In a Sales Success Story the Outcome is not as Important

You are a salesperson and you are in a conversation with a potential client who is from the banking industry. Its time for you to tell a success story and this is what you say.

Your current situation reminds me of another banking client of ours in Singapore. A year ago we ran a successful customer service program with our client Mike ( not his real name ) who is the Head of HR at a leading global bank in Singapore. Mike was quite concerned about the declining service standards of the bank and increasing customer complaints. The CEO of the bank had called for a meeting with senior team members and questioned 35 customer complaints received in a month. Mike was given the task of fixing the issue with providing customer service training in the next 2 weeks. The short deadline made Mike very restless. Whilst researching online for courses on customer service he came across our services. We were called in for a meeting and appointed the same day to support Mike with the initiative. We designed and implemented a relevant program for the bank. The bank has now gone down to 0 customer complaints consistently for the last 6 months and Mike, our client was thrilled with the outcome and was also promoted to Regional Head of HR due to this success.

In the above story we are using a person, his feelings and a positive outcome achieved but this still doesn’t qualify for a good sales success story and will not achieve the desired outcome of convincing the potential client that you are the right company to appoint.

Why ?

The client is not interested in the positive outcomes unless you reveal how you achieved that positive outcome and the answer is not by rolling out a generic program. We are missing the most important thing and that is the new INSIGHTS into the cause of the problems that you provided. In a sales success story the outcome is not as important as your INSIGHTS.

If we fortified the above story with the insight that you provided, this is how it would sound

Your current situation reminds of Mike, another banking client of ours in Singapore, much like you he was the Head of HR for a leading bank in Singapore. I can still remember that day when we walked in to the meeting room and Mike said, “ we need to deploy a customer service program and I want to know more about your course”. Instinctively, I pulled out our company powerpoint and I was just about to start when my boss who accompanied me for the meeting asked me to wait and turned his chair towards Mike and said, “ Do you mind if I ask a few questions?” He asked a series of questions and said,

” from the sound of it you do not need a generic customer service program and here is how and why I am concluding this. The bank feels that it has declining service standards because of 35 customer complaints in 1 month. Each of these complaints is coming from the visitors who come to the bank personally and do not use online banking. So, this is mostly an older age group. As you mentioned you have 2 counters and your busiest period is 12- 2pm which is when only one counter is functional  because its lunch time and second staff is on 1 hour lunch break. Now, what we need here is to observe the current flow, understand the complaints and perhaps make decisions like increase the counters during busy periods and train counter staff to deal with this older generation by understanding their needs. I will be able to provide you with a plan of action after spending a day observing the workflow and gaining some more information. A good customer service program needs to understand  which customer are we trying to solve the problem for.” 

Mike thought our thinking was refreshing and unlike anything he has heard from any other training provider. We were appointed for the task. The program was rolled out. The bank now has achieved a standard of 0 complaints consistenly for the last 6 months and our client Mike who headed this project and was really the key success factor is now Regional Head of HR.

So, in the above example, adding your unique INSIGHTS in to the cause of the problem and providing a relevant solution to that problem is the AHA !!! of a sales success story and a confirmation that your unique insights in to the problem are fundamental to your clients success.

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"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"