Stop selling: how to use stories to enroll customers

Recently someone asked me how he would close a deal by telling a story.  He won’t.  None of us will.  That isn’t the point of telling your story.

Stories are necessary for enrollment not sales. 

Here is the good news: if you get the enrollment conversation right the sales conversation is much easier, faster and more natural. 

This is because enrollment is about helping people understand and explore your point of view and your solution. 

By conveying that understanding you viscerally engage your clients – they want what you’ve got.

Often, we skip enrollment and rush to the sales conversation.  Always Be Closing, right?  Listen to the client, understand their needs, tailor your language to show how your solution fits their needs and hand them a contract. 

This works sometimes.  It works especially well in transactional situations where differentiation is difficult.  It doesn’t work well at all when building relationships plays a role in sales. 

And relationships play a role in 95% of sales, ongoing business and referrals.  

Don’t get me wrong, understanding the prospect's needs is important.  But it is equally important that the prospect understand your offering.  They need to understand what problem you solve and the point of view that you espouse.   They need to feel that you are on their side. 

In short, they need to be enrolled. 

And once your clients see the world from your point of view and understand your solution the sales conversation is easier and simpler,  it becomes a matter of agreeing to terms and starting the work.

The other benefit is that the whole process is more fun and relaxed for everybody.

Tell a good story and your future client will be more open to sharing their sales pain.  Then you can start working on solving the problem.