Info

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.
RSS Feed
2023
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November


2017
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: November, 2022

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

Nov 30, 2022

People are more likely to listen and emotionally connect to a story versus facts. That’s why when you have a chance to tell a story, you’re more likely to make that emotional connection. It’s even better when they can see themselves in the story. But how do you tell stories that land? According to Caryn Kopp, it’s all about using the right words.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Why is storytelling an important skill to possess in sales
  • [2:03] Can you become a gifted storyteller? 
  • [3:17] The ingredients of a great story that sells
  • [6:32] The characteristics of a good storyteller
  • [8:11] Resources to improve your storytelling abilities 
  • [9:35] Caryn’s top three storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [12:09] How the right words are influential

Can you become a gifted storyteller? 

Caryn’s company is built of senior business developers—that they call door openers—representing their clients and landing them meetings. Caryn is constantly asked if she can train sales teams to be better. The short answer is yes. 

However, she can’t train them to be someone who loves what they’re doing. Some people just have it in their DNA. Some people have the gift for storytelling and others can improve if they learn how to structure a story to make emotional connections. 

The right words are key to a great story that sells

Caryn believes that there are three things you need to focus on when you’re telling stories:

  • Start with the end in mind: What is it that you’re trying to accomplish through your story? Are you trying to get a meeting? Are you asking to close? Are you trying to nurture the relationship? What words, concepts, and themes will make the most impact where you are in the relationship with the prospect?
  • Speak to the person—not the persona: People get caught up in the persona. But it lacks flesh, blood, and feelings. If you’re speaking to someone, you’ve likely researched who they are. You know their background and challenges so you can make your storytelling connect. 
  • Every word matters: Caryn’s philosophy is that the person with the best words wins. That doesn’t mean the best product or service always wins. When you prepare your story, make sure each word will work as hard for you as it can.

Instead of saying, “I’m going to show you how this works,” say, “I’m going to prove how this works.” Replace words that help your story land with more impact.

The characteristics of a good storyteller

Caryn believes that a seller needs to truly care about the person with whom they’re speaking and that they want to make their life better. They can make an emotional connection using words that communicate those ideas. Lastly, a great seller is present. You can make adjustments to your story in real-time as people react. How are they breathing? Should you stop and ask a question? 

What are Caryn’s top three storytelling dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!

The right words are influential

A prospect was considering Caryn’s door opener service because she needed to grow her organization's sales. They were great at closing sales but didn’t have time to get the opportunities. 

Caryn was sitting outside Starbucks, waiting to get a latte when she got on the phone with her prospect. The prospect understood the service offering. She thought it was a perfect fit. Then she said “however.” She said they had several investments coming up and had to prioritize them first and revisit Caryn’s service at a later time. 

But Caryn was prepared. She could have just said, “Let’s just connect in a couple of months.” Instead, she said, “In our previous conversations you told me that getting more opportunities and closing more sales is one of your highest priorities, especially to show your investors that you are able to do this.” She asked one last question, “If we don’t proceed together, how will you accomplish your goals?” 

Then she waited. Caryn’s prospect said, “You’re right. If we don’t move forward now, we can’t reach our goals. Let’s get started.” 

What can you learn from Caryn’s story? She shares how her framework helped lead her prospect to the sale in this episode. Don’t miss it! 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Caryn Kopp

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Nov 23, 2022

Storytelling is an important skill for salespeople and companies to possess because story is the way humans remember everything. If you give someone a list of facts that aren’t connected in a meaningful way, people will shut you down. 

A good story focuses on a problem that someone has. If you can hone in on a problem so much so that the person recognizes the problem in themselves, they get hooked. Dave Butler shares why problem-focused storytelling is so effective in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Why storytelling is an important skill for salespeople to have
  • [2:47] Why storytelling is something that can be learned
  • [4:21] A formula for problem-focused storytelling 
  • [8:38] The attributes of a great sales storyteller
  • [12:05] Resources to improve your storytelling abilities
  • [13:23] Dave’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [16:23] Why you need to focus on the problem first

Why storytelling is something that can be learned

Dave notes that you don’t need to be an expert to tell stories. People can be taught to tell stories in a formulaic way that’s just as gripping as the greatest speaker. It’s about focusing on the problem that you’re solving rather than the details of the solution. It becomes straightforward to have every person in your company testing and perfecting the story. The effectiveness of a story comes from repetition.

