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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: July, 2022

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Jul 27, 2022
Why is emotional context an important aspect of a story? A prospect needs to feel like they identify with a character in your story. If they’re able to see themselves in the context of the story, it can deepen their investment in your conversation. So how do you craft stories that are compelling, where a buyer can feel emotionally invested? Dan Seidman shares his strategy in this episode of Sales Reinvented. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] Create emotional context for the buyer
  • [2:35] Dan’s two models for storytelling
  • [5:10] What makes salespeople great storytellers?
  • [6:28] Two books that Dan recommends
  • [7:26] Dan’s storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [10:25] First impressions are everything
  • [12:56] Dan’s “confession sessions”

Create emotional context for the buyer

When you share a story, you create an emotional context for the buyer. But if you can get buyers to go into the story, it deepens their emotional investment in the conversation. Dan was on a ride-along with a BCBS sales rep. They were talking to an owner and he asked, “What if you don’t switch insurance programs? What if you stay where you are?” 

The owner got angry and said, “My son chipped a tooth in an accident and they haven't paid for it because the dentist recommended an orthopedist take care of his fractured jaw. The insurance company rejected the claim because it was a dentist that recommended an orthopedic procedure.” He emphasizes that they were switching no matter what. His story helped them understand the emotional context behind the buying decision. 

Dan’s two models for storytelling

One model that Dan likes to use is “PET.” A story must be personalemotional, and teachable. Another framework that’s great for written communication is “PWS.” You have a problem, you worsen it, then you offer a solution

Inside these two models, you want to create a role in the story that the buyer can identify with by building emotional context. When Dan trains people on storytelling, he shares a story about his daughter. In the scenario, his daughter is at McDonald’s playing in the kids’ area. A girl became quite upset because his daughter bumped her on the slide. The parents watched on the sideline to see what happened. The little girl spit in his daughter’s face

Dan then asks everyone in the audience, “What’s your teaching moment from this story?” Everyone—based on the role they identify with—tells a different teaching moment. Someone might say he was a bad parent because he didn’t intervene. Another person might say that the other parents were poor because they didn’t make their daughter apologize. There are ways to get people to identify with the characters, which deepens the experience. 

Dan’s storytelling dos and don’ts

Dan shares some savvy storytelling advice: 

  • You need to make your stories sound like they’re spontaneous so the conversation is a back-and-forth. Don’t just fire it off like you have the story prepared. 
  • Account for the professional and personal impact of the decision at hand. When you share a story, their professional and personal circumstances may impact their choice. If Dan is talking to a buyer and asks how their reputation and decision-making might impact their choices, they think about their role, who they get reviewed by, and where they want to be aligned when they make a decision. 
  • Account for both the benefits people would obtain and the problems they would solve with your product or service. Most people have a problem-solving mentality or they’re motivated by benefits/good things. You have to speak to both types.
  • Make sure when you share stories that they’re things you’ve had experience with or something you solidly believe in. You already have proof someone should buy from you because you can share reasons why other people said, “yes.” Tell them the consequences of success. 

First impressions are everything

Dan spoke with two salespeople who were on a sales call in Florida. It was a hot day. They had bought some slushies and sat in their car waiting for their appointment. One man looked over at his partner to see that his lips, teeth, and tongue were flaming red. He looked at himself in the mirror to see that his teeth were green

They walked into the building and people laughed at them as they walked through the lobby because they looked like circus clowns. But they had to keep their appointment. They were led into the president’s office, where they obviously weren’t taken seriously. 

First impressions are critical; they can kill your opportunity or create a great one. How do you bail yourself out of a mistake? You could use self-deprecating humor. Or, they could’ve brought in a Slurpee for the president of the company to mitigate the embarrassment. 

Dan shares a hilarious bonus story in this episode—don’t miss it. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dan Seidman

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
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Jul 20, 2022
Gideon For-mukwai grew up in central Africa, in a culture steeped with storytelling and folklore. Most of his education was conducted through the medium of story. Some people have a flair for storytelling, a rare gift for the craft. But if you aren’t inherently skilled at storytelling, he believes you can learn the skill. It all comes down to crafting stories with episodic moments that live in someone’s memories. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to learn his secret!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:20] Why stories are an ASSET
  • [3:39] Can you become a gifted storyteller?
  • [4:58] The 3 elements of storytelling
  • [8:09] An episodic moment leads to action
  • [9:45] Resources Gideon recommends
  • [12:01] Gideon’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [14:49] The right story changes hearts and minds

Stories are an ASSET

Stories are an invisible asset that should have a strong purpose:

  • A: A story allows you to get attention from those around you. 
  • S: They stimulate interest and curiosity. 
  • S: Stories sow seeds of wisdom, seeds of persuasion, etc. in the minds of our audiences. 
  • E: Stories should “emogetate,” a word of Gideon’s creation. Stories allow us to emotionally engageeducate, and entertain.
  • T: Stories build trust one person at a time, one idea at a time, and one experience at a time. 

