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Does StorySeekers work? For any CEO, that’s the core question since many of us have been exposed to NEED-SAT Selling, Zig Zigler, Sales by Objectives, etc. Let me explain how I am using StorySeekers here at GPM, Inc.
Our 38 year old company sells large slurry pumps to the mining, paper, power generation, and heavy industry where process water is used. These pumps range from 15HP up to 500 HP and are by in large, a Cap X investment for the buyer. We have stiff competition from many companies but our unique point of difference is our submersible motor technology whereby you can put our pumps right into the slurry pits and they will pump 70% solid solutions. Some pumps have been on the job running 7-24 for over 15 years? Amazing. Some pumps run in such abrasive conditions, that the expected pump life was 6 months and our pumps have been running non-stop for two years! Again Amazing.
What’s really amazing is that we were not telling anybody. Like most of our competitors, we were focused on features, benefits, technical specifications and pricing but we were not telling our stories. In short… we were executing well on two out of the three interconnecting circles required to create trust with a customer. What was missing? You know the answer… “Connectedness”. Starting with the basics, we’re putting together a series of stories as case studies. I am visiting with all our sales people and asking for them to give us the best of the best of personal stories of how they have helped a customer solve a problem or reduce their costs. These will also be published but more importantly, I want these stories learned by our 16 sales people so that they are equipped to not only talk about their own personal stories, but to be able to visit with customers about success stories in applications. And, of course, training our people to tend the stories of our customers, but building strong personal relationships with new customers as well as reinforcing relationships with new stories for our long-term customers.
Will it work? It already has. We’re putting together and winning new quotes with this technique. It’s simple, honest, compelling and effective. I fully expect to increase our revenues from $20.5 million ending in 2013 to $27.0 million by year end.
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