A formula for problem-focused storytelling

People don’t listen to a story they don’t care about. So the problem that you solve needs to be at the core of the story that matters to them. If they’re struggling with the problem you solve, then you need to amp it up and raise its importance in their mental framework. A problem can be broken down into three components: 

  • External problem: Everyone that’s buying something has a thing they’re trying to fix. 
  • Internal problem: The story can focus on their internal problem, i.e. how the external problem is affecting them internally. 
  • Philosophical problem: Is there a struggle between good and evil? Is there an injustice? 

When you’re telling the story, the hero has to be the listener. The person with the problem is typically weak. They need someone to come alongside them to help them solve the problem. Companies need to be the guide that’s grounded in empathy and competence. Communicate that you care about their problem and that you’re the right entity to fix it. 

Lastly, you have to cast a vision of success or failure. The listener needs to feel what’s at stake. You use this to increase the relevance of the problem in their minds. You need to emphasize that the problem is awful and they shouldn’t have to face it. 

What are the attributes of a great sales storyteller? What are Dave’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts? Listen to hear Dave’s thoughts!

Why you need to focus on the problem first

Dave was the first VP of Sales at Aruba Wireless Networks (which was eventually bought out by HP). People at home got to use wireless at home, but they couldn’t do it in their company. They wanted to build a product that enabled people to use wireless networks everywhere. They found seven massive companies in LA and New York that agreed to help them design the product so it would be perfect for them.

They got the product out the door and not a single one of those 14 companies bought it. They didn’t want to deploy wireless because it would create more problems for them (and they didn’t see that it would create additional revenue).

One day in New York, an engineer sitting in a park realized he could still log on to the wireless system. Customers were bringing in wireless access points from homes and plugging them into the bank. It was an incredible security violation. So they changed their product to get rid of unwanted wireless first. Two weeks later, every company was a customer.

You have to make sure that your solution is something that people want. That’s why you must focus on the problem and build from there. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dave Butler

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Nov 16, 2022

Storytelling is how you help prospects and customers remember you and understand your product (and why it’s valuable to them). Humans interpret things through stories. If you can tell a story that makes sense, you’ll be more successful. But if you can tell a story interweaved with tension and release, you’ll hook your listener and they’ll be more invested in what you have to say. Steve Benson shares why this is his favorite storytelling strategy in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:54] Why storytelling skills are important in sales
  • [1:32] Is storytelling a skill that can be learned?
  • [2:18] Tension and release are key to a great story
  • [3:28] The attributes of a great storyteller
  • [7:34] Resources to improve storytelling abilities
  • [9:04] Steve’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [12:59] Stories have the power to win new business

Tension and release are key to a great story

Some people are better speakers than others—but is it because they’re born that way or learned those skills as a young child? Anyone can become a better storyteller. It’s about communication, being articulate, and understanding the elements of what makes a story. 

When you’re in a conversation and want to sound interesting, it comes down to tension and release. You lay out the characters, where you are, what time it is, and set the scene. Then you describe the tension/problem and the resolution. Movies build tension and have small resolutions throughout the story that keeps you hooked.

The attributes of a great storyteller

You need to be articulate and use variability within your voice. You can use a coach to learn what you’re doing right or wrong. Are you calm and relaxed? Or tense? You need to be confident, clear, crisp, and articulate. But the most important thing is to tell good stories that are interesting and relatable. 

When you’re selling a service or product, a prospect is thinking about it from different perspectives, which is why it’s important to ask them questions so you understand how they view the problem. Then you can serve a story that’s framed in the right way. It all starts with asking, “Why are we here today? Why did you invite me in?” When you do this, your stories will resonate intensely. 