So how do you craft stories so that they are an asset? By using the 3 elements of storytelling.

The 3 elements of storytelling

Gideon believes a story that sells consists of 3 elements: 

  1. The here and the now: This is an identifiable place between the teller and the listener. 
  2. The down and out: This is an area or place where the teller transports the listener to create tension. It’s a place where a listener thinks they could fall into a deep dark hole. The question is, how do they get out? 
  3. The future or the aspiration: Where do they want to go?

For a story to be persuasive in a sales environment, it has to be able to convey relatability. The teller must come across as someone who’s been there and faced the challenges they’ve faced. 

Secondly, the “down and out” scenario has to be realistic enough that the listener is thinking they could be in that situation. It needs to be an episodic moment that lives in their memory when they think of your story. They need to think about what they would do to get out of that situation. 

What future aspirations do they want? It must be a hopeful place where everyone wants to be. 

Great storytellers create episodic moments

A great storyteller needs to be relatable. The story needs to make you credible. They need to believe in you enough to pull out their wallet, after all. The person must be memorable. You need to create an episodic moment that your listener feels strongly about, so real that they feel that they were there. If they don’t feel that moment, they won’t remember you and they certainly won’t share your story with others. An episodic moment leads to action. 

Gideon’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts

  • Don’t announce a story, especially if you’re speaking to adults. Embed it and dive right in.
  • Don’t be the hero of the story. Make it someone else.
  • Don’t tell a story without a gift—a meaning that they can glean from it by the end.
  • Add in elements of episodic moments: moments when someone can feel like they were observing every detail—colors, smells, sights, sounds, etc. 
  • Add in obstacles and challenges to make the story interesting, engaging, and worth listening to.
  • Plan for surprises. Don’t let a story end without something surprising. Without novelty, a story is bland. If it’s bland, the amygdala tunes out and your story will compel nothing.

For more storytelling tips and strategies from Gideon, listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Gideon For-mukwai

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
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Jul 13, 2022
People buy emotionally and back it up with logic. Facts and figures are quickly forgotten. But a story makes you memorable. John Livesay jokes that you have to tug at people’s heartstrings to open the purse strings. To do that, you have to tell a compelling story. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, John shares more about the 4 elements of a compelling story: The exposition, problem, solution, and resolution. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] Heartstrings open the purse strings
  • [1:30] The 4 elements of a compelling story
  • [4:34] Characteristics of a great storyteller 
  • [5:21] Resources to improve storytelling
  • [5:57] Top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [7:19] The exposition, problem, solution, and resolution
  • [10:15] How to tell a concise and compelling story

The 4 elements of a compelling story

John notes that a compelling story that sells must consist of four elements: 
  • The exposition: You paint a detailed picture of who, what, when, where, and why
  • The problem: Prospects need to feel like you have an understanding of what they’re experiencing emotionally
  • The solution: Share how your product or service solved a problem
  • The resolution: What is someone’s life like after they’ve hired you or purchased your product? 

The old way of selling something was, “This makes surgeries 30% faster. Do you want one?” Now, John will create a case story: 

“Imagine how happy this doctor was when he could update his patient’s family in the waiting room an hour earlier than expected because he used our equipment? If you've ever waited for someone you love to come out of surgery, you know every minute feels like an hour…” Another doctor can see themself in that story and recognize the need for the medical device. 

To describe someone’s problem, you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. When you are empathetic, you become a great storyteller. Your brain becomes a playlist of stories ready to go at the right time with the right person.

How to tell clear, concise, and compelling stories

Make your story clear, concise, and compelling. If you don’t, you’re confusing people. A confused mind says, “no.” And if you aren’t concise, no one can remember your story or repeat it. Without an emotionally compelling story, people won’t care. They’ll be bored. 

But how do you craft a concise and compelling story? John shares an easy process to follow:

  • Write down everything you know about a story/situation
  • Edit the story down until it’s clear and concise
  • Practice it and get feedback from peers to further refine the story

Remember that every word must earn a spot in your story. If you follow those steps, you should have a clear, concise, and compelling story. Another tip? Tell your story in the present tense so the listener feels like they’re eavesdropping on a story that’s happening in real-time. 

