I think Michael Harris is brilliant. Michael is all about story selling and I’ve curated several of his articles before. But what I love about his approach is that it is how to position stories in the sales cycle in very powerful ways that build strong customer relationships and win sales. This is different than others working in story selling who focus mostly on the mechanics of how to tell a good story.
That means here that the bulk of the effort is less on story crafting — although there’s an important place for that in Michael’s system — and more on story listening.
I’m sharing all this with you because Michael just came out with a new book called Insight Selling. It’s a short book–only 119 pages–but it packs a punch. And today (Thursday, February 6) through tomorrow (Friday, February 7) Michael is offering an Amazon special promotion on his book. For these two days the Kindle version is FREE!
I have no affiliation with Michael think you should know about his offer. And about his book.
As Michael says in Insight Selling, buyers are now 60% of the way through sales cycle before they ever contact a sales person, because they like to do their own research online first before. If someone has a simple and immediate need – shampoo, a fitness tracker, or a garden pot — they can easily go online, find what they are looking for, purchase it, and are done.
But for plenty of other businesses, buying and selling is more complex. This is where Michael’s work becomes invaluable. When it is hard for a buyer to figure out exactly how your product or service will benefit them, they will either decide not to buy, live with their problem, or by only on price where they end up with a suboptimal solution.
Take storytelling for example. Try selling that to a corporation for leadership development, marketing, sales, knowledge transfer, and the like. It’s hard for a prospect to figure out how the generic value of storytelling is going to apply to their specific business and job function. Maybe you are in a similar boat. Michael’s processes cure that problem.
He lays out clear steps for how to build what he calls insight scenarios–which are actually mini stories to share. These get prospects talking, have them be relaxed and not feel as if they are being sold to, articulate the real issues, and the value a solution would have for them that is connected to the bottom line.
In addition he has examples of companies that have successfully used insight scenarios, and he has examples of several scenarios that work. He even took a sub optimal insight scenario that wouldn’t work and rewrote it into a successful one so that we could see the difference and know how to do it ourselves.
Michael has really tapped in to some storytelling truths in his book. For example, insight scenarios are all about sparking a story in your prospect’s mind, where the story acts as a simulator that the buyer can step into so they can take your product or service for virtual test drive.
These insight scenario stories automatically generate value and meaning for the prospect. They make the customer care, plus the stories are memorable and easy to recall. In addition, because the insight scenarios are about someone else, prospects don’t feel like they are being attacked. The stories allow customers themselves to draw their own conclusions. The insights they gain from the story you share will allow them to start telling themselves a new story where new choices–such as using your product or service–make more sense. Hallelujah!
All this and more is covered in the book. That’s why I said it’s small but packs quite a punch. While the book is mainly written for companies that have a sales force, don’t let this stop you from reading the book. All of the material, processes, tips, and advice are easily adapted to small companies, entrepreneurs, and micro-businesses.
I hope this book really helps you. It’s a terrific application of storytelling that can directly increase your bottom line by closing more sales. Let me know if this proves true for you.
Categorised in: Uncategorized