The first part of my assertion is pretty obvious but worth stating. Marketing today, more than ever, is about story telling. Great content tells a story about the challenges you solve and the results you achieve. This is key because it not only attracts great prospects to your web site but it also sets up the sales conversation.
The second part of my assertion is less obvious but to succeed in sales today I believe it to be essential. Sales is about allowing your prospects to tell their story. By story I mean setting up the environment to let them clarify the issues preventing their best performance. So how do set up this environment? You take a diagnostic approach. A sales professional defines herself by the questions she asks. The questions, tweaked to each domain or sector, are designed to clarify what is happening on the ground to that prospect in their environment. Think of it as “problem finding” as Daniel Pink explains in his latest book – To Sell Is Human. By taking your prospects perspective, by entering their world and assessing their issues, their story is revealed. You will find that prospects will often tell you the wrong story. Therefore today’s skills require sales professionals to ensure prospects see their situations in new and insightful ways. Thus uncovering the real story to identify the realproblems that need solving becomes key. This will require some sales teams to recalibrate how they think, how they listen and how they question.
In summary marketing is about telling your story of outcomes you deliver using remarkable, authoritative content. Sales is about ensuring the prospect’s story is heard and translated into problems worth solving.