Category Archives for Story Selling

Donald C. Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, podcast

TSE 1192: Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Donald C. Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, podcastThe time has come to bring some changes to The Sales Evangelist podcast. The TSE podcast has been around for six years and over time, we’ve been mentioned in a number of magazines including Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbes, HubSpot, and others.

This all goes back to you for sharing the content with your friends and for helping us grow over the years. The podcast continues to evolve to adapt to the needs of the industry. Starting this October, there will be a couple of changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast. 

Humble beginnings

The podcast has been around for a long time and it’s because of your support. We kept on going and pushing forward because we have the passion and drive for it. The TSE podcast started with two episodes a week: one 10-minute tip and one with a sales expert who’d give us advice. We then jumped to doing podcasts three days a week and later on, to five days a week. The team grew and the quality of content improved.

We started without getting paid but in time, opportunities and sponsorships came along.

The six years presented great chances to learn from the best in the podcast industry and I’ve had the privilege of emceeing the Podcast Movement, the world’s largest podcast gathering. I met many podcast leaders who are very successful in the podcast space. The interaction taught me to keep improving the quality of the content to differentiate from the stiff competition in the industry.

Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast 

The stats and community have spoken. The majority of listeners listen to two or three episodes a week, saying that they don’t have time and there are too many to keep up with all the episodes produced.

We have decided our episodes from five a week to three a week. Of the three episodes, two of them will be 30 minutes long and will include guests. The Wednesday episodes will be 10 minutes long and will be a little different. You can send in your questions, concerns, and challenges, and we will address them in the podcast. It is also a miniseries with a combo of interview, journalism, and storytelling. This will start in October and the first series is about the Accidental Seller and why 41%-43% of salespeople fell into sales. The next series will be about some of the most successful bestsellers in history and what made them so compelling.

The episodes will go live on Monday and Friday mornings at 2:30 AM EST.

Our friends from Australia can listen to the podcast after they get off of work. Our listeners in Europe can get access to it a little bit earlier. As for our great listeners from California, you can have your early morning grind while listening to our podcast.

The podcast will also have a new look starting this October.

We’re putting more focus on the storytelling aspect and research for our podcast. You can listen to the episodes on Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and iHeart.

The websites will also have some changes. It will be easier to receive a notification whenever a new episode loads. You can also opt-in to get emails and recaps of your favorite episodes.

In time, we’ll also dive into YouTube. We are planning on repurposing our content to put it on YouTube.

“Changes to The Sales Evangelist Podcast” episode resources

You’ll start seeing these changes starting this week. You’ve all helped us grow and we want to know your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Wanting to learn and hear more about sales? This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter.

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077.

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. One of the great books right now is Sales Management Simplified by Mike Wineberg, do give that a go.

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Kimberlee Slavik, Visnostics, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1141: The Fundamentals of Visnostic Selling

 

Kimberlee Slavik, Visnostics, The Sales EvangelistVisnostic selling translates your information from vendor-speak to client-speak, and sellers who understand the fundamentals of visnostic selling will change the way they think about sales. 

Kimberlee Slavik has been a top performer in sales for more than 20 years, and she recently released a book called Visnostic Selling. Her goal is to help sales and marketing professionals harness the power of neuroscience by translating vendor-speak into client-speak. 

Storytelling

Kimberlee always assumed her sales success resulted largely from dumb luck until she listened to Michael Bosworth’s latest book, What Great Salespeople Do. The book talks about storytelling and neuroscience and explains the chemical reactions that happen in the brain. Stories make the Bible the best-selling book of all time because they allow readers to visualize events.  

She was listening to the book while she was driving so she couldn’t highlight or make notes, but the content made sense to her. It was the first time she recognized the science behind her own success. 

Because her career selling complex intangibles requires her to qualify clients very well, she must be able to articulate what she can do for them. She hopes to help other people figure out the science that it took her so long to discover. 

Visnostics

Visnostics is a trademarked word that combines visualization and diagnostics. Instead of showing up to a demonstration with a bunch of slides or a brochure or a website full of words to say, visnostics teaches you to reword everything. Speak in the first-person as though the client was actually saying these things. When you do, it triggers a completely different response in the brain. The order of words also plays a tremendous role. 

This isn’t a questionnaire that asks questions on your way to helping you diagnose. Truthfully, no one looks forward to filling out surveys. Instead, provide a statement instead of a question and offer three different ways to respond:

  • “I can say this today.”
  • “I wish I could say this today.” 
  • “I don’t know.”

If your prospect chooses the first option, he must score himself on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning he has a long way to go and 5 meaning it’s perfect. 

They’re very engaged because they know they have to respond to what you’re saying. It allows you to sort of hijack the prospect’s brain because they have to concentrate to answer. It’s a powerful tool for sellers.

When you trigger chemicals in your client’s brain without him even realizing it, that’s powerful. The prospect wants to tell you his story because this is what the visnostic statement creates. Instead of the seller doing all the talking, this process prompts the client to share their stories.

Visnostic statements

The book teaches people to create a spreadsheet in which one column includes all of the seller’s visnostic statements, and the book also helps sellers understand how to create those powerful visnostic statements. Another column maps out each of the visnostic statements to a summarization of a statement of work. In other words, how you can turn a non-strength into a strength. 

Once the salesperson walks the client through the statements, they’ll have a sense of the things that the client is doing well, the areas with the biggest room for improvement, and areas that simply need tweaking. 

Within an hour or two, the seller can be confident and competent in front of their clients. 

Getting started

Kimberlee begins by asking sellers to visualize a dollar sign, a clock, and a toolbox. Those images represent results related to finances and timelines and there’s an associated impact. The first words will be “I’m going to save you $1 million in a month.” For an office furniture salesperson, the aerodynamic office furniture will create more comfortable employees who work harder and work longer. The seller will then establish visnostic statements according to segmentation. 

You can figure out your segmentation by talking to past clients who will tell you more than your marketing department ever could. Since they are actually using the furniture, they’ll help you flush out differentiation.

Change your approach

When you start thinking dollar sign, clock, and toolbox, revisit your own marketing message. Start at your own website and pick out all the words that represent results. Many people are disappointed to discover that they don’t have as many as they thought they did. It might trigger you to find results by talking to past clients to understand how working with you has impacted their lives. 

