Sales Leadership Part II – Telling Stories

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“You’re never going to kill storytelling because it’s built in the human plan.  We come with it.”

–  Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), author of the 1985 novel which spawned the recent TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale

Storytelling is one of the five most recurring themes in the Daily Difference.  The posts usually emanate from the perspective of “Why?”

Consider this post from 2019…  Or this one from 2013…  Or even this one from 2012

Seriously, click on those links.  There’s some pretty good stuff there, if I do say so myself!

This post on Storytelling focuses on the how.  Not the only how, but a formulaic how that will help one get started toward this very important skill — and make no mistake, storytelling is a trainable skill…

Sales leaders can teach storytelling by following this template:

  1. There has to be a before insight and an after insight.  Where are we, and where do we want to be?
  2. There has to be a “Why?”  In other words, why and how do we want the buyer to see things differently?
  3. There has to be a setting.  “Let me tell you about Pat, a buyer at XYZ Company in a city just like this one…”
  4. There has to be a complication.  Define “hell” from the buyers’ perspective.  Select or create a villain.  Use imagery, metaphors…
  5. There has to be a turning point; the moment the buyer realizes they must change
  6. There has to be a resolution; the briefer the better for a concept / solution sale — the proof can come later
  7. Questions are the key.  “That’s enough about Pat, what about your situation?”

Great storytellers use stories to help the buyer discover their own story.

Four posts in one today.  For sales leaders — remember, your team “comes with this” capability.  Drawing it out of them is your job!

This post is the second in a series on leading sales teams.  Part one is linked here.  Tomorrow, the price of leadership.


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