Stories Sell Better Than Features Do…

Many years ago I sold terminals and printers to firms that used IBM minicomputers.

These firms had spent millions on their equipment. The fact that our equipment cost about one-tenth of the IBM equivalent was not a selling point. Prospects thought them “too cheap”.

I learned that telling stories was so much better than listing features.

In one case the brochure listed a printer as “durable”. What does that really mean?

Sea Harvest needed a printer that could survive the rigours of their docking area.

Ships would unload baskets of fish that each needed a printed tag. IBM’s R150,000 printer had lasted about three years. This was an environment hosed down each night with hoses spraying sea water.

Sea Harvest bought our tiny R2500 printer because they needed a printer the next day. But IBM could not deliver for months. We suggested they take two. Because we could not see our unit lasting more than a few months. This was the most hostile printer location we had ever seen.

Three years later they asked us to replace the plastic tear bar. The hundreds of thousands of cardboard tags torn off had eroded it. They had not yet used the second printer.

Which is more memorable: saying it is “durable” or telling a story to prove it?

Find stories that describe the benefits your features offer. Write them down so that you do not forget them. Tell those stories when a client has a related problem. You will help them make a better decision. That will help you feed your kids.

Then start sharing those stories with people who need your products and services.

I find email by far the easiest way to share such stories. Each story harvests a few enquiries. These add up fast.

Check out our course on How to Use Email to Sell More to More People.

Peter Carruthers