One real estate agent had recommendations that all sounded the same on his site. He had a long paragraph that took up half the page describing his work. Kimberlee had to dig to find results statements, but when she did, she put together this visnostic statement: 

“My realtor had a contract on all three of my homes in less than a week when all other realtors were averaging 100 days or more.”

The reader now knows that the person sharing the recommendation wasn’t just a lucky sell. The realtor sold three homes in less than a week. The statement also differentiated the realtor from his competition by specifying how long other realtors were taking to sell houses. 

This new way of thinking will change the way you view your marketing materials, your brochures, and your website. 

Working well

Most organizations are oblivious to the fact that marketing and sales don’t work well together. Her workshops require that marketing and sales sit in the same room together during the translation from features and functions into visnostic language. They move from vendor-speak to client-speak and it makes a world of difference. 

Anytime the two teams work together, it creates a powerful team-building exercise. When their efforts are aligned and they are in sync, magic happens. When they are out of alignment, sales suffer. 

Managers who are interested in this kind of training must do their homework first. Make sure you’ve bought into the program and that you understand it. Kimberlee invites readers to connect with her personally for what amounts to a free consultation. 

After the initial consultation, she invites organizations to put their very best presenter on the phone with her. She does a Zoom call to record the presentation so she can see the best presentation they have to offer. She then dissects and separates it to identify vendor-speak and client-speak. 

Kimberlee did this for a Fortune 20 company, and the result was 28 pages of transcript, and of those, only half a page amounted to information the client would like to have. Additionally, the graphics weren’t designed to help the audience retain the data being presented.

Painting a picture

Kimberlee worked with a realtor in the sale of her own house who used visnostics to generate interest. She wrote a description about a dock that the homeowners could visit at the end of a long day, and a kitchen island that was big enough for mom and dad to make lunches at while the kids sat down for breakfast. She described the kind of life people might live inside the house, and she got 7 offers on the first day. The house ultimately sold for more than $30,000 over asking price.

The realtor had people competing for the house, and she got three new listings with people who wanted to use the same approach to sell their own houses. 

“Fundamentals of Visnostic Selling” episode resources

Connect with Kimberlee on LinkedIn or Google the term visnostic. Listeners can email her at podcast@dynaexec.com to get something from Kimberlee, and then she’ll send the feedback to The Sales Evangelist so we can continue to help more people understand why podcasts are a valuable use of time. 

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, Presentation

TSE 1135: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Presenting In Person”

Donald Kelly, PresentationYour closing process will often require you to speak to a board or a group of people about your product or service, and you must provide value to your audience when presenting in person.

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program provides specific sections for prospecting, building value, and converting to a paying client, and we’ve designed the training to help sellers prepare for presentations and to train their teams to do the same. It’s designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills, find the right customers, adopt the right activities, ask the right questions, build strong value, and close more deals. 

Guessing game

Many situations demand that sellers meet with a team of individuals who will ask a variety of questions about the product or service. You’re wasting your time if you don’t understand the problems they need to solve or the challenges they are facing. It doesn’t make sense to play the guessing game during the limited time you have with this group of people. 

Once you understand the issue, you must also determine who the decision-makers and buyers are. You must understand the timeframe they are working against and their budget for the purchase. 

The company you’re pitching to will also bring in competitors who will pitch as well, but they aren’t your concern. 

Storytelling

John Livesay recently spoke about storytelling and the need to be memorable. It doesn’t matter who presents first or last, but rather who tells a better story. 

Consider having other team members attend the presentation with you and introduce themselves by telling an interesting story. Perhaps your CTO can share how his love of Legos® pushed him to create complex things and find solutions to problems. It inserts personality into the presentation. 

Tactical presentation

Make sure you know who will present information on the buyer’s behalf. Have someone from your organization research to determine who will attend.

If possible, learn what those people hope to discover from your presentation. Engage your champion, or the person you’ve been working with to this point, to find out whether you can introduce yourself prior to the presentation. When you do that, ask them what questions they’d like you to address in your presentation and then be prepared to address those specific topics. 

Once you understand who will attend and what information they’ll be seeking, you can build your presentation around those topics. 

Recruit help

If at all possible, take someone else to the presentation with you. Take several people if you can. Assemble a team of people from different departments. 

When you set up in the conference room, don’t divide yourself on opposite sides of the table. Use name cards for both groups to indicate where different people should sit. Also make sure you spell everyone’s names correctly. 

Intersperse the members of your group among the members of the company you’re pitching to. When you have breaks in the action, because the two teams are sitting together, they’ll be able to share conversation instead of squaring off like rival gangs. 

We recently used name cards for a presentation and they were a huge hit. The company was blown away by the preparation and the organization that went into the meeting. They assumed that if we were willing to invest that much preparation in a presentation like this, we’d certainly do it in our efforts to help them solve their problems. 

Control engagement

Develop slides that include imagery rather than a jumble of words. Tell a story about the problem your prospect is facing and how you can help solve it. Demonstrate your solution. 

Assign one member of your team to watch for reactions from the others in the room. Use him as a spotter. If he notices that someone is disengaged or fighting against sleep, he can signal that to you by interjecting or posing a question that will signal to you to adjust your direction. 

Have him watch for body language that indicates interest or to take note of those people who are jotting down things while you’re talking.

If, for example, the IT director takes lots of notes during the presentation, at the break I could suggest to the presenters that we talk a bit about IT and the most common questions we hear. 

Business case

Thank your champion in front of the entire group for making the presentation possible. Make her feel good in front of her colleagues. 

Then begin the work of building a business case for your prospect. Explain that you’ll answer the questions they submitted ahead of time and address the challenges you see based on the lessons you’ve learned. Describe how you’ve solved these problems for others and how you’ll translate that to this organization. 

Talk about how much the problem is likely costing the company and why they need to fix it. Explain how you’ll help, and do it all using stories. 

Virtual meetings

You can apply many of these same concepts to your virtual meetings as well. Although you can’t intersperse the participants, you can consider sending some treats that will arrive prior to the presentation. You can even send treats that somehow tie to the presentation you’ll be making, like Swedish Fish to make the case that you’re going to help them land bigger clients. 

