There are three key skills that define a great salesperson: the ability to ask great questions, the ability to listen actively, and the ability to tell great stories. You've probably spent a lot of time thinking about the first two–but what do you know about storytelling?
Stories have become increasingly important in the world of selling. They can be a powerful tool for getting the attention of prospective clients, because they're memorable and allow you to easily differentiate yourself, and they help people to understand and connect with what you do.
Get your customers and prospects to tell you stories through open-ended questions. Target the two emotional levers: issues of pain and gain. To understand their ideal gain, ask them, "If you could wave a magic wand, what would your business look like?" Then, to understand their pain, ask, "What obstacles are keeping you from being successful? And what's the worst-case scenario if those issues aren't addressed?"
Those two different stories are going to paint the bigger picture for you. They also help customers reinforce in their own minds where they need to invest. If you connect them with the right story, the answer will be your product or service.
Here's what you should be doing to craft a great sales story:
The interesting thing about storytelling is that it usually happens at the subconscious level–so it's hard to know if it's working. You won't always get immediate feedback, but that's OK. You should still be telling the most effective stories you can when you're talking to your prospects.