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!
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 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?
Listen to this episode for more great advice from Steve!
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.
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