s product is useless.

Keep everything clear and bright.

Often, when salespeople explain a product

or service to someone they think they know some information,

they often use abbreviations,

acronyms,

and technical terms.

This can reduce the clarity of the story.

Unexpectedly, the benefits that you see

so clearly may not be obvious to others,

even those who you think are

knowledgeable about the issues involved.

“Born broke is not the issue,

staying broke is.” – Grant Cardone

****************

Keep things simple.

We tend to believe that people think in intellectual

and specific business terms,

but the truth is that most of us think most clearly in simple words,

with stories and simple inferences.

Therefore, the story needs to have a strong impact,

must be carefully prepared,

must be thought through so that the customer has to say (or think),

“Oh! I never thought about it that way!”

And ideally it would have to make people think.

Think of telling the story like you’re telling your beloved mother

or aunt who knows nothing about your business.

If you had to explain to your mother

why your product is appropriate in a certain situation,

what would you say?

How did you explain to your mother that it was really the right choice?

“Winners Anticipate; Losers React.” –Tony Robbins

******************

HELP CUSTOMERS SEE THE RISK MINIMUM

Most entrepreneurs don’t like surprises.

They hate unwelcome surprises

– like late deliveries, uneven quality, excess costs.

Most people don’t even like pleasant surprises.

Part of a salesperson’s job is

to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises,

and that buying a company’s products

and services is allowed with minimal risk

but great potential benefits. .

However, there may be times

when the surprise is justifiable.

A sales rep once told me about a customer he approached

with all sorts of arguments

but couldn’t convince her to use his product.

He asked me what to do.

I said, “The first thing you have to do is go

and apologize to her.”

He asked, “What is an apology?”

I said, “Your approach is wrong.

If she doesn’t buy your product,

it means your way of selling is broken.

From what he told me,

it could be seen that she was the one who saw him

as a salesman who only cared about himself.

So my suggestion is that you apologize to her,

tell her that your way of selling is wrong,

and that you are there not to sell her

but to get back to a better way to correct approach.

He wanted to bring her service and value.

If at some point in the future

she wants to have a conversation about your product,

in the right place,

he will respond,

but now he just wants to get out of those mistakes stop. ”

The problem here is

that he has found a way to sell to customers;

and while trying with his impeccable arguments and enthusiasm,

he proved too aggressive,

too pushy, and didn’t understand the needs of his customers.

He apologized and said,

“I don’t care if I get you a contract,

but I do care about fixing the relationship,”

and after a while,

he got a half of the business with her.

Mike Bradley,

CEO of Derse, Pittsburgh,

and vice president of the parent company,

says, “I needed to understand my customers and their business

so I didn’t run into any surprises.

You’re preparing for a presentation,

and you notice on the welcome tape

that this customer has just acquired another business.

At that point, you have to understand

that this acquisition will be part of the presentation,

because from now on,

they will have to include both the brand

and the product of the other company in the marketing program.”

Derse sets up product demonstrations,

and Mike says the company

that has just been acquired may have a booth there.

Knowing this business acquisition well

and incorporating it into the “hopefully” presentation

should be enough for customers

to realize this is a thinking organization.

Getting the marketing team

and the sales team together like that is a huge challenge.

Going along with the customer’s goals

and understanding the customer is a powerful job.”

“You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” –Michael Jordan

******************

YOUR STORY NEED TO BE HONEST

This is not something I need to say more

to the readers of this book.

Remember, even the smallest innocent lie can hurt you.

“The first thing you have to do is always be honest,” says Greg Genova,

who supplies cutting tools to Kennametal in California.

It has to be because you’ll quickly be found out

if you promise them something you can’t keep,

or do something unethical

– they’ll remember it forever.”

A compelling story must state exactly

where your products

and services align with your customers,

and how that argument must be supported

by a realistic perspective.

The story needs to be rooted in a few basic assumptions,

based on brand attributes

and in relation to competitors.

The story should preferably be built around undeniable facts

(facts about the product no one can deny)

and should include both argument and emotion.

The story should focus on one

or more of the three things that

customers in this industry or industry want.

And finally,

you have to be so sure of three

or four of your own stories that

you can still tell them fluently while you sleep.

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