The Progress Coaching Blog

    Stories, not stats- How to make a memorable sale

    November 28, 2015 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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    After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics. Can your sales team do this?

    Here’s some information I found from two authors, Chip and Dan Heath, on the value of telling stories. It is really revealing when we are presenting and how this information can help us work with our sales teams.

    When you’re coaching or presenting information, using relatable examples and stories will be more helpful, more memorable, and more effective than just telling an employee what to do. Using these stories and examples helps you as the coach to really connect with your employee and relate to their problem. This lets your employee know that you are really thinking about their specific problem and are trying to help, instead of just giving them whatever answer pops into your head. Telling an employee what they did wrong and how to correct it may fix the immediate problem, but it will also teach them that they can just come to you anytime something goes wrong and you will fix it for them. Giving the employee an example of what could be done, or telling a story of how you or someone else dealt with a similar problem in the past will help to guide the employee toward finding their own solution and teach them to be more independent in solving problems in the future.


    One of the toughest things to do when selling is to provide stories that specifically relate to a prospect or customer. This takes time and practice but with that being said when was the last time you actually did this with your sales team? If sales teams are not comfortable telling or sharing stories they will simply resort to the typical features and benefits. A story does a number of things for people:


    1. It can help offset objections by relating the objection to an established customer who experienced the same thing. This speaks directly to active listening and credibility.
    2. It can help create a more conversational type interaction versus a prospect feeling like they’re being sold or pressured.
    3. Establishes credibility as an expert.
    4. Customers want to know other people have experienced what they’re experiencing in a story with specific names and organizational references can provide a unique selling point of differentiation

    Need to find a way to get a better sense of your current sales team? Click here for more information!

    Source:  Authors Chip & Dan Heath


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    About Author

    Tim Hagen
    Tim Hagen

    Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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