Work to stand out from the pack by being unique and telling an amazing story. 

Action plan

When the meeting is complete, everyone in that room should leave feeling like they participated and like they were fulfilled by what happened. Then provide a specific action plan for what happens next. 

Present a few different options for ways to move forward. Give them time frames and explain the steps required to progress. 

I conduct presentations this way and they work well for me and for the people I’m presenting to. I want you to realize the same benefits in your own presentations.

“Presenting In Person” episode resources

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audio book, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

John Livesay, Audible, Story Telling,

TSE 1129: Sales From Street: “Better Selling Through Storytelling”

 

John Livesay, Audible, Story Telling,Instead of pushing your message out to your prospects in hopes that they’ll latch on, sellers can make their message magnetic and practice better selling through storytelling

John Livesay is known as the “pitch whisperer” because he helps people become compelling storytellers. Plato said stories rule the world, and it’s still true, except 2,600 years later, we have many distractions that he didn’t have. 

Push and pull

Pushing your message out to sell a product or service just doesn’t work anymore. The new technique is to pull people in with great stories. John’s work as a storyteller began at an ad agency where he was tasked with creating 30-second commercials for movies. He discovered the need to tell a concise story that made people want to see the movie. 

During a stint in Silicon Valley, he competed against IBM and other massive companies to sell technical products. He realized that if you confuse people, they say no. But you can pull people in by telling the story of what the technology does.

His work culminated in a career selling ads for Conde Nast magazine, where he had to bring to life the vision of a particular brand to a particular advertiser so they could see why their brand would resonate with the stories being told in the magazine.   

Self-esteem roller coaster

John points to the fact that sellers tend to feel good about themselves only when their numbers are up. When they’re down, self-esteem suffers. 

He recognized his sense that he had to constantly push information out, which was exhausting. Even worse, if you’re pushing and trying without getting anything in return, you end up feeling bad about the whole process. 

Campfires

The glow of PowerPoint has replaced the glow of campfires, and we often sit in meetings where someone reads to us from a slide. Don’t do that. Nobody wants to be read to. John suggests using a series of images from which you can tell a story. 

Stories work because of our right-brain, left-brain way of processing information. If you’re buying a car, when the seller shares how many miles-per-gallon it gets, you cross your arms and prepare to negotiate on price. But if you say, “Donald, let me tell you a story of someone like you who bought this car and how it changed his life,” you’ll pull the buyer into the story. 

People buy emotionally and then back their decision up with logic. 

Sellers who deal in Ferraris don’t talk about miles-per-gallon. They sell the emotion of driving a sexy car. People buy emotionally, and storytelling is the best way to tap into people’s emotions. 

If you tug at people’s heartstrings, they open their purse strings.  

Sales outreach

John recently worked with Honeywell on the sales of technical products that keep the air clean inside operating rooms. The team talked a lot about the technology and the specifications and how it was better than what the competition had to offer. 

The real story is what happens if the air isn’t clean in the operating room. The patient gets an infection and has to be readmitted for additional surgeries. 

Just about every seller has a case study or testimonial of some sort that can form the basis of a good story. 

Paint a picture

Some sellers use before-and-after pictures to sell their product or service, accompanied by a bunch of facts. There’s no emotion or story. 

A good story has exposition and it paints a picture of the work you did with a previous client. It marries the who, what, when, where, and why of a client with the problem you were solving. It demonstrates how much better life is for your client after he works with you.

But you are never the hero in the story. Tell your story so that the client can see himself in your story. It will make your closing very different because the client will want to take that journey with you. 

Tell a story with specifics, and be sure to include the drama that happened along the way. 

Presentations

Most sellers make the mistake of having too many words in their PowerPoint presentations and failing to think about what their opening will be. Thanking them for the opportunity to be there isn’t memorable because everyone does it. The fact that you’re excited isn’t what excites your clients.

Whether you’re pitching to fund a startup, to get hired, or to tell people why they want to work with you, use an opening that pulls people in. It’s the most important part of any presentation. 

Sellers often rely on ploys like presenting last in hopes that their presentation will be the most memorable, but the best story is going to get the sale. It doesn’t matter what order you present in. 

Sell yourself first, then sell your company, and then sell your product or service. Most people skip the first two. Tell a story about yourself, then about the company and its culture, and then how you help other people. 

Elements of a story

Don’t just tell the story of how you solved a problem for a client. Paint a picture of the resolution and what the client’s life looks like now. 

John recounted a client who was dropped into the Amazon jungle when he was 18 to survive for two weeks as a rite of passage. The entrepreneur shared the story of how his lessons in the Amazon jungle translated into the concrete jungle of entrepreneurship, and he got the funding he was looking for. His investors figured if he could survive in the Amazon, he’ll figure out how to survive here.

Make yourself memorable and connect emotionally with your prospects. It gives you a tool in your toolbox that you don’t normally have.

Three stories

Anytime you’re starting out with this concept, ask yourself these questions:

  • How am I going to sell myself? Why did I take this job? 
  • What’s the company story of origin?
  • What case study can I develop into a story that people will see themselves in?

Arthur Ash, tennis pro, said the key to success is confidence, and the key to confidence is preparation.

“Better Selling Through Storytelling” episode resources

Grab a copy of John’s book, Better Selling Through Storytelling. Text the word “pitch” to 66866 and John will send you a free chapter of the book that has a step-by-step process on moving from invisible to irresistible as a seller. 

You’re a savvy salesperson who wants to learn and grow. Check out audible for thousands of titles, plus a free 30-day trial, plus a free book. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

FSMSDC, Storytelling, Leadership

TSE 1098: Storytelling and Leadership

 

FSMSDC, Storytelling, LeadershipI often learn from entrepreneurs and I discovered a lot about storytelling and leadership recently during the Florida State Minority Development Council’s expo. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll hear from two of the entrepreneurs I met there.

The best leaders learn from past leaders, whether the leadership was good or bad. CJ Latimore and Gustavo Hermida work in two different industries, but the things they share here apply no matter what industry you’re selling in.

