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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 19, 2022

Humans are hardwired for stories. We were fed stories as children. We can relate to them quickly. Because of this, stories are the best way to engage with the people you’re trying to get to. Many tools and approaches can help anyone learn how to tell stories. If you can do your homework and practice your stories, you can be a good storyteller. But the importance of telling stories in your buyer’s context cannot be underestimated. Learn more from Lissa Dennis in this episode of Sales Reinvented! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] Why storytelling is important in sales
  • [1:40] Can everyone learn how to tell stories? 
  • [2:15] The ingredients of a story that sells
  • [2:50] The attributes of a great storyteller
  • [3:44] Make your stories like TED Talks
  • [4:35] Top storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [6:53] The importance of context in sales storytelling

The ingredients of a story that sells

Good storytelling is about context. You need to answer four questions: 

  • How will this story affect others?
  • How does it affect the buyer? 
  • Why does it matter to them?
  • What’s the outcome of the story that’s relevant to the buyer? 

If you answer those four questions in your story, your buyer will take a big step toward your product or solution.

The story has to be bigger than your company. It has to be about the buyer that you’re facing. Add supporting details to the idea that your story represents to give it more meaning. The story needs to be engaging and easy enough to understand that whoever you’re talking to can retell it. 

Top storytelling dos and don’ts

Lisa shares some great points to take note of: 

  • Reframe your content by shifting the language to your buyer’s language
  • Add some personality and make the story engaging with humor, humanity, and emotion
  • Make your story visual; Let the language allow the buyer to see themselves in the story
  • Avoid company lingo or technical language in your story. 
  • Don’t focus the story on your organization. It has to be about your buyer. 
  • Make sure your story has a resolution that the buyer can relate to. You want them to take a step forward. It’s a subtle call to action. 

The importance of context in sales storytelling

Lisa has worked with a particular client for over 10 years. When she transitioned to a 2nd company, the business Lisa was getting from her dried up. 

So Lisa told her client a story about a long-term client who had stopped working with her. Lisa said business dried up and she couldn’t figure out why, so she just had to ask. She sat them down and asked if she had dropped the ball.

As Lisa told the story, her client started to smile. So Lisa asked her if something was wrong. Her client shared her story. She didn’t have the budget she used to have. Her projects were too small for Lisa and she’d be embarrassed to bring them to her. 

Lisa was careful to note that every business, pathway, and project is different and emphasized that her client shouldn’t be embarrassed. The next day, her client handed her three projects. Now, they've been working together for 17 years. 

It’s all about context. If you share a story that you think is similar to your potential client or customer’s situation, it can open doors. It can make it easier for your prospect or client to open up about their problems. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Lisa Dennis

Connect With Paul Watts 

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