The exposition, problem, solution, and resolution

A medical company was selling a 4k resolution monitor. When John came into the picture, they were talking about things like “pixels” in their sales pitch and no one was getting emotionally involved. So he crafted a case story: 

6 months ago, Dr. Peterson—at a rural hospital in MN not exactly known for cutting-edge technology—decided to test the 4k resolution monitor. Brad, the sales rep, was in the operating room in case the doctor had any questions. The patient was overweight, which put him at risk during the surgery. Because of that, the doctor hit a bleeder. 

To the naked eye, it was a sea of red. How was the doctor going to find the source of the bleed in time to save the patient’s life? The doctor calmly looked at the monitor, which showed what the naked eye couldn’t see: subtle color changes between oxygenated blood and non-oxygenated blood. This allowed him to find the source of the bleed and save the patient’s life. 

The doctor turned to the rep and said, “You know, Brad, as a doctor, I don’t always need a monitor like this. But boy, when I need it, I need it.” That story brings tears to people’s eyes. Doctors want that equipment because they don’t want to be caught in a situation without that tool. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with John Livesay

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
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Jul 6, 2022
Listen to other people’s stories. Analyze them. What resonates? What doesn’t? What is the purpose? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Cathy Goodwin shares why you can’t just have a handful of useless stories that you deploy without thought. Each story must be carefully crafted to reach your audience and is crucial in the sales process. Learn how Cathy creates purposeful stories in this episode! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:46] Why storytelling is an important skill to possess
  • [2:26] Learn what type of story to tell at the right time
  • [4:20] The role of the customer’s backstory
  • [9:43] Learn from listening to others’ stories
  • [11:54] Top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [15:08] Why purposeful storytelling is key

The importance of purposeful storytelling

Storytelling has become the most important tool in the marketing arsenal—especially in copywriting and content creation. Storytelling allows you to do things you can’t do any other way. Telling a story helps illustrate points. It helps you share your expertise without sounding boastful. You can show a lot about what you do and who you are by telling a carefully chosen story. 

You can also explain a complex concept. Many businesses offer opportunities to clients that didn’t exist five years ago. Cathy knew someone who developed an app to help people find spaces to hold events. How do you explain that? How do you show why people might need the app? They shared why they created it: the founder needed somewhere to host a birthday party. Simple, yet effective.

Learn what type of story to tell at the right time

Everyone tells stories. Cathy says to think about meeting a friend for coffee or a beer. When you’re catching up with each other, you tell stories. What you have to learn is what type of story to tell and when to tell it. A business story isn’t the same as a personal story. You have to identify a story that has a purpose. You also have to learn the different kinds of business stories. Some stories explain. Some stories build relationships. Some demonstrate expertise. You need to know when to tell each kind of story.

The role of the customer’s backstory

Suppose you’re in a restaurant. You see the server walk by with a good main course. You didn’t see it on the menu but now that you've seen it, you want it. Cathy firmly believes that’s what a story that sells should be like. You want to create a dream for the reader. You take them into the dream and share the details. Encourage them to enter the scene with you. Give them an idea of what the outcome of working with you might look like. Then, you need to get the audience to say, “I want that.”

How do you accomplish this? It’s important to know the customer’s backstory. Cathy believes there are three parts to a customer’s backstory:

  1. The problem itself: If you run a printing service, why do people come to you? Maybe they need flyers printed by next week and they’re complicated to print. It’s a complex job, so they come to you. 
  2. Why can’t they do it themselves? Why can’t they just go to a Kinkos or a FedEx? Why do they need help?
  3. What is their baggage? How many times have they been to other print shops? Have they had good experiences—or bad experiences? Maybe their order was late, misprinted, or people were rude to them. They bring baggage to the encounter with you. This is true for any relationship. 

When you know these things, you know how to begin to craft and tell a story. What else do you need to know? Listen to learn more! 

Why purposeful storytelling is key

Cathy attended a networking event in Seattle. Everyone was sharing what they did for work. But one woman stood out. She said, “I’m going to tell you about one of my clients. She didn’t have any savings, couldn’t put money aside, and had a bad credit score—but she wanted to buy a house. So we worked together for a few years. Last week, this woman closed on her very first house.” 

Everyone at the event found a reason to get that woman’s card. They all knew someone in a similar situation who she needed to talk to. She communicated what she did quickly and vividly through the use of a purposeful story. She chose the perfect story for a networking event. If you can do that for your prospects, you’ll connect on a deeper level—which can ultimately lead to sales. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Cathy Goodwin

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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