the three stories of a sell

The three hidden stories of a sell

by daniel on December 14, 2011

Selling to corporate customers is hard and painful, almost agonizing. But still its normally the most rewarding sale as the budgets are greater. But even selling to a corporate you have to keep in mind you are selling to people and have to keep the three stories of a sale in place.

What are the three stories?

  1. The formal story – of the benefits of the product to the company: cost reduction, additional revenue, better service or marketing benefit. This story is geared for the position of the person, deciding on purchase according to rational reasons for implementing the product in his organization.
  2. The personal benefit story – what does this person gain personally: this is mostly about internal politics, where the inclusion of this product will help in the power struggles within the organization. This benefit can be also material for places where the personal integrity is lower.
  3. The emotional benefit story – what is the emotional connection between the product, the sales person and the person in front. This is where most of the influence comes – Can you trust me to give you something that work? Would I stay by you when problems arise? Do you enjoy being with me?

The first two are conscious decision criteria, where I have control of the story and the perception. The third, being the unconscious decision reasoning needs much more attention but of a different kind. Is about creating the human connection, because we all know – its about people.


When you lose a sell, you might think because you couldn’t beat the price or understand the politics. But unfortunately the real reason was because the connection wasn’t made. Having the human connection would have given you’re the information about the expected pricing, the understanding of the politics and the hints on how to win the deal.

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