Urban development

CJ Latimore is a public art specialist who characterizes his work as “telling stories through architecture and urban development.” He says it’s about hanging on to cultural icons even after certain buildings have been torn down.

He boils it down to adding a soul to buildings. It’s one thing to have a building that’s structurally sound but CJ believes it’s vital to track the communities and demographics that existed in the building before it was torn down. Very often, when a building is torn down to make way for something new, the previous demographic is forgotten. So is their story.

Storytelling

CJ says it’s possible to tell a story without saying a single word, and he points to art as the mechanism.

We must bring people together more efficiently and create a sense of timelessness along the way. Begin by getting people to hear your story.

Sales reps often try to add value to the company without even knowing anything about you or developing rapport with you.

Business etiquette

Consider this situation from a business etiquette perspective. If you don’t know me and you don’t know what my story is about, how can you act to help me? How can you add value?

CJ’s mission is to build images to help people get what they want in a prestigious way. When he shares that with people, they often ask to hear more. And when you can get people to say they want to hear more, they’re ready for your story.

Survival thinking

He said his biggest challenge was lack of awareness. Because the human brain is hard-wired to think about food, shelter, and clothing, stories that don’t incorporate those ideas can get lost.

The answer, he said, is to be creative. Tell a story that will make people focus on something else even briefly.

In this case, many people don’t readily know what they can do with art. Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to them. They don’t go to shows or museums.

The trick is to incorporate your uniqueness and associate it with food, shelter, and clothing.

Survival and storytelling

Everyone has pain and the quickest way to get someone to listen to you is to provide a solution to help their pain go away. You’ll have their immediate attention because no one wants to be in pain.

If you can share a way to save money, save time, or educate your prospect about saving money or time, that’s what everyone wants.

People want more time with their family and more time for vacation. Your job is to stop people in their tracks with the solutions you offer.

People will remember you more if you’re unique and if there’s something about you that’s meaningful.

If it’s true that the brain has as many as 300 impulses per minute, you have to find a way to engage three or four of those with your story.

Other people telling your story

When you can get other people to tell your story for you, that’s an indication that you have a great story and that you’ve told your story well. People love to spread a good story.

Since the beginning of time, people have shared the greatest historical events through story.

Start with your story and turn it into a community story. Own your story. Compile multiple stories that work and make them your own. Make them exceptional. Give people the results that they need.

Company values

Gustavo Hermida said that his biggest struggle has always been aligning his company with the right people who will carry the company’s values forward. His goal is to find people with integrity who make a promise and then deliver on it. It’s important because people often distrust salespeople automatically.

But people are people, and buying people are people.

He has built a career on putting himself in other people’s shoes to understand what will help the other person feel comfortable making a decision or able to move a partnership forward.

Finding the right people

He expanded his search to include looking elsewhere for the right people. Although previous experience was a welcome factor, it wasn’t the main qualifier he was looking for.

He discovered that he preferred hiring the right person and then forming that person.

Company growth

Gustavo started the company with zero base and limited financial resources. Over the last two years, the company has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America.

He caters to small startup companies because when it comes to multifunction equipment, sometimes leasing companies won’t offer financing to companies until they’re fully established.

He helps those companies build their own credit, which has catapulted his company in terms of growth.

Gustavo advises being very careful about the people that are working for you. Ensure that they share your company values. Build a team of different ages and different backgrounds.

Motivation comes in many different forms, but find people who are self-motivated. Build a team you’re proud to work with.

“Storytelling and Leadership” episode resources

You can connect with CJ at www.myuniqueawards.com.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Chad Sanderson, Sales Email, Prospecting, Donald Kelly

TSE 1079: Sales From The Street – “Brief Compelling Stories In Sales Emails”

 

Many sellers understand the challenge of using emails to reach out to prospects, but Chad Sanderson tells us that using brief, compelling stories in sales emails can leave a memorable impression on a prospect who is inundated with noise.

Chad has worked as a marketer, seller, sales leader, and entrepreneur, so he understands the perspective of everyone listening to this podcast.

Email issues

Chad points out that most emails suck. We’re all connected to our devices and we’re constantly inundated with impressions through Facebook messages, videos, emails, LinkedIn requests, and even WhatsApp or Snapchat messages.

That doesn’t even include impressions you get while watching television.

The only way to effectively break through the noise is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Everything is moving at a ridiculously fast pace, so if you never slow down enough to truly consider the other person, you’ll probably fail to truly connect.

You must connect with people in a way that’s valuable from their perspective.

Onslaught

As if the crowded inboxes aren’t enough, it’s also true that many of the emails people send are just drudgery. Chad points to one company that has been pursuing him for several months, and as he mapped the cadence of the messages, he noted that the messages never included anything from his perspective until about email 14. The messages were always about the company.

He said it happens all the time because sellers don’t realize that approach doesn’t work.

And though he tries to be kind because he works in this world too, he sometimes has to unsubscribe because the messages aren’t valuable.

To make the idea simpler to understand, think about this in the context of your friends. Everybody has at least one friend that will not stop talking about themselves.

Even in a social setting, people will eventually move away from that person. It’s true in sales, too.

People business

We seem to assume that the rules are different in sales. We forget that we’re in the people business and that relationships matter in sales just as they do outside of work.

Sales has always been a discipline. It has always been tough. It has gotten tougher because now everyone can get to everyone else and everyone believes they have something important to say.

Slow down and take a deep breath. Think about your general target audience. Instead of thinking about Donald or Chad, think about reaching out to podcast hosts who focus on B2B revenue generation.

Then you’ll have a little bit of context. You still won’t know those people, but you’ll have a good place to start. But you have to be able to reach out to prospects at scale.

Personalization

Chad read a report last week about a company that ran a test of 7,000 emails, personalizing half of the emails to the challenges the person would face based upon their role. Think industry/company personalization rather than individual personalization.

They found that the open rates were four to five points higher on cold emails that were crafted to highlight challenges the receiver was facing.

Some people argue that isn’t personalization, but what we really need to do is understand the conext these people are working in and then show them something that will tap into their curiosity circuit.

The next level of personalization involves those who responded to the first round of communication.Instead of researching 100 people I only have to research the 10 who indicated interest in my product or service.

