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An Ancient Tool For Getting Very Well Known In Your Niche Market

Unique Sales Stories: How To Get More Referrals, Differentiate Yourself From The Competition & Close More Sales Through The Power of Stories

Mark Satterfield

Author’s Bio: Mark Satterfield is best known as the author of 7 books including the Amazon.com best seller, Unique Sales Stories: How To Persuade Others Through The Power of Stories, and as the Founder & CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing Inc.

Mark’s point of view is that any small business owner, consultant or advisor can have a highly effective marketing system up-and-running in less than 30 days for less than $225.00. His passionate belief is that internet “gurus”, and most marketing experts, make attracting consistent streams of brand new clients far too difficult & complex.

Prior to founding Gentle Rain Marketing, Mark held executive positions with PepsiCo and Kraft Foods in addition to having served as the Director of Career Services for the Graduate School of Business at Emory University.

Mark has a Masters Degree in Psychology and an undergraduate degree in English from Washington University. He is a two-time winner of the Dow Jones award for writing excellence, the AMA award for excellence in management education and has been included in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Higher Education, and many other biographical guides.

A book synopsis / Key Ideas:

A very wise man once told me, “People don t remember facts, they remember stories.” If you want more referrals, to do a better job of differentiating yourself from the competition and to close more sales, you need to be able to develop and communicate great sales stories. This book will teach you how to do just that.

Why did you write this book?

When I made the transition from corporate America to owning my own business, what came as a great surprise was how difficult it was to stand out from the competition. Although I thought I was doing a good job of communicating what I did, it wasn’t until I shifted my strategy to telling stories that people finally understood the value I provided. Although the concept of using stories to communicate is hardly new news, it’s been my observation that many people struggle with precisely how to develop a great story. The primary goal for writing the book is to provide individuals with a structure for creating great stories around any topic they desire.

Why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it.

We all need to be able to persuade others. For those who own their own businesses we also need to be able to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Since Biblical times, the most effective method for engaging and persuading an audience has been through the telling of stories. This book is designed to provide real-life examples of create stories as well as a simple template anyone can use to get more referrals, differentiate themselves from the competition and close more sales.

The following story illustrates this point

“It shouldn’t be this hard”, lamented Bob as he motioned to the bartender to fetch us another round. I’d known Bob for close to a dozen years; during his corporate career with one of the nation’s Fortune 50 corporation, and through his transition to his new career as a solo-business consultant.

What Bob was referring to, was the unanticipated difficulty of attracting new clients. In the two years he had been in business, Bob whipsawed from being overly-busy to wondering how he was going to fill up his day. The feast and famine business cycles were quickly getting to the point where Bob seriously questioned whether his decision to leave corporate America was the right one.

Bob’s dilemma is a common one. It affects small business owners in every industry. A large part of the challenge is how to communicate what one does in a way that’s memorable and gets others talking about you. Unfortunately, Bob falls into the common trap of explaining his expertise using facts, figures and statistics. The result is that 30 seconds after finishes speaking, few people remember what he’s just said. He’s stuck in the middle of the bell-shaped curve, largely undifferentiated from all the others who do similar work.

Fortunately the solution is simple. It’s a shift in mindset rather than a wholesale change in the way he does business. In a nutshell, Bob needs to move from “telling” people what he does to “illustrating” the value he brings by telling stories.

In theory that makes sense but the tricky part comes when one actually has to develop a story. We all appreciate a great story that’s well told. But, what about when it’s our turn to create one? How do we develop a story that flows easily, doesn’t sound contrived and is easily memorable? As I’ve written about in more detail on my blog at http://www.gentlerainmarketing.com, one way to tell a great story, is by using the following structure.

Not surprisingly, excellent stories need a context in order to be understood. Who is the main character? It may be you-it may be someone else. Regardless, it’s important that you provide a good amount of detail about who the characters are. Details help us care about the story, which is crucial if we are going to engage the audience. Although context is crucial, remember to keep this section brief. We’ve all been victim to the storyteller who goes on and on about the scenario in which the story takes place, completely oblivious that they are losing their audience. Brevity is key.

A good story needs a problem, and it should be apparent from the beginning exactly what problem the character faces. Again, the balance between detail and brevity needs to be honored. We need enough detail so that we care about the problem, but not so much that we lose the audience. An effective method for making your audience care about problem is found in the third component of the storytelling structure. We can make the audience care about the problem by discussing the consequences of what happens if the problem isn’t solved or if it’s ignored. Focusing on consequences is a particularly effective tool when we are trying to persuade a company to buy from us or engage our services. Just because someone has a problem doesn’t necessarily mean that they will invest in the solution. By focusing on consequences, we can turn minor irritants into problems that are worthy of investment.

In real life, we often don’t arrive at the correct solution on the first attempt. You can add a layer of realism to your stories if you keep this point in mind and include a brief section on solutions that the character considered, or tried without success. This is also a sneaky method for communicating why the solutions that your competitors offer may not be worth pursuing. This section is followed in your story with the solution. Again, specifics are key. Solutions are easiest to understand if they’re presented as a series of steps. This will keep your audience engaged and tracking along with you.

In marketing, it’s easy to become overly focused on the look & feel of your website, or to become enamored with the latest trends in social media. It’s not that these aren’t important, but the reality is that differentiating yourself from the competition depends more on what you say, rather than the vehicle you use to deliver the message. Since we are bombarded with an ever-increasing amount of noise, the trick becomes, how do we get people to pay attention? An interesting story, that’s well told, will enable you to engage your audience and make prospective clients interested in learning more about you and the services you offer.

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