Tuesday, 13 June
Today's Topic
Storytelling

Skill

If you were a buyer, would you rather get pitched or hear a story? The obvious answer suggests you should spend more time perfecting your stories and less time working on your deck.

Esteemed Sales Manager Lou Tosto has a bunch of good tricks up his sleeve that he uses to galvanize those on his team, but one of his best is when he exhorts his sellers: "DON’T BE BORING TO YOUR CLIENTS."

Lou recognizes that a part of the sales process is a bit of a show! Not that you have to be an entertainer, but as Lou suggests, don’t be boring. Not every seller can be funny and quick-witted, but at the same time, remember you’re not just selling a product, you’re selling yourself.

Go ahead and insert energy and charisma into your meetings. Take some chances, and be personable. While you’re at it, keep the PowerPoint in your bag and leave the canned pitches back in your office.

Suppose your Sales Manager wants you to repeat your general presentation script verbatim in your pitch meetings. In that case, that’s fine on one condition: it’s a one-minute presentation covering two slides…max. Likewise, if your Sales Manager wants you to present your company’s value proposition in a structured linear way, that’s fine, too, as long as you’re not talking for more than 30 seconds.

Do you like being preached to? Do you want to sit through a 20-slide PowerPoint presentation? Well, neither do your customers.

Yes, you need to pitch. Yes, you need to present your value to your customers. Yes, you need to show them your whatever…product, software, demos. But you need to figure out an approach that works best for your customers, knowing that they will tune out if they get any whiff of feeling pitched.

Sharing stories helps you do that.

In their influential book Made To Stick, Chip and Dan Heath uncovered a staggering statistic: "…after a presentation, 63% of people remember stories, but only 5% remember a statistic." Whoa. Figure out how to tell stories, and you plus your offering will be remembered.

Do

A story that helps you talk about your offering and value doesn’t have to be complex or long; it does have to follow story architecture: setting, conflict, resolution, and payoff.

One of the best ways to prevent boring seller from showing up in your meetings is to learn how to tell good stories. (Not you…you’re not boring!)

Storytelling can excite customers and make you, your meeting, and your offering more memorable. Today, create a story and practice it.

It’s okay if storytelling doesn’t come naturally to you. If you practice, you’ll get good quickly. Think of a recent personal experience that might interest your customer. (You’ll eventually create business stories…but start with a personal anecdote.) Practice it with a friend and make it two minutes or so. Tell it to a customer, see where it takes you, and the interaction! Try it.

You’re a better storyteller than you think you are. And you’ve got more stories in you than you think. But you are curious about how storytelling will help you crush your number. Understandable.

Storytelling will help you cement bonds and build trust and likability with your customers. Buyers buy from those they like. So your offering must be solid and valuable, but if the buyer doesn’t trust or like you…buh-bye. (Well, maybe not buh-bye, but your job closing the deal is gonna be more complicated!)

Understand that stories don’t have to be complex or lengthy. Think, two minutes. Three tops. But for sure, follow the classic storytelling model: first, set the scene and introduce the players. Then, explain the conflict. Next, offer the resolution. Finally, explain the payoff…what’s the lesson or takeaway for the audience?

Sharing a story is really about sharing yourself. That level of vulnerability and honesty isn’t just good for your customer but also for you. Work is a grind, and everyone knows it. Be that person who tries to make it less of a grind by telling stories!

Tomorrow - June 25

Did your competitor have a good Q2?

Today - June 24

"I thought that buyer LOVED me."

Read More

June 22 - 23

Mindfulness/Self-care

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June 21

On this day, Jaws appeared in theaters

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"I’m obsessed with giving the audience something they don’t see coming." -Jordan Peele

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