Stick to the rule of thumb that you’ll do 15 minutes of research on an industry, 10 minutes of research on a company, and 5 minutes of research on an individual. If you can stick to that and not be distracted by dog videos or Tiger winning the Masters, you’ll be able to effectively personalize your messaging.

Make them curious so that they’ll be waiting for the next email.

Telling stories

Chad related the story of a friend who went into a Men’s Warehouse to get a tux. Then he used the experience to reach out to the CEO of the company to highlight how his company could help fill in some of the organization’s gaps.

Using his own individual experience, he crafted an email that was still only six or seven sentences long so that it fit on a mobile screen.

In a B2C environment, share how that brand made you feel or how an individual made you feel. In a B2B environment, tell a story about how you’ve helped someone whose situation was similar to the person you’re targeting. Explain how you were able to help him turn his situation around and tell him about the results you were able to produce.

Tell him about the person who is like him.

Although you don’t know him yet, you know someone who is like him, so tell him that story.

If you want to understand story structure better, grab a copy of Creativity, Inc, a book about how Pixar creates stories for its movies.

Be human

Very few people can write an email the very first time that communicates well and fits neatly on one mobile screen. You’ll likely need multiple drafts to get it right.

Communicate to your audience that you’re paying attention to them and what they are dealing with. Acknowledge awards they won and acknowledge articles you’ve read about that address a problem they might be having.

Consider Barb Giamanco, who reached out to female chief marketing officers to recruit help with a project. She emailed each of them by acknowledging an award each had received.  Then she asked for their perspective on a project she was working on.

The emails indicated that she was paying attention to the CMOs’ careers. It acknowledged a problem that the CMOs might be having and a desire to address it. It wasn’t until the very end of the email that she even mentioned her own intentions.

Be authentic and genuine.

Realize, too, that once you get an email dialogue started, you have to have the skill set to keep it going.

Think about your prospects as human beings. Slow down and think about your target.

“Brief Compelling Stories In Sales Emails” episode resources

Check out Chad’s podcast B2B Revenue Executive Experience and you can find him on LinkedIn, but you must send a note with your connection request.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Training Course

TSE 1060: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Stories Are Everywhere”

Donald Kelly, Sales Training CourseStories pack a lot of power for sellers when used in the proper sales framework, and the good news is that stories are everywhere.

Today we’re sharing an excerpt from TSE Certified Sales Training Program that addresses how you can effectively use stories in your own sales.

Utilizing stories

Stories have existed since the dawn of time. Early cave drawings told stories of cavemen hunting, and those stories have been passed down.

It’s true of cultures and of the Bible. Stories paint a picture for us.

Stories exist in movies, songs, social media, and books. It all points to the fact that we love stories. Society loves stories because that’s how we make sense of the world.

Imagine you’re meeting with a prospect for the first time. Instead of talking about your widget and your certification, which could be boring, share a compelling reason for your prospect to do business with you.

Instead, share a problem and a solution to help me understand.

Story structure

Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning explains the problem so that the prospect can understand it and it introduces characters.

The second part is the build or the escalation of the problem, where it seems that all is lost.

The third part is the breakthrough. It’s the payoff or the climax. It’s where everyone lives happily ever after.

Using stories effectively

It’s important to understand when to use stories.

Use them to reinforce a point or to help them understand the importance of your product or service. In the case of CRM, imagine a client who has been using Excel for years and he doesn’t understand the importance of upgrading to a better CRM.

You can begin by explaining that you understand why he is hesitant to invest in something that he might not actually need.

Then tell a story of another client who successfully used Excel as her CRM for years. The problem emerged when she hired a sales rep who wasn’t as familiar with the process as she was.

The sales rep failed to log some of his contacts, and they didn’t follow up on the lead. The potential client chose another provider because the company didn’t remember to follow up. In this case, it cost them $5,000.

If this happens multiple times a month, how much will it cost you?

We gave this client an opportunity to test our CRM for 30 days, and the company doubled its earnings as a result. The ability to log calls automatically and schedule appointments easily changed the company’s output.

Context

Consider using a free trial, too, to make the transaction less overwhelming.

Don’t make yourself the hero of the story. Craft the story so that your prospect is the hero because he tried the new CRM and it made a huge difference for his organization.

Apply these ideas and let me know how they worked. If you already knew them, stay with it.

“Stories Are Everywhere” episode resources

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Story Telling, Donald Kelly, Sales Training

TSE 1035: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Story Selling”

Story Telling, Donald Kelly, Sales TrainingStories provide a powerful opportunity to connect with your prospects, and story selling can push you across the line and even make you more successful than the competition.

They can even help you overcome a less superior product because people respond to good stories.

Stories as a lifeline

Good stories can separate you from your competition.

I’m putting together a workshop right designed to help business owners understand the power of stories in the selling process. Many of them are trying to land big contracts without great stories.

I call this process edutaining, and it differentiates those who do it well. After all, anyone can talk about their product or service. Not everyone can explain how it solve problems for clients. Not everyone can give specific examples of the difference their product or service made.

Your prospect wants to hear why it matters. He doesn’t care about your software or widget; he cares about what it can do for him.

Focus on “why”

I’m helping a client build a huge presentation for a corporation her company has done business with in the past. She’ll be educating these buyers about her company and its offerings. As she prepares, she’s trying to determine what exactly she should say.

We’re working to provide the “whys” of her company instead of focusing on the “what.” Rather than address what they do, what they offer, and what they can create, she’ll focus on why they’ve done those things.

  • Why did you start the company?
  • What makes you passionate about solving this issue?
  • Why do clients seek your products?

When she told me the story of why she started the company, she came to life and her excitement pulled me in. She told me about her first client and the series of events that launched the whole company, and she pulled me in.

It didn’t matter to me that she had been in business for 15 years.

The buyers

Think about your buyers.

Spend time thinking of examples of the ways you help your customers solve problems. Ask yourself what your buyers are most concerned about.

Think back to an experience when you helped a client solve an important problem or prevent a crisis for their own customers. Then, weave that into your presentation.

