I hate buying wine because you can’t taste it until you get home. And by then, it’s too late.
Buyers of business services have the same problem. You don’t know whether you’ve hired the right lawyer until the judge renders the verdict. You don’t know whether you’ve hired the right architect until you have the very expensive drawings in hand. You don’t know whether you’ve hired the right contractor until you’ve spent $50 million dollars on a new office building.
That is why sellers must tell success stories as part of a sales pitch. It gives the prospect a chance to “taste the wine” before they buy.
Let’s say that you’re pitching for a chance to defend a lawsuit in a complex anti-trust matter. The company is considering three extremely prestigious law firms.
Just looking at the resumes, won’t give a sense of how well any of the firms will perform in this particular lawsuit. But if you tell a detailed story about how you defended a similar lawsuit and won, it gives a prospect a sense of what result they can expect before they make a decision. It gives the prospect a “taste of the wine before they buy the bottle”.
Of course, other factors play into the decision. Personality and relationship are important.
But one key factor in the decision will be whether the prospect can get a feel for the result they will get prior to making a decision. Stories help give that feel.
Tell stories during your presentations. They give your listeners a “taste of the wine.”