Follow this Easy Framework to Craft Effective Sales Stories

Posted on by Christine DeLooze | No Comments »

In yesterday’s webinar, “Selling Fundraising Solutions to the Higher Education Market,” Rab Govil, President of PODi, introduced his Storytelling checklist. While you may think of storytelling as something you do with young children at bedtime, it is actually very relevant to the sales process. People emotionally connect with stories and find them more memorable. An effective salesperson will be prepared with multiple stories that talk about previous customer work, industry trends, the product they are selling, and the company they represent.

As Rab Govil shared, you can use a simple framework, reminiscent of those childhood storytelling days, to start crafting your own sales stories.  Storytelling_Checklist

  • Once upon a time, there was ______,
  • Every day ______
  • One day ______
  • Because of that ______
  • Because of that ______
  • Then finally _____

Within this framework you need to keep the story customer-need focused, short and conversational, credible with details, and told in such a way as to illustrate your competitive differentiation.

So how does this work in a sales story? Let’s take the example of a Rosemont College campaign that Kim Gross shared during the webinar.

Once upon a time, there was…a private liberal arts college called Rosemont College that needed support to continue their high quality programs and fund scholarships to attract students.

Every day…their development office was concerned with how they could increase donations to the Annual Fund, when many of their larger donors had already pledged to an on-going capital campaign. They did not want to approach the same people again. Rosemont College needed to convert more alumni into consistent donors for the Annual Fund.

One day…Pacesetter Enterprises approached them with a solution for a multi-phase direct marketing solution that would help them connect with alumni and increase donations.

Because of that…A cross-media campaign was executed that incorporated direct mail, email, personalized URLs, and video.

Because of that…Rosemont College was able to connect with alumni throughout the year with relevant messages for each of the audience segments.

Then finally…Rosemont College saw total giving to their Annual Fund increase by 25% and they realized an almost 1700% return on investment.

Now certainly when you are meeting with that Director of Marketing you probably don’t want to start your conversation with “Once upon a time.” But this simple start can help get your creative juices flowing on developing an effective customer story.

For more insight into the process, PODi members can view a recording of the webinar in Zenarate. You can also view sample talk tracks shared by Kim Gross in this week’s webinar. If you are a PODi member and have not yet activated your access to Zenarate, please complete the Zenarate Contact Us form.

Non-members can learn about the benefits of joining, including sales training, case studies and workflow product briefings, at

Write a comment