In the case of this client, her company had suffered a bad experience because of a product delay, and she was concerned about how to handle the situation. To take the fear out of the incident, she decided to tell a story that directly addressed it.

She acknowledged that her organization isn’t perfect, and then she addressed how they had fixed the mistakes that happened in the past. She emphasized her company’s desire to never make the same mistake twice.

“Story Selling” episode resources

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program addresses how to provide value to your buyers. We discuss the importance of teaching and educating them using stories, and you can be part of it.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Story Selling, Prospect.io, Maximizer, Story

TSE 930: TSE Hustler’s League-“Storytelling Questions”

Story Selling, Prospect.io, Maximizer, Story

 

 

 

 

 

It’s tempting to think that when a lead contacts us first, the transaction should be pretty simple. We’ll ask about the company; about the challenges the company is facing; we’ll try to determine how we can help. But what happens when the conversation goes nowhere? You must make sure you’re asking storytelling questions.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we’ll address the questions you’re asking of your leads and discuss how storytelling questions will help him tell his story.

Maximize leads

Even when people land on your website looking for information, they may be a little shy about opening up. They may not immediately volunteer to share the problems they are facing.

So what do you do? How do you qualify the lead to determine whether you can help?

You have to begin by learning about the lead, and the best way to learn about your leads is through their stories.

Storytelling

I recently had Paul Smith on the podcast, author of Sell With A Story, and he talked about capturing attention, building trust, and closing a sale. He talked about the importance of stories.

We know that stories date back eons, and we’ve done countless episodes in the past about how you can improve your storytelling skills. What we haven’t addressed often is the fact that stories can help your buyer reveal important information to you.

When you need to understand his business and his challenges, you can do that by having him tell you a story.

In his book, Paul outlined 5 ways to get your buyers to open up:

1. Listen

Don’t be afraid of silence. Fight the urge to break the ice. Give your buyer time to process the decision.

Once you have rapport and relationship with a prospect, it’s ok to give him time to consider all sides of an issue.

Silence can be very powerful for both seller and buyer.

2. Ask

Ask the question that requires story. Use open-ended questions.

“When did you know you had a real problem on your hands?”

Unlike the question, “What is your biggest challenge,” this question prompts prospects to tell a story. When they do, they’ll include other characters, other situations, and specific instances that led to this moment.

Stories reveal a lot of information. They require people to recall a time something went wrong and identify all the problems that occurred.

That will help you identify true issues that will help you frame a demonstration or present a solution in a way that will help your prospect.

3. Research

Find out the prospect’s current role. Research on LinkedIn to discover what his position is and use that to build rapport.

Again, ask a question that prompts a story.

“How did you end up in your current role?”

You can bring up something you saw on the prospect’s LinkedIn and initiate a conversation. Ask the prospect to tell you about something you saw on the page, and it will lead to specific conversation and stories.

4. Meet

Consider having the prospect meet you somewhere outside of work. Go to lunch or dinner, or meet at a trade show event.

Get the prospect away from the office mindset and ask him to tell you a story.

In this setting, he won’t be thinking about his role in the company. He’s outside, and that allows him to share more freely.

Don’t use it as a fishing expedition. Do this with customers who have already expressed interest in the product or service you’re selling.

5. Share

Share your own story first.

Tell about a challenging situation you overcame. It may prompt him to share a similar experience he had.

Seed the story. If you sell office furniture, share your own story about office furniture to encourage him to share a challenge he has struggled with.

“Storytelling Questions” episode resources

Check out Paul Smith’s book Sell With A Story for more information about using stories to sell well.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Video Jungle, Arty Goldstein, Donald Kelly, Animus Studios

TSE 929: Sales From The Street: “How We Increase Sales By Helping Clients Tell THEIR Story”

Sales From The Street, The Sales Evangelist, Arty GoldWhen you tell stories, you capture the attention of the buyer and you build relationships. You also stand out from the competition, who isn’t using stories to grab the buyer’s attention. The key to marketing is helping clients tell their story.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, Arty Gold from Animus studios talks about the importance of story and tells how Animus Studios increase sales by helping clients tell their story.

Animus Studios is part of the Sales Podcast Network, and their podcast, Video Jungle, helps organizations learn to use video to impact their buyers. Arty calls himself a facilitator of ideas, and Animus studios is encouraging people to “find their fascinating.”

Consider the story

Arty doesn’t believe that the challenge today is a lack of video; he believes it’s a lack of compelling video. More than just point and press record, he believes the focus should be on really telling a story.

Consider what the story is and get to the heart of the matter.

Branded video associates your company, and your mission, to a story that makes people want to work with you and your company.

The big companies in the world had the advantage of launching at a different time when they were in control of their own destinies. They used to be able to just put a product in front of someone and people would buy it because it was the best.

Now there’s so much competition that companies have to understand who their audiences are.

Commercials don’t even necessarily have to show the product anymore. They can tell a great story with a logo at the end.

Representing yourself

Everyone is a salesperson. You sell yourself and you sell your company as part of the culture. You’re always representing something.

That’s salesmanship, but it can get lost in the translation a little bit because people always say they aren’t good at sales. If you have a job, you must have sold yourself well in order to get it. That doesn’t mean you did all the sales steps, but it means that you know how to sell yourself.

It’s not enough to be only a salesperson, because it’s not enough to simply sell a widget. People are drawn to the human factor and they want to work with people.

What you really want to do is build relationships because if you strip away all the product, you should always be able to go back to your network and connect with those people. If you change careers, for example, will those people go with you?

Helping others

Animus Studios isn’t selling a tangible item. They sell ideas.

It’s a challenge to show value when clients can’t see or touch what you’re selling, so the ideas and creative passion are what differentiate you from your competitors.

“Find your fascinating,” means that Animus gets to know the client first. They help clients find the story that they sometimes miss because they are so enveloped in their own marketing.

Making mistakes

People fear being the one who makes a mistake. They fear being demoted or losing a job.

Companies have been doing things the same way for years, so why change? They are often afraid of change, and they don’t understand that they can diversify and be flexible and try a variety of things.

It’s not about being afraid to try something new; it’s about being able to be flexible and test a new idea. If it doesn’t work, you can adjust quickly.

