Story Sellers

Sales Excellence

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What my dog Sammy’s health scare taught me about the power of storytelling.

 

In the bustling world of veterinary sales, it’s not just the specs and statistics that clinch the deal – it’s the art of storytelling. Reps must paint a picture so vivid and compelling that your clients can’t help but be drawn in. Let me take you on a journey with a personal story that does just that.


Picture this: It’s 2023, and like any other day, I call out to my dogs Sammy and Teddy, signaling our daily dog park adventure. Teddy, ever the bundle of energy, leaps up like she’s spring-loaded. Sammy, usually a playful counterpart, gives a disheartened try but ends up lying back down, a picture of defeat. This wasn’t just a problem. It was the start of a story that any pet lover or potential vet client would cling to.

The saga continued with vet visits, confusion, and a cloud of worry hanging over us. Then came the turning point – a vet’s recommendation of a well-known joint supplement. Here’s where the skeptic in me raised an eyebrow. After all, I was one of those guys who believed that there is no supplement, animal or human, that does what it says it does. (Otherwise, why would all their ads end with “This product is not intended to actually fix anything/don’t sue us when it doesn’t work”?)

But, with Sammy’s well-being at stake, I ponied up. What happened next was nothing short of a transformation. Sammy went from lethargic to outpacing Teddy. He was a literal comeback kid. But here’s the twist. My “economically senseful/cheap” brain decided Sammy didn’t need it anymore, so I stopped giving him the supplements. After all, this supplement “miracle” had to be just a happy coincidence. But two months later, Sammy’s old problems resurfaced. I thought, maybe those supplement nuggets really did work? Let’s try again. After only about two weeks back “on” his peanut butter treat, my old Sammy was back!

In summary, despite my doubts, this product was life-changing for Sammy. His renewed zest for park visits and playful energy with Teddy proved that sometimes the right supplement can make all the difference.

If I was a salesperson for this company, I would be sharing that story (or another real-world success story) to the veterinary masses. Like a good movie, it has drama, suspense, an emotional rollercoaster, and most importantly, a happy ending.

Sales rep and veterinarian shaking hands

Storytelling tips

Now, let’s talk about why you need to have a tacklebox full of your own stories associated with each product you sell. Because your sales prospects will remember your stories a lot more than the specs on the back of your sales brochure. “Story Sellers” understand:

  1. Emotion trumps logic

Here’s the deal: This story transcends the straightforward selling of a product. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. The worry over Sammy’s health, the initial skepticism about the supplement, and the eventual joy of his recovery are emotions that resonate with an audience. When you tell your story, hit those emotional chords. Paint with your words so that your audience hears your story and feels it deep down.

  1. The hero your audience roots for

Sammy isn’t just a pet in this saga; he’s the hero everyone is rooting for. This audience sees their pets in Sammy, creating an instant bond. When telling your story, give life to characters like Sammy. Highlight his antics, his struggles, and his triumph. It’s this level of detail that draws your audience in, making your product an essential part of a beloved pet’s narrative.

  1. The transformation effect

The journey from Sammy’s low point to his vibrant energy is a transformative arc that sells. It’s essential to spotlight these transformations in your tales. Talk about the physical changes and the emotional impacts. How did it feel witnessing Sammy’s revival? Capturing these moments turns your narrative into an experience.

  1. Realness that resonates

Introducing skepticism, as I did towards the supplement initially, injects a dose of reality into your story. It shows that you understand the doubts and hesitations your audience might have. This authenticity makes your story more relatable and your endorsement more credible. When you tell your story, don’t gloss over your initial reservations – they make the resolution that much more satisfying.

  1. Crafting the journey

A well-structured story with a clear beginning, middle, and end keeps your audience captivated. Discuss the onset of Sammy’s ailment, the emotional rollercoaster of the treatment phase, and the ultimate realization of the supplement’s importance. This structure is not just about narrating events; it’s about taking your audience on an immersive journey.

  1. The underlying message

Every effective story subtly delivers its core message. In this narrative, it’s about the product’s effectiveness, seamlessly integrated into Sammy’s story. Your storytelling should mirror this approach. The product shouldn’t overshadow the narrative. Instead, it should emerge as the unsung hero that changes the game. This tactic transforms the narrative from a standard sales pitch to a life-changing revelation.

 

In wrapping up, remember this: your role in veterinary sales is more than just transactional. Through storytelling, you’re creating connections, evoking emotions, and driving decisions. A story like Sammy’s is a sequence of events and a powerful tool that underscores the value of your product without resorting to an overt sales pitch. In the realm of sales, a compelling story doesn’t just inform; it captivates, persuades, and triumphs.

 

Brian Sullivan

President of Kansas City-based PRECISE Selling, Brian delivers seminars and internet training programs on sales, customer service, leadership and presentation skills to companies of all sizes. He is also author of the book, “20 Days to the Top- How the PRECISE Selling Formula Will Make You Your Company’s Top Sales Performer in 20 Days or Less.” To sign up for his free weekly tips, go to preciseselling.com or email Brian at [email protected].

 

Photo credits

istockphoto.com/skynesher

istockphoto.com/PeopleImages

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