"We're telling a story. And the demands of that are different from the demands of a documentary. The audience must believe in order to keep faith in the story."
We all love a great story. If you want to successfully sell your products, your vision, or your ideas, you must recognize the power and importance of storytelling.
You must become an expert in telling your own story! You do have a story and it deserves to be told.
Here lies the question, how well do you know your own story and how well are you sharing your story?
If you want to sell, you have to make people want to listen to you AND storytelling is a must have sales skill.
Reflect on this for a moment... Many of you tell stories just to tell them. However, when you start asking people why they listen to and then share, there's always a reason. It might be to encourage or inspire you to think differently.
Do you believe stories help you sell?
If we agree stories help you to sell then what makes up your sales story? Sit for a moment and self-reflect upon your sales story.
Why should you do this?
- People retain more through stories
- Stories appeal to our emotional side
- Stories create visualization
- Stories encourage action and inspire
So... if we're in agreement that stories sell...
- Is your story real, relevant and relatable?
- Is there a point to your story?
- What's the message behind your story?
PEOPLE BUY STORIES
Stories are all about people and the relationships between them. Is your sales story worth telling? Can it influence your clients and prospects in some way? Can it inspire them on a journey to better business?
Michael Margolis is one of the world's leading experts in Narrative Strategy. A 2x TEDx speaker. A strategic advisor to Silicon Valley's biggest brands.
- People don’t buy a product, service, or idea; they buy the story that’s attached to it.
- Storytelling is our most basic technology, turbocharged through 21st century innovation.
- Storytelling is like fortune-telling. The act of choosing a certain story determines the probability of the outcomes.
Stories are memorable, but more importantly are your stories tugging on the heartstrings? Let’s move our focus away from B2C or B2B. Let's realize that every business interaction is H2H, Human to Human and Heart to Heart.
MY HEART, MY BREAK THROUGH, MY STORY
Allow me to take you back to spring time 2007. I found myself amongst hundreds of middle school aged kids, my son being one of them, listening to someone pour their heart out as they shared their rags to riches story.
I didn't realize it but this event would trigger my a-ha moment. I love sales. I'm a sales nerd. I love everything about sales. So you all know, I was 20 years into my career inside what many call a crazy sales channel (I'm being nice), the copier channel.
MY A-HA MOMENT
Weeks later I found myself in a conference room. I was in yet another boring sales training with a bunch of unmotivated reps where management attempted to drill scripts into our heads urging us to regurgitate it back word for word. I know you get what I'm cooking up!
Sitting bored to death in the middle of this training, the lights came on. I realized that my best clients didn't really care that much about the specific brand of the product they used.
What they cared about was me:
- Was I trustworthy?
- Did they get the sense that I cared for them or was I reeking of commission breath?
- Did I seem like someone that could truly help them, not just an empty suit with a blank sales order?
- Would I be there for them to take care of issues?
I realized that the key to my success was not spitting out scripts but being authentic. It was about being me.
In fact, if you boil it all down, most of the corporate sales training you experience is people asking you to be fake. It's all about fitting into the corporate mould: say what we want you to say, act like someone you aren't, become a sales robot as you puke out corporate fodder.
Guess what? This old school crap just doesn't work. Sure, we need to know our product. I ask all of you to set this aside, our clients need to know we care about them and their business.
I needed to do SOMETHING different, otherwise I might just explode!
REMEMBERING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL MOMENT
Before my head exploded, I reflected back and replayed in my mind what I listened to weeks prior at my son's middle school. If someone in my community can go from drugs and gangs to becoming a multi-millionaire by the time they were 21 then what was preventing me from getting to the next level in my career? The answer... it was me. I was holding myself back.
I reached out to the individual who spoke at my son's middle school and asked if he would speak at my company. He obliged and I soon found myself again listening to his story.
Fascinated once more, I asked him if I could speak with him in my office. I didn't know it but it was at this moment, my life would forever change. I poured my heart out to him, became vulnerable and asked for help. I simply asked him, "Would you ever considering coaching me?"
A COACHING MARRIAGE
It was at the point I took my own money ($10,000) and hired my coach and everything changed.
- My coach showed me things that I couldn't see on my own. He exposed me to blind spots.
- He brought out the best in me.
- He challenged me to take action. He encouraged me.
- I was able to be vulnerable with him in ways I simply couldn't be with my manager.
What are you thinking right now?
What's holding you back?
Can you relate?
BECOMING THE BEST VERSION OF YOU
In my heart, I know I wouldn't be where I'm at today without becoming vulnerable with myself and allowing a coach to step into my life.
I encourage all of you to follow your dreams. Becoming the best version of you does matter. New opportunities sit right in front of you. I understand what you're going through. I've walked a day in the life in your sales shoes. I'm here to help.
"Every story you tell is your own story."
Once I accepted responsibility and it was up to me to make it happen. My coach helped me to uncover it was not all my fault. I became a product of my environment, the culture of my company was holding me back. New opportunities lie ahead.
We must set aside our fears, our egos and our bravado. I get it what you're thinking. I've been there.
What are you afraid of?
Let's face it, you live in a sales world where people don't trust you, they're skeptical of you and their B.S. radars are constantly on. I get what you may be thinking right now as your suspicious mind is thinking the same thing.
I overcame my suspicious mind by succumbing to vulnerability. I am asking you to get vulnerable. Get to know you. Become the best version you. I'm here to help.
I took a stance against poor, inconsistent training and support. I did something about it. I stood up to me. I said to myself, "enough is enough". I hired a coach and threw mental rocks at bad sales training.
I get it. Some of you understand what I'm sharing with you and some will understand but fail to do something about it. Failing to work on you and you're throwing away golden opportunities to catapult your sales career.
CARING: DO YOU CARE?
If you fail to take care of yourself then how can you take care of your clients?
If you take yourself for granted, sit back, become complacent, fail to continually educate yourself and build upon the relationship with you, you’ll lose you.
Today, your clients are asking so much more of you than they ever have before. They're holding you to a higher degree of accountability. If you fail to nourish yourself and continually bring value, I flat guarantee somebody else will eagerly step right in.
One of the best ways to ensure your clients feel valued and appreciated is to show them you care.
Caring for your clients is not that hard. It's looking them in eye and saying, "I'll be here for you at all times. I have your best interest at heart."
I care about you. I care about your success.
Having a coach who cared changed everything for me. I'd like to coach you to get to the next level in your sales career. I'm going to ask and encourage you to invest in yourself.
Thank you Ryan Blair. I love you! I wouldn't be where I'm at today without you doing what you did for me and stepping into my life.
I understand and I get it. I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I'm fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects through the eyes of a practitioner into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
I encourage you to find out more about Selling From The Heart.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.