You have to report on yourself better than everyone else. We all report things the way we see them, but companies who learn to provide content to their customers are able to control their own stories.

Small changes

Companies can make small, even singular changes, that differentiate themselves from the competition. Sometimes they are simply afraid to do it.

That’s why “Find Your Fascinating” works: because it’s helping companies figure out what makes them different.

The industry will always be pushed by the written word because communication will always be important. But the way the world is going now, we have to be able to reach people quickly.

We can put a video together today and by tomorrow it can be seen all over the world. The younger sales generation has always had these tools and they can help them do their sales jobs better.

Don’t be afraid to be creative. It’s a differentiator.

Video has equalized people. If you’re the biggest jewelry company in the world, you’re facing the same challenges that the smallest companies are facing.

“Helping Clients Tell THEIR Story” episode resources

You can find Arty at the Video Jungle Podcast, where you can listen to episodes and see some of their links. Animus combines film and video and what it means to the marketing and salespeople in the world. Find Video Jungle on iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video, which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Mike Adams, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Stories

TSE 888: Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell

Mike AdamsStories validate the work you’re doing. They build value. And really good salespeople never stop telling stories. Mike Adams, author of the book Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell, explains that stories forge connections between people who don’t know each other and they help to establish rapport.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Mike Adams outlines the seven stories every salesperson must tell, and how to tell the right story at the right time.

Mike’s journey originated in his desire to help salespeople learn to say the right thing, and his desire to understand what it’s like to sell in different industries.

He discovered that salespeople needed to know how to tell stories, and they needed to practice them before they got in front of the client. Finally, they needed to understand when to use each kind of story.

Hook the customer

These stories help your client understand who you are, and they position you as an authority who can be trusted.

1. Your personal story explains why you do what you do, how you became an authority in your industry, and why the buyer should like you. Tell a 1-2 minute story about yourself and then invite your client to do the same.

This story won’t be used for the first phone conversation. Instead, save it for the first meeting. Avoid bragging, but emphasize that you have experience and you know what you’re doing.

2. The key staff story introduces people in your organization who are critical to the sales process. Who are the people your client will need to know and trust as he goes through this process?

If, for example, you frequently pair with a tech expert to explain your product, tell a narrative story about how she got her experience. This creates a connection.

3. Tell the company story to help your client understand what sets your company apart. Most companies focus entirely on facts and accomplishments, but this should be a narrative.

You don’t know what your client knows about your company or division. This is your chance to influence what he knows.

Fight to win

You’ve hooked the customer with your connection stories, but now the fight begins to keep him on board. Why should he choose your company instead of someone else’s?

4. The success story tells about a client who overcame a big problem. It’s the classic marketing case study: a client found himself in a bad situation, our company offered a plan to address the bad situation, and the client overcame the bad situation and succeeded.

Your client will identify with the story if it’s about someone like him. Tell the story of the hero’s journey.

5. The insight story can be tricky because you’re suggesting that you know something about the client’s business that she doesn’t know, and that can sound arrogant. Instead of telling your client what you know, share the story of how you discovered your insight.

Presenting insight as fact that you know invites pushback.

Land the deal

These stories help you finalize the decision process by reassuring your customer why your company is the best choice.

6. Your value stories explain to the customer how your company will behave in a variety of situations. Tell stories of a time when something went wrong, and how your company addressed the challenge.

These stories will be based upon your company’s specific abilities. Hotels, for example, might tell the story of an employee who drove to the airport to deliver a customer’s wallet to her.

7. Teaching stories help you when your client sponsor is in a hole. You must teach your sponsors to be persuasive so that when the decision meeting isn’t going well, they’ll know how to proceed.

You must teach your clients how to buy by teaching them what to value about your services. Then you must teach your clients how to sell in order to get the deal done.

Stories help clients understand and trust us but we must not abuse that power. Stories are meant to be shared, so make sure you hear the client’s stories in addition to telling your own.

“Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell” episode resources

Grab a copy of Mike’s book, full of links to online training about storytelling.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here. We also have a free SlideShare available to help you become a sales leader rather than a subservient seller.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

We have a new semester beginning in the fall and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Also check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Clarence Butts, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Story Mapping, Use Data to Tell Your Story

TSE 839: Sales From The Street-“Use The Data…Tell a Story”

Clarence Butts, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Story Mapping

 

 

You have a story to tell: a history of your sales performance and your successes; a list of solutions you’ve provided to your customers; the lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career. You may not realize it, but you can use data to tell your story.

Today on Sales From The Street, we talk with Clarence Butts about the role data can play in your sales process.

Find decision-makers

One of Clarence’s biggest challenges in 25 years of sales has been locating the people who can make decisions and finding the project managers he can establish relationships with.

Somewhere along the way, he discovered that putting the information he had into a map helped him have a visual representation of where those opportunities were. It helped him determine where to invest his time, his energy, and his effort.

He discovered that once you know where they are, you can concentrate your time and effort into building relationships and developing contacts.

In his current territory, for example, he knows who the project managers are, and they know him. So even if they move from one project to another, they understand what he has to offer. They maintain relationships with him even as they transition to other projects.

Motivate yourself

Lots of companies will give you time at the front end of a new role to establish relationships and build networks. After that, you’re on your own.

That kind of pressure motivates some people, and frustrates others.

For Clarence, his initial motivation comes stems from the things he hopes to do with his family. He enjoys the fruits of being able to travel with his family. That motivates him to get out of bed every day.

His other motivation is chasing his competitors.

Finally, when he is able to enjoy the fruit of his work, that energizes him to keep working.

Use data to tell your story

As different locations scramble to attract Amazon’s next headquarters, many of them have used data to sell their regions. They use Story Maps, statistics, and other data to convince Amazon to choose their city.

Digital Territory wants to make the same capability available to the average salesperson. They’re seeking to bring the cost of the technology within reach of the individual sales rep so he can use data as part of his sales process.

Episode resources

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happenfrom our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m so convinced of its message that I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out.

Emailme for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

 

David Hooker, Prezi, Story Telling, The Sales Evangelist Podcas

TSE 816: Don’t Bore Your Prospects to Death!

