3   Develop a Story

Tradition: Prepare to deliver a sales presentation.

New tradition: Prepare to tell a story.

Storytelling is at the heart of impactful sales and marketing. There are three levels of stories to think about with a sales presentation.

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There is the story that you tell the marketplace about who your company is and what you stand for. There are the stories you craft for the specific clients to whom you are presenting. And there are the stories within the story, which bring what you do to life and makes it memorable for the client.

While the second and third levels of stories are most relevant to the sales presentation, it is important to not forget about the first. This serves as a foundational level that tells the marketplace what your company is about and who you are.

Many companies spend millions of dollars defining their brand and identity in the marketplace. Some are more successful than others. If you imagine Volvo, you immediately think of safety. Mention BMW, and you think of performance. Apple is about innovation, and W Hotels are cool. While your corporate brand is part of the story you tell the marketplace, it is not the only story. Your value proposition is just as important.

I define a value proposition very simply: It answers the client's question, “Why should we do business with you?” You always want to include the following in the value proposition: ...

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