As a salesperson, have you ever found yourself in a conversation with a prospect and couldn’t seem to get them interested in you, your company or your product or service?
It’s a problem that’s plagued the world of sales since the beginning of time. Companies spend millions each year trying to turn it around with marketing campaigns, billboards, anything to raise awareness of their brands.
But what if you don’t have millions to spend on advertising, or don’t have the time to wait for folks to see your brand enough to remember it?
That’s the challenge we discussed with Jim Bowman, a sales leader who’s grown his team to more than 90 people in just a few years. He shared with us that one of the keys to his success wasn’t a massive marketing budget. Instead, it’s much simpler – the stories his salespeople tell.
Instead of simply showing up in their prospects’ lives and pitching them, Jim encourages his salespeople to select success stories gathered from customers and begin communicating them as early as the first point of outreach.
But how do we begin gathering success stories, categorizing them and ensuring they’re used across our pipelines?
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: As soon as a new prospect is identified from research or from an inbound lead, Jim’s team pairs that prospect with one of their success stories. They’re looking for stories that would apply to prospects in similar life situations, income levels, geographies, or anything that allows them to build a connection between that prospect and a client.
R – Repeatable: In order to make this system repeatable and ensure salespeople aren’t ‘winging’ their stories, Jim’s team catalogues the most successful stories they get from their most satisfied customers. Those stories are then built into the emails, letters, and scripts salespeople use.
A basic story flow that crosses communication channels and touch points might sound like, “Bob was just like you, trying to achieve X, and like you they were face with Y challenges. They knew in order to achieve the results they were after, they’d need to do things differently and that’s where Z, our solution, came in. Now they’re experiencing the benefits of A, B, an C.”
I – Improvable: To improve the stories salespeople tell and ensure they remain relevant, Jim advises his team listens to clients and get new stories and scenarios and ways that their products/services are helping customers. Jim ensures he dedicates time at each sales team meeting for salespeople to share any success stories they’ve heard so all team members can benefit from them.
M – Measurable: In order to ensure these stories are producing results, Jim’s team measure which stories are getting results. To track this, Jim advises salespeople look at which products were sold and ask which story or stories were used during that client’s sale.