David Hooker, Prezi, Story Telling, The Sales Evangelist Podcas

The battle for your audience’s attention is fierce, so you must ensure you don’t bore your prospects. Storytelling is the key to interesting presentations. The good news is that you’re already a storyteller.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, David Hooker of Prezi explains how to keep your prospects interested and provide the information they need to make decisions.

8 seconds

Some suggest that our attention spans are only 8 seconds at best, but it simply isn’t true. Ever binge watch an entire season of a show in one sitting?

More accurately, there is more competition for our attention. The immediacy and availability of information gives us a subconscious desire to never be bored. People can check Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other platform at will.

Storytelling prevents boredom during your presentations.

The truth is that your prospects know what you’re coming to tell them. They’ve looked you up. They’ve read about your product. They know 85 percent of what they need to know to make a decision.

The good news is that they’ve invited you in, which should be encouraging. The bad news is that you don’t know where the gaps in their knowledge are.

Conversations, not pitches

You’re selling a product your competitor sells. You might have a slight advantage at some point, but it likely won’t last long.

People buy things because of relationships. They’ll decide that “Vendor B was attentive, courteous, punctual. If something doesn’t work right, Vendor B will likely be there for me.”

Conversations help you built those relationships. Storytelling helps you keep your prospect engaged.

You can practice your storytelling skills every day when your family asks about your day. Talk about your day in a way that engages their attention.

Check their facial expressions:

  • Are they engaged?
  • Am I talking too much?
  • What is their body language telling me?

The great thing about practicing on your family is that they’ll tend to be honest.

When it comes to sales, you’ll end up telling the same story again and again, so you can workshop it.

  • If I add a detail does it get a laugh?
  • Does this fact help my customer understand better?

Always work on developing your story so you don’t bore your prospect.

Visuals complement

If you ask your prospect to list the appliances in his kitchen, he won’t visualize a list of appliances written with bullet points in Comic Sans. He’ll visualize his kitchen in order to list them.

Prezi allows you to arrange your content in a way that makes sense. It allows you to navigate the way you need to.

If you have a prospect who only needs information about pricing, Prezi allows you to segment your content so that you can go straight to the content you need. Your prospect will appreciate that you skipped the information that wasn’t relevant to him.

Prezi requires a little bit more time than other presentation programs, but it will help you keep your audience engaged so you don’t bore your prospects.

Episode resources

You can connect with David on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Find Prezi at www.prezi.com, and get to know Prezi’s YouTube channel for tutorials that will help you make the most of Prezi.

Finally, check out The Narrative, a podcast dedicated to helping professionals craft better business stories.

If you’ve enjoyed this content, subscribe to The Sales Evangelist so you don’t miss a single episode. Tell your colleagues about the podcast, and consider leaving a review for us wherever you consume the content so that other sales professionals can find us as well.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Sales Story, Sales Leader, Donald Kelly, Paul Smith

TSE 498: Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale

Sales Story, Sales Leader, Donald Kelly, Paul SmithSell with a Story. Paul Smith is going to share with us a load of insights into how you can improve your storytelling so you can improve your sales.

Paul teaches the art and science of storytelling to leadership groups and sales teams. He helps people dive deeper into how they can craft their own stories to be much more effective.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Paul:

Paul’s impetus behind writing a book about storytelling:

  • Storytelling has not been thoroughly explored in terms of sales technique
  • Keep using whatever process you’re using but storytelling is something you can add to your skill set and your current process
  • Adding stories to your sales process and skill set can help you achieve more success

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What is a sales story?

A story is a narrative about something that happened to somebody. A story has the following elements:

  • Time
  • Place
  • Main character
  • The goal of the main character
  • Someone or something getting in the way of that goal
  • Resolution
  • Events happening along the way

How to use a story effectively:

Don’t replace your sales pitch with a story; instead, add a story to your sales pitch.

Types of stories you can tell and add to your sales process:

  1. Value-adding story

It literally adds value to the product or service you’re selling and it makes it more valuable to your prospects. It creates an experience for your customers.

  1. Why I do what I do

This helps in the rapport-building part. Help the buyer understand why you’re even in the business you’re in.

  1. Founding of your company

Nobody ever started a company for a boring reason.

  1. How you’re different from your competitor
  2. Story about your product’s invention or discovery
  3. Explaining the problem

This is a story about the quintessential problem that your product or service is designed to solve that your buyer can relate with.

  1. Stories we tell ourselves

People that heard or told themselves stories about the benefits of what they’re doing for the customers did much better at sales than the ones that told people stories about themselves or didn’t tell stories at all.

  1. Stories you tell other salespeople in your company help them learn from your lessons
  2. Personal motivation story
  3. Stories to help people relax and take the stress off of a call

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How to make clients tell their story:

  1. Shut up and listen

We tend to hate silence in conversations so we quickly fill it up with our own voice. Just be quiet for a moment and the other person will feel awkward that they’ll start to open up and share something.

  1. Ask open-ended questions about specific moments in time

“Tell me about the moment that you realized your biggest problem was your biggest problem.” Help them give you a specific kind of problem by asking a specific type of open-ended question.

  1. Find something in common

Look around the buyer’s office and find something personal to comment on or find something in common to elicit a story.

  1. You tell the story first

Tell the kind of story you want to hear and your buyer will reciprocate with a similar story.

Telling stories with data: The discovery journey story

  • Turn your ideas into their ideas. People are more passionate about pursuing their idea.
  • Tell the story about you and the analysis process you went through right up to the moment you had your brilliant idea and conclusion.
  • Stop and let them have that aha moment themselves.
  • Your idea becomes their idea because you let them have that aha moment themselves.

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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Paul’s Major Takeaway:

Storytelling is a skill you can learn. You just have to study. Read a book on it. Take a class on it. Learn the skill and then put it to use.

Episode Resources:

Sell with a Story by Paul Smith

Connect with Paul Smith on www.LeadWithAStory.com and find his books and podcast.

List of 25 types of sales stories: http://leadwithastory.com/category/podcasts/sell-with-a-story-series/

Create electronic proposals to your prospects quickly through PandaDoc. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. Add videos or graphs that cater to their needs. Take advantage of their analytics. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

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