Why Story is Important

If you’ve ever been in sales, either as a business owner or an entrepreneur, or a sales person, you’ve undoubtedly encountered this scenario.

You walk into the clients office with your product and a presentation touting the features and benefits of your product.  Your product is superior to your competition’s product.  It’s 10% faster, it uses 5% less energy, it’s 20% more reliable.  You are sure that you are going to wow them with these statistics.

At the end of presentation, your potential customer says:  “Let’s talk about price.  Your competitor offered us 1000 units at $X price, can you beat that?”

Why doesn’t the buyer understand that he’s getting superior value?  Your product is bigger, faster, more reliable than your competition, and yet all they care about is the price.

The problem is, you didn’t tell a good enough story.

Why it’s more than words in a brochure

Telling a story isn’t about putting words on a website like “We have the best service” or “We have the best product.”

1.  These are really cliche stories.
2.  Almost everyone can make these claims.

Even if your product is superior and you have clearly shown this in your diagrams, charts, and graphs, it’s just not that exciting.

How To Create the Story

So, the question is, how can you create that story?

I used to work for a barcode scanner manufacturer.  This was a highly commodotized, fiercely competitive business.  Consequently, every sales call would end up with our sales team dropping the price of our product in order to compete with our competitors.

What if, however, instead of making our barcode scanners insignificantly faster, insignificantly more reliable, we created a green barcode scanner.  Not just simply make a scanner that uses 10% less power, but re-engineer the entire product.

First, I would have traded the current plastic with a 100% recycled material.  (I don’t know what that material would be off the top of my head).  Power consumption would have been a priority.  The electronics inside of the scanner would have been environmentally friendly.  Even the packaging would have been biodegradable.  No packing peanuts, no plastic, etc.

Once you’ve made a product with a compelling story, you can then create the marketing collateral to tell that story.  This way you won’t be creating another cliched sales presentation.