Story Strategy to Improve Your Sales Presentations – Part 1

Sales Presentation Expert and Executive Speech Coach - Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE
Sales Presentation Expert & Executive Speech Coach, Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Even the most hardened prospect can’t resist a good story – when it is well told. The reason you must tell stories is because your prospects will not remember everything you say; they will, however, remember what they see in their minds and feel in their hearts while they listen to you share a story within your sales presentation. I give you the first of three story formulas to help you improve the effectiveness of your sales presentations:

Formula 1 – Situation, Solution, Success

The client situation is their problem, the pain, and how it is similar to the prospect company you are now talking to. So, for a moment, think of one of your satisfied clients. How did they articulate their problem to you?

  • “Help! My teams are not productive.”
  • “Help! Our current supplier of office equipment is costing us too much!”
  • “Help! We are not compliant.”
  • “Help! We assumed experienced technology professionals would be able to effectively tell our story!”

Explain your process in a way that your prospects can see what it is like working with you, incorporating examples of past clients, and using phrases such as…“What Diane benefited from is the three-step approach we take with each new client. First we…”

This is the end of the story, the happily-ever-after, how did you improve their condition? Just as with the situation, this needs to be in the client’s words. You can repeat their glowing comments. When you use their words to talk about you, they can be more glowing than you would say about yourself. An example:

“If Diane were here, she would tell you, ‘When I first talked to the people at Profit Factor, my accounting was in a total mess. My last bookkeeper had dropped the ball, which resulted in $3,000 fines and penalties. Within three weeks of hiring Profit Factor, not only did I get my $3,000 refunded, they found me more legitimate write offs that resulted in another $8,762 refund. In the first two months, their efforts paid for their services for the next four years. They have my loyalty for life!’ In your portfolio you will find her letter and those of two dozen other clients who have businesses of your size.”

The power of this first formula is social proof – or what I like to call “taking your satisfied clients with you on your sales calls.”

In my second part of this series, I will show you how you can use Formula 2 – Character, Dialogue, Dramatic Lesson Learned.

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“In my 12 years in sales and marketing, you are the most dynamic, charismatic, and knowledgeable sales presentation trainer and executive speech coach that I know. After your presentation skills training, both my sales and technical support team are closing more sales!”
– Bill Lewis, Director of Sales and Marketing, North America, Unitech America, Inc.

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.