Storytelling Complements Any Sales ProcessJul 29, 2020
My partner, Mike Bosworth published Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets in 1993.
Solution Selling was, and still is, a diagnose & prescribe questioning framework designed to properly position products and services for targeted buyers. The book is a great "how-to" primer for anyone navigating a complex sales cycle with multiple influencers and committees.
Solution Selling proved particularly effective for companies selling disruptive technologies - where the buyer was in a latent need state. A latent need state is when the seller sees the need but the buyer does not.
Solution Selling became one of the most widely adopted sales processes in Corporate America in the 1990's, and is still one of the best methodologies in the marketplace.
I'm aware of one service-as-software company headquartered in Minneapolis, who has built their company market value from $1 million to over $1 billion the last 10 years on-boarding new reps right out of college using the process.
The consistent complaint Mike received from Solution Selling clients over
the years was, "Mike, our top 20% sellers LOVE Solution Selling but our
bottom 80% quit using it within two weeks of the workshop."
Mike didn't figure out why until 2008.
Top 20% sellers (those bringing in 80% of the revenue) intuitively know
they cannot start asking questions without first building emotional connection
and trust (which the vast majority of them do intuitively). Thus, when they
bring out their questioning prompters, they are asking even better questions.
The bottom 80% do not build trust intuitively and go to their questioning
prompters too soon. Their buyers push them away with unexpressed thoughts
of "you don't know me well enough to ask me all these questions."
If you want to genuinely influence and inspire people you must first create a space safe enough for them to admit to their true feelings.
Influencing and inspiring others is much easier when you gain access to the place where people hide their uncertainties.
A good story can transport people to this place!
Storytelling is sales methodology agnostic. It compliments all sales processes.
If you would like to learn more, read Mike's most recent book: What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Emotional Connection and the Power of Story
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