Oct
25

Selling With Stories – Why Good Salesmen Don’t Sell

By
Selling with Stories

Selling with Stories

I’ve just this minute got back from reading The Twits by Roald Dahl to my youngest son’s class.

I’m an ex-high school teacher so it was a wonderful experience watching the children’s delighted faces as I read the story.

I think even the teacher enjoyed listening because when the class begged me to continue she readily agreed.

Everyone enjoys a story but your probably wondering…………………….

What have stories got to do with selling?

I guess we all enjoy a good story but what’s that got to do with selling you might ask?

I used to get asked the same question when I told stories in the IT and Business Studies lessons I taught.

One of the stories I told was about the fact that it wouldn’t be worth Bill Gates’ time to bend over and pick up $100 bill. The reason being that he made so much money he would earn more than $100 in the time it took him to bend down and pick it up.

Pupils always found it hard to believe that anyone could be earning as much as hundred dollars in a few seconds. There would always listen intently to the story but would sometimes ask, “What’s that got to do with the IT Sir?”

The point I was making was how important working hard is and about the rewards that success can bring. The message always sunk in and pupils would mention the story weeks later.

Telling the story to my son’s class today made me think about the new car I’ve just bought. It’s the third new car that I bought from the same salesperson.

Why have I now gone back three times to buy a car from the same salesman? I actually looked in several car showrooms at the same make and model. I’d even been offered a better price at another dealership. So why did I come back to the same garage?

Good Salesmen Don’t Sell

Paul, the salesman that I bought the car from hadn’t really sold me the car. What he had done was built a relationship with me and establishes trust. He actually spent more time showing me pictures of his family that he did selling the features of the car. He told me stories and I enjoyed listening.

When I bought the car I knew far more about Paul’s wife, three children and his new grandchild than I did about the car. I’d seen pictures on his phone of all of them. I know Paul’s waiting for a minor operation and I actually want to know that it is successful. I care about my car salesman.

I’m not sure whether Paul does it deliberately or not, but he is a very successful salesman because he tells stories. He personally sold 30 cars last month. I know that he loves his dad and takes his oldest son to football matches. In short I know like and trust Paul despite having only met him four or five times.

I’ve written a letter to the car dealership thanking them for the great service I received. I’ve become a raving fan of the garage. Not only have I now come back three times to buy a new car, I’ve also recommended the showroom to friends. The business has made 3 car sales and received my glowing recommendations as a result of the relationship and trust established through stories.

As a teacher we’re not trained to tell stories. At teacher training college we learn how to teach our subject and how to organise and manage a class. Not once was I told that I should be telling stories to engage pupils. It’s just something that most teachers do instinctively. Funnily enough a recent study has shown that the most effective teachers rely heavily on telling stories.

Selling online has changed

Long form sales letters are simply not working as well as they used to. I can see that in the niche markets that I work in. In most niche markets the conversion rate from sales letters are falling. Most internet marketers are moving to video sales letters because video allows you to bond with your audience by telling your story. Through video customers get to know you what you stand for very quickly.

Stop trying to sell

I think the important message is that we need to move away from shouting about our product and saying, “Buy Now, Buy, Buy”

Think about your first dateSellig with Stories - Why Good Salesmen Don't Sell

If you think about it it’s a bit like asking a girl to marry on your first date. Most girls would be put off, and probably a bit scared if you asked them to marry you when you first meet. Unless you look like Brad Pitt I think most girls would run a mile if you tried to get them to marry you on the first date.

If we don’t expect a girl to marry us straightaway why do we expect a brand new visitor to our site to buy from us? The customer has only just landed on your site and you are trying to force your product down their throat. Is it really surprising that it doesn’t work?

The advantage of video

There’s a saying that most decisions in life are made in 30 seconds.

You certainly don’t have longer than that to grab your online customer’s attention. The average first-time visitor to your site actually decides whether to stay or not in less than six seconds.

Video lets you tell your story and capture the interest of loyalty of customers in the way that you just don’t get chance to do with a sales letter.

Your story

Your site needs to establish your credibility. To do this you need to tell your customer who you are and what you stand for.

The best way to do this is by telling your story. We all have a story. Mine is about my family, my teaching career and my passion for teaching others how to build an online business.

This site probably won’t appeal to you if you want to “get rich quick”. My last post way actually called The Myth of the 4 Hour Workweek. That title alone should put you off if you are looking for a get rich quick scheme or “magic button money” as I call it.  If you expect to make money without working hard I doubt you would even have read this far…I would have put you off in my first paragraph…it’s not who I am and it’s not who I’m ever going to appeal to.

You need to decide who your ideal customer is. You need to decide what you stand for. You communicate to that to your ideal customer.

Your Action Steps

1)      Write down “Your Story”. We all have several stories and I’ll cover this in more detail later. But make a start now. Who are you? What do you stand for? Why should people do business with you?

2)      Record your first marketing video. Your first attempt won’t be perfect…..don’t worry about that….I’ve been making videos for 20 years and they’re still not perfect. Just get started and they will get better and better.

If you need help creating your video do read How to Create Hi-tech Sales Video on a Low Dollar Budget. For a great course on marketing with video I highly recommend Online Video Champ

Link: ==> Online Video Champ

Regards,
David

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