Of all the sales tools in your arsenal, your sales story (or elevator pitch) is the most important and you will likely use it, in one way or another, every time your market or network. In fact, bits and pieces of your sales story will be a part of every other marketing tool you have. Your marketing letters, social media profiles, classified ads, flyers, postcards, brochures will all utilize a piece or two of your sales story.
It’s Not About You
The most common mistakes made by sales people when creating their sales story is making it revolve around them. How smart they are. How old their company is. Etc. Etc. Etc.. A good sales story never is about you. It is about what you can do for your target. When you launch into your sales story, the only question on the receiver’s mind is; What’s in it for me? Your sales story should should contain elements of problem solving and value creation which can be clearly communicated to your target.
Passing The “So What” Test
All good elevator pitches must be able to pass the “So What” test. When a sales person BEGINS his / her sales story with “We provide” or “We do this or that”, your prospect is almost immediately thinking; “So what?” Never start your sales pitch by directly stating what you do. If you do, many of your prospects will be saying to themselves: “So what? I don’t need that.”
The Building Blocks of a Good Factoring Broker Elevator Pitch
There are three important components to a sales story that will compel prospects. They are:
- Addressing identifiable (typical) problems: these are problems likely related to the prospect’s business. (cash flow, payroll, working capital)
- Simply stating your services: AFTER addressing identifiable problems, state your services which address those problems (factoring, revolving credit lines, inventory finance). This is where you rattle off what financial services you actually provide.
- Differentiating your service from your competition: Explain why our services are better are often better than those available (or not available) from a bank
Remember! Your prospects are only interested in what’s in it for them. So your sales story should always lead with identifiable problems common to small business owner just like them. Devote the first 20 or 30 seconds of your sales story addressing financial issues they may be having and get their attention. The second part of your story, your ability to solve these problems, will draw them in.
Another benefit of starting your story with typical client’s problems is that it sets you up to ask probing questions about those identifiable problems later in the presentation. Your are setting yourself up as a problem solver. not a typical product-pitching sales person.
An additional benefit to starting your sales story with typical business problems your prospect may have is it allows us to qualify the prospect. If you get no reaction from them or they say: “We’re really lucky that we don’t have such problem.”, then your sales pitch is pretty much over. No cash flow problems at this time = No sale. But you have laid groundwork. And the fact that there is no cash flow problem today does not mean there won’t be one in the future.
Sales Story Examples
Subscribers to IACFB’s Business-in-a-Box can access several sample Sales Stories and simulated conversations. Use these examples to perfect your own sales story. It is your most important sales tool and will be used on virtually a daily basis.
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