Presell: The Art of Selling- By Not Selling At All

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How to Use Stories to Presell Your Product and Services?

Is there any way where you presell your products without sounding like a pushy salesman?

Pre-sell can be very difficult for people. Sometimes it tends to create many weird situations. And our lack of enthusiasm already dooms the sale before even starting the pitch.

But what if there was a way to sell with stories?

In fact, all you may need is a story.

A simple story with tiny little details may do the job for you without even showing that you’re trying to sell.

Yet, how do you go about it?

Selling by Not Selling at All

Many of us tend to feel uncomfortable when we are asked to sell something. We generally don’t like to present ourselves as a petty salesman who always tries to get people’s money. But none of us have that feeling when we try to tell a story.

For stories have a pattern. They start somewhere, walk around a few things, and then finally end somewhere.

You don’t need to be precise while telling the stories as no one expects us to give exact details of the account. But still, a story can be an authoritative way of preselling and to convey your message without being too direct.

Let’s take an example

Chris Voss, author of the best-selling negotiation book: “Never Split the Difference”, also runs a negotiation course through his Black Swan Group. And he tells a story which goes like this:

Two years ago, Voss get a chance to meet Robert Herjavec, an investor from the series Shark Tank. And eventually, Voss got invited by him at lunch.

During the lunch, the investor wonders if Voss’s Black Swan Negotiation Course might be helpful for his sales team or not. Since Voss already had a negotiation training course going on in New York, he offered Robert a free ticket. But the investor decided to buy a few more tickets instead and send his team to review.

As days passed, however, there was a rise of confusion and chaos among the sales team of the author. His people phoned and say: “We are preparing to sell out. Also, if Herjavec and his team don’t order now, there won’t be any tickets, free or otherwise.”

“The tickets at my events are kind of expensive”, continues the author,” and my team was mad at me for giving them for free. They didn’t seem to care who it is, even if it is a famous guy from TV.”

Now let’s stop and analyze this story for a moment.

What we get to know so far….

  1. Voss has a course (other than his book)—and it’s expensive.
  2. The course is good for the sales team.
  3. It is generally organised in the New York and probably other states of the US as well.
  4. They generally sold out. (according to the story) They seem to sell out very often. That’s why they don’t care whether it is a guy from TV or some local area.

Did you even realize that he almost told everything you need to know about his course without even starting his sales pitch?

That’s what you call a presell. It may not a precise pre-sell for a specific event but it is certainly a pre-sell for the future. And all of it was deliberately placed in that story.

And that could be the way to sell your services as well. All you have to do is write an article and weave a story like this in between the paragraphs of the article.

Although every story may sound like they have only one point to share. (In the above case, it was the chaos caused by Herjavec’s team). But it can also dole out 3 or 4 other points that you want your reader to know.  They may not take immediate action and order your services, but they’ll save that information for future purposes.

And who knows some of your clients may actually follow up.

NOTE: If you liked this article, please check out my other articles as well. Click here.

Now, don’t try to over presell in your stories.

The story must have a point of reason. (Why are you even telling a story?) Voss story’s reasons were “how to say no to his fans, to avoid unexpected chaos at last time”. It was an interesting story and also valuable to the reader.

But embedded in that story are the bunch of points that he wanted his future clients to know.

So, plan in advance about the points you want to convey and try to not overdo it. Covering 3-5 points will do the job—make your reader interested. And keeping things less will make you sound less pushy, which was the main reason for hating the sales job.

As we hate to push ourselves in the middle of conversations, poking people, again and again, just to get an order.

But even the shyest of us can, at least some of the time, tell a tale worth listening to… If you know what you’re going to talk about, you’ll find that every article or talk or anything can be pre-sold in the form of a story.

Still, what to do if I can’t get my head around this preselling…?

Then just go with the story. You can use this template:

  1. Get a story from the past
  2. Determine the product/service you want to sell.
  3. List 3-4 points you want to convey.

This will get you started. If you manage to create one story, you can create two or even twenty-two. Although, you don’t need to presell in your all articles, in the beginning. Just one in four will be enough. When you get comfortable, you can use it every time.

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