Steve’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts

Steve shares a few key dos and don’ts of the storytelling process: 

  • Use storytelling to address objections before they’re voiced. If you suspect a customer will have a certain problem or question, bring it up casually and answer their question with a story. 
  • Use stories to make it easy for a prospect to say yes. You can shorten your sales cycle if you can help people connect with others who have been in a similar situation. It takes risk off the table. 
  • Uncover what the story needs to be about. Uncover the prospect’s perspective so you map the right story and frame it correctly. 
  • Don’t wing it. It’s better to have a framework for storytelling in your mind (set up the story, move into the problem/tension/challenge, and share the challenge). 
  • Don’t make your salespeople make up their own stories. Have a place where they can share relevant stories and build them into your sales culture. 
  • Don’t be boring. When you tell a story, use excitement in your voice. Build tension and release tension throughout your story to keep things interesting. 

Stories have the power to win new business

When BadgerMaps was a startup (2013) they offered a service that did one thing well: They took customers and put them on a map so you could see where all your customers were based on their specific attributes. They were courting a large medical device company with revenues of $6 billion a year. 

Because they were a small startup, they had to share who they were and what they did in an impactful way. They had to come across as trustworthy. So they were honest and open about where they were—but shared where they planned to go. They signed a three-year deal with the medical device company—large enough to cover their expenses for the entire next year. It allowed them to build out the product for other companies. 

Learn more about Steve’s storytelling process in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Benson

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Nov 9, 2022

Park Howell knows that if you’re a leading sales professional, you want to communicate and resonate on a deep level to convert prospects to life-long evangelists for your brand. But you may not connect as well as you could because you lead with logic and reason. Your audience wants the emotional pull of an irresistible story. 

That’s why Park coaches salespeople with his ABT framework to escalate and accelerate the sales process. Storytelling is the fundamental agile communication tool to get everyone on board as quickly as possible—especially prospects. He shares more about his storytelling framework in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:02] Why storytelling is an important skill to possess
  • [3:05] Is storytelling a gift that can be learned?
  • [4:08] Park’s ABT framework for storytelling
  • [5:58] The attributes of a great storyteller
  • [8:13] Resources to improve storytelling
  • [10:15] Park’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [13:34] How do you employ brevity in storytelling?
  • [15:10] Why salespeople choose not to tell stories
  • [16:02] Non-narrative bravado versus true narrative

Is storytelling a gift that can be learned?

Great storytellers are like great athletes. They learn and perfect their craft over years of practice. When armed with the right framework—you may not elevate to the level of experts—but you can give yourself an unfair advantage in the sales realm. It comes back to how to use narrative to your benefit. But you have to understand the magic to cast the spell. If you learn storytelling techniques, it will up your game and boost your sales. That’s why Park created the ABT framework. 

Park’s ABT framework

The ABT framework—i.e. the “And, but, and therefore” framework—is set up on the three forces of story: agreement, contradiction, and consequence. The limbic brain is a pattern-seeking cause-and-effect, decision-making, buying brain. It loves the setup, problem, and resolution dynamic that’s offered through storytelling. 

  • Agreement: You place your audience at the center of the story. So you must understand who they are, appreciate what they want and why it’s important to them this is the “and”).
  • Contradiction: You must empathize with why they don’t currently have what they want. What are the obstacles? What “but” is in the way?
  • Consequence/Resolution: How are you uniquely equipped to help them get what they want? This is the “therefore.”

It’s about understanding, empathizing, and appreciating who your prospect is, what they want, and how you can help them get it. 

Park’s top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts

As you use the ABT framework, Park notes there are some dos and don’ts you want to keep in mind: 

  • According to storytelling expert Robert McKee, You have to understand your audience in a “God-like way.” Who are you writing the story for? What do they care about? How will you make your story something they can relate to and connect with? It’s the same for storytelling in business sales and marketing.
  • Help your prospect imagine what a brighter future looks like for them if they work with you. No bullet-point list of features and functions can make this happen. You have to fire up the theater of the mind and imprint images on their brain so you become remarkably memorable. 
  • The most vigorous stories rely on brevity. Use specific well-crafted language because the power is in the specifics. 
  • Don’t believe you’re already a good storyteller because chances are you’re probably not. You have to be intentional and use a framework to evolve from winging it to winning with it. 
  • Do not “and, and, and” your audience to death. Use the “setup, problem, and resolution” dynamic to build your storytelling abilities and tell a great story.
  • Don’t dismiss the power of storytelling as a gimmick. Storytelling will differentiate you in a crowded market, build urgency for your offering, and deliver on the promises that you make. 

