How to Tell a Story That Makes People Buy

The 4 steps to creating a story that drives change

Good Morning. The new Apple Vision Pros were released last Friday, and some believe it will change the way we work. The AR goggles allow you to look at multiple virtual screens which could be a game changer for multiple-monitor people. Just imagine - Salesforce in one corner, email in another, and your Zoom meeting front and center. Possibilities = endless. 🥽 

In today’s Follow Up:

  • Convince people to buy with a story 📖 

  • 101 vetted sales questions 💡 

  • A cold email hack ✍️ 

  • Sales around the internet 📰 

  • Sales jobs, LinkedIn & a sales meme 😂 

Tell a Story That Makes People Buy

According to Dr. Jennifer Aaker (a Stanford biz professor),Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than fact alone”.

Stories can make us feel emotion, understand complicated ideas, and take action. And in the case of salespeople, a good story can make people buy.

A recent article from HBR walked through how leaders should craft a story that will persuade their teams to make a change. While we may not be changing the course of a company, sales is all about persuading another human to make a change (and purchase). So the same principles apply.

But before you start crafting your story, you need to identify your prospect’s real problem, and exactly how you can fix it. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to use storytelling to close the deal.

Now let’s take a look at the 4 steps. 👇️ 

1. Keep it Simple 👶 

To tell a story, you first need to understand everything about it.

If you can’t explain it to a 10-year-old, you probably don’t truly understand it.

This means understanding:

  • The exact problem you’re solving.

  • Who the “characters” are. (Aka, who’s involved).

  • The current situation and ideal outcome.

Example: If you sell complicated software to IT departments, craft a story so simple that the marketing team can understand it. The engineering team has x problem → our solution would do Y for them → and this is how it would change their current situation to an ideal outcome. 

As Blaise Pascal famously said, "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

Short & simple = better.

2. Honor the Past & Pitch the Future 🔄

Too much change is scary.

So, the key to a good pitch (and story) is acknowledging both the good and bad parts of history.

Instead of dunking on their current situation, acknowledge the things they’ve accomplished until this point.

But let them know there’s a better way (with your solution).

3. Push the Change 🤝 

This is where you paint the picture. 🖌️ 

What happens if they don’t make a change? Time lost? Opportunities missed?

Use real anecdotes and pain points that you’ve uncovered during your discovery. Tell the story of what it would look like if they didn’t buy your solution and things stayed the same.

Make it sound painful.

4. Layout the Path Forward 🗺️ 

Tell them exactly what needs to happen, and what they need to do.

Map out the exact steps of how you’ll bring them from the beginning of the story to the end. This may be things like:

  • Setting meetings with their stakeholders.

  • Finding the budget to make the purchase.

  • Timeline to implement the change/new solution.

This is their role in the story, and you need to make it clear.

Remember, your story is a vehicle that can take your prospects from hesitation to purchase. Paint the picture of a better future, with the help of your solution.

Do you use storytelling to sell?

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101 questions to qualify, close, and negotiate

We’ll assume you’ve done the prep work: getting a foot in the door. 

Now, it’s time to reel ‘em in -— and your line of questioning counts buckets. Here are 101 vetted sales questions to help you finesse the most comfortable fit.

Discovery questions to ask your prospects cover:

  • BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline)

  • Personal details and industry experience

  • Closing, upselling, circling back, and more

Add a handful of these to the master list (since you have one of those). 

Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

Try switching up your cold email CTA to something besides a call or meeting.

> Mind if I send over a quick video of how {insert how you can help them}?
> Cool if I send over a report we put together on your industry?
> Could I send over a few ideas I have about xyz?

Make it easy for them to say ‘yes’ without committing to a call or meeting.

Sales in the News 🗞️ 

Remote Sales Jobs 💼 

Checking in on LinkedIn 👀 

You are not forgiven… 😅 

Sales Meme of the Day

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