September 20th, 2021
Selling Your Company to Your Prospects
Recent research shows that the company story is one of the most misunderstood steps in the selling process. Most companies presume that it should be structured around the history of their business; however, the company story must be about the prospect.
Steps in a Modern Company Story
- Determine the prospect’s value system;
- Identify the potential problems with their current product/service;
- Demonstrate that you are their ideal solution (five unique benefits offered by your company);
- Personalize your presentation;
- Sell what your product does for them and not what it is;
- Secure their commitment; and
- Deliver the permission statement and acquire additional information to transition to the product presentation.
Present the company story to your prospect in “second-person” language, using the words “you” and “your,” as opposed to language containing “I,” “me,” or “we” statements. While your prospects are interested in a stable, reliable, customer satisfaction-oriented company, they do not care how long you have been in business or how many jobs you have completed.
Early on, communicate to the prospect a message such as: “Your home is your greatest investment.” You will set the tone that the presentation is going to be about them and their home.
There are two core elements to achieve success: a well-structured, visually appealing presentation and a script that is delivered in conjunction with it. While the advent of powerful technology has been beneficial to the industry, it can also be a detriment if companies rely on it as the primary tool in their sales processes. High-resolution images and video testimonials will fall on deaf ears if the script that is delivered by the sales associate doesn’t cater to the prospect’s needs.
Identify critical, non-negotiable issues by conducting a thorough needs assessment, and focus your presentation on what is important to the prospects. You can accomplish this by asking questions to determine the level of importance of each issue on a scale of one to 10. For example, if they indicate the need for liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, or a specific type of installer, directly address this in the company story to ease their concerns. The added benefit will be a reduction of price resistance.
Examples of well-delivered questions include:
“Would you feel more comfortable with the protection from our $2-million liability policy for you and your home over other companies that carry very little or no protection?”
“Would you ever let someone install a product in your home if they did not have [x]?”
“Do you feel that these benefits would be a minor or a major advantage for you?”
Remember, the message is only as good as the messenger. No matter how well the presentation is scripted, it must be delivered with confidence, conviction, and a smile on your face.
Company Commitment and Permission Statement
Before you transition to the product presentation, it is critical that you complete the company story by securing the prospect’s trust. Here is an example of a company commitment statement:
“Mr. and Mrs. Jones, can you appreciate why more families like yours choose ABC Company for their homes over every other company? Knowing what you now know, would you feel 100% comfortable and confident doing business with ABC Company?”
If you receive a positive response, thank them, and affirm their decision. Next, deliver the permission statement:
“Mr. and Mrs. Jones, normally, at the conclusion of a presentation, I receive three types of responses. Some people say, ‘Yes,’ and certainly, I like to hear that. Then, there are those that say, ‘No,’ and I recognize that we cannot be for everyone. The third response is the one that gives me the most trouble; when people say, ‘I’ll think about it,’ ‘We’ll let you know,’ or, ‘Get back to us in a couple of days.’ While I endorse anyone’s decision-making process, for the most part these statements are made because people do not want to embarrass me or make me feel discouraged. May I suggest something Mr. and Mrs. Jones? If this feels like the kind of product or service you would like, then say ‘Yes,’ and if it is not for you, don’t hesitate to say, ‘No,’ and I will accept a ‘No’ as gracefully as I will accept a ‘Yes.’”
The permission statement may not seem extremely difficult to deliver; however, it runs contrary to what most sales professionals have learned over the years. Practice it repeatedly before delivering it to a prospect.
A Company Story that is structured well and contains customer-centric communication sets the stage for the entire presentation and is frequently the determinant of whether you make a sale or not.