Successful pitching is about ensuring that your story mirrors your client’s story more effectively than your competitors. Christopher Brooker maintains there are seven different story types. In business it often breaks down to two. Respond with the appropriate sales story and you enhance your chances of winning the deal…
Are typified by a person, or group of people, in search of something that will confer great value and prestige to the finder. Commercial quests could be new business, a launch, a rebrand, or a territory extension. So, how should you respond when pitching to a client on a quest?
First of all, find out what the quest is and why he or she wants to achieve it. Next arrange your story to show how you will be the best ally to accompany your client on their journey. Particularly useful will be:
- A strong opening hook with an active question attached.
- Relevant case studies.
- High tempo benefit selling.
- Brevity and confidence.
- Evidence that you understand the quest’s importance and that you have insights into what might get in the way of success.
Everyone likes a quest story to a degree, but they are particularly appropriate for ‘alpha’ personalities who respond to stories with plenty of brio. For this reason you should ensure that you keep on track and are well equipped to deal with any questions or objections that might arise. Remember – certainty breeds certainty.
Are about being able to maintain the status quo in general, or fending off a specific existential threat that may include one of the following:
- Competitor activity.
- New legislation.
- Changing consumer habits.
- PR problems.
- Seasonal shifts
Order stories are all about convincing the client that you are particularly aware of specific vulnerabilities they may be subject to and therefore best placed to help them. Insight selling will help here on the back of intelligent questioning. SPIN is a particularly effective question structure for those of you practised at it.
Often the key to telling an effective order story is in raising a degree of controlled anxiety. As alpha personalities are less prone to this, you mind find that order stories are more successful with those who are more intuitively or emotionally driven.
If the client is currently facing a critical threat, then you probably have an inverted quest story and should observe those particular recommendations
For more on this go to my website www.gregkeen.co.uk download my free guide Nine Stories To Win More Business and take a look at strategies #1, #3 and #4.