How do you employ brevity in storytelling?

Park emphasizes that you must focus on the singular point you’re trying to make and hang everything else from it. Once you’ve hooked your listener and laid out the problem/solution dynamic, you need to share a short story to make a real-world impact using the five primal elements of a short story: 

  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen? 
  • Who is the single protagonist it happened to?
  • What happened? What was the outcome?
  • How does it make your business point?

If you follow those elements in that order and share a story, your prospect can picture what the outcome looks like for them quickly. 

Park drives home this episode with a story that demonstrates exactly how his ABT framework makes an impact on salespeople and their prospects. Don’t miss it!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Park Howell

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Nov 2, 2022

A prospect needs to see themself in a solution to believe it’s possible for them. Storytelling is what helps your prospects put themselves in whatever situation that you’re talking about. When they can relate to the story and hear what the moral is, they’re more likely to move forward. But you have to tell the right story. And according to Kendra Lee, the key to choosing the right story is listening. Learn how she utilizes this simple tool to realize extraordinary results in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:43] Why storytelling is an important skill for salespeople
  • [1:26] Can you become a gifted storyteller? 
  • [2:20] The ingredients of a great story that sells
  • [3:28] The characteristics of a good storyteller
  • [6:11] Resources to improve your storytelling
  • [8:28] Kendra’s storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [11:00] Maintain control of your narrative 

The ingredients of a great story that sells

According to Kendra, you have to begin with the problem that the prospect or client has. Start with a common problem of the hero of your story. Share in detail—using emotional words—what the hero went through trying to solve that problem. You have to infuse feeling words into your story. Then you must share what the result was and what happened when they solved their problem. The beginning, middle, and end must be related to the prospect. 

Listening is the key to stories that sell

Kendra believes great storytellers are great listeners. You can’t throw in a story in your sales conversation just because it sounds good. You have to listen to what you are hearing in the sales situation. What will help your prospect or client relate to what you’re talking about? 

You can’t do that if you’re thinking about yourself, when you’re going to say what, etc. You have to immerse yourself in what your prospect is saying and imagine yourself in their situation before inserting a story. Listen and draw upon your memory to share something relatable. 

Kendra’s storytelling dos and don’ts

Kendra shares some poignant dos and don’ts that every salesperson should keep in mind: 

  • Listen so you can relate a story to what your prospect was telling you. You need to connect the dots for them.
  • Don’t worry about the length of your story. Use whatever time you need to tell the story while keeping them engaged. 
  • Wrap up a story and relay it back to them. Tell them what you’re gonna tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. Sometimes they get so ingrained in the story that they forget why you were telling it!
  • Don’t rush when you’re telling a story. Use your voice to help prospects get involved. 
  • Don’t be droll or boring. 
  • Don’t forget to check in with them to see if they understood the point of the story. 

Why you want to maintain control of your narrative 

When Kendra was a brand new sales rep and nowhere near reaching her quota, her manager offered to come with her on a sales call to help close the sale. When they arrived, Kendra’s manager asked to speak privately with the prospect. She came out of the office with a sly smile on her face. Kendra asked what she had told the prospect. 

Her manager had told the prospect that Kendra was a brand new sales rep and that it would be important for her to get a sale. She implored him to sign the order so Kendra could make her first sale for the year. Kendra was horrified. She has never forgotten that experience and vowed to never put herself in the situation again. 

She emphasizes that it’s up to you to control your client conversations—even when your manager is with you. You can be the one telling the stories and setting up the situation. Kendra could have gone in and been part of that conversation and controlled the narrative. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kendra Lee

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

1