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

Oct 26, 2022

Steve Hall emphasizes that storytelling is an important skill to possess in both life and business. Stories are an essential part of life. Stories move people to go to war, make peace, and fall in love. And stories can help salespeople stir emotion and create action in their customers. 

Steve believes that the more you immerse yourself in the world of good storytelling, the better you will become at the craft. He shares some tips and strategies to become a better storyteller in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] Why storytelling is an important skill to possess
  • [1:58] Can anyone become a great storyteller?
  • [3:13] The ingredients of a great story 
  • [4:38] The attributes of a great storyteller
  • [6:55] Resources to improve storytelling
  • [8:27] Steve’s 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [10:38] Stories are the best way to illustrate a point

Become a great storyteller by immersing yourself in stories

Steve believes that anyone can learn how to tell a story. Those that are naturally gifted at storytelling enjoy listening to, watching, hearing, and reading stories. The more you expose yourself to other people’s stories, the more you unconsciously pick it up. 

Steve has also found that great storytellers are avid readers. The more widely you read, the more likely you are to have empathy for people. When you read fiction or watch a movie, you tend to put yourself in the role of the character (protagonist). 

When you identify with people from different races, backgrounds, and sexes, you build empathy that allows you to personalize a story. You tend to pick up the moral and ethical characteristics of the characters you identify with.

Steve’s 3 storytelling dos and don’ts

Steve points out that salespeople love to use case studies. But the problem with case studies in sales is that they make the salesperson or the company the hero. Instead, you need to share what great success a customer had with you as the guide. What else should you do? What should you avoid? 

  • You need to get the listener to identify with the story and keep it relevant. 
  • Be aware of universal themes such as love, loss, the hero's journey, etc. 
  • Build in corroborating details so people know your story is true. 
  • Don’t make it about you or boast about yourself. If you’re in the story, include mistakes that you've made and overcame. 
  • Don’t waffle or go off on tangents. 
  • Be honest—don’t make things up. 

Listen to this episode for more great advice from Steve! 

Stories are the best way to illustrate a point

Buying ERP software is a large risk for companies. It’s not only costly, but it can be disruptive to install and implement. And once you’ve chosen it, you’re stuck with it. So you have to trust your supplier implicitly. 

Steve’s company was a small developer competing with the giants of their time. And because Steve’s company was small, he was always asked how he’d be able to take care of customers after implementation. So Steve would tell a story.

His company had signed a customer whose IT Manager had developed the previous system from scratch. After they chose Steve’s software, the IT manager resigned and left them in a lurch. They couldn’t run their company. 

So one of Steve’s coworkers learned the existing software so he could install their software and help them continue to run their business. He slept on a cot in their office for six months. That’s an example of the level of dedication they give to their customers. 

If someone asks you a question, you can answer the question straightforwardly. But if you can illustrate how you’ve done something in the past, it’s far more convincing.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Hall

Connect With Paul Watts 

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