Every salesperson needs to learn how to tell and sell. Simply put, you need to know how to tell better stories to increase your sales numbers. There’s a great new book out by a guy named Paul Smith, “Sell With A Story.” Paul considers himself a storyteller, not a sales guy – but the book is packed with insightful things about the way humans build trust and the role of stories in that process. If you listen to this episode you’ll want to go right out and get the book. It’s a great read and a very convincing argument for why you need to tell better stories in your sales presentations.
Why stories are a primary way of building trust in sales.
Sales professionals tend to rely on their data and slide decks far too much when they should be learning to tell stories of successful clients, of difficult scenarios their company has worked through, and of preferable futures their clients want to attain. That’s because stories are one of the primary ways human beings build trust between each other – and sales is all about building trust. On this episode, expert storyteller Paul Smith is on the show to give us some ideas about how we can include more stories into our sales pitches to increase trust, and thereby increase sales overall. It’s a fascinating idea that you’ll benefit from greatly if you learn to apply it to your professional life.
If you don’t learn to tell you won’t be able to sell.
Many times a sales presentation goes sideways when the slide deck is put away and all the stats and figures have already been said. That’s because the prospect throws out a scenario they foresee happening and asks the salesperson what their company would do in that situation. If the salesperson doesn’t know how to tell a compelling story about a time the company faced a similar problem and overcame in spite of the difficulties, they’re going to come across as too good to be true and inauthentic. The possibility of trust will be lost. Paul Smith says that sales pros need to have hundreds of company stories in their sales arsenal and on this episode he’s going to tell us how to start building that repertoire.
Do media and technology help us tell better sales stories?
It used to be that the only thing you had at your disposal to weave a compelling story was your own voice and ideas. But today we have so much more. Video, audio, images, animation – the list of potential tools we can use to tell good sales stories seems limitless. But we can become too dependent on a flashy new technology when what we really need is a better understanding of what makes a good story and how to tell it in a compelling way. Paul Smith is on the show to give us some ideas of how we can improve our storytelling and apply it to the sales profession.
If you learn to tell a good story you can actually sell things for more.
There are stories circulating on the internet about virtually worthless items being sold on eBay and other marketplaces for thousands of dollars. What caused the buyer to imbue the worthless item with so much value? It was the story that accompanied the item. Situations like that show us that sometimes the value of a thing or service has more to do with the way the benefits of it are described and woven into a real life scenario by the salesperson. When people can picture the setting and feel the emotion of what it would be like to experience the product or service in action, the deal is sealed. Paul Smith, a master storyteller is guest on this episode of In The Arena.
Outline of this great episode
- Why everyone is a storyteller and introduction of Paul Smith, storytelling trainer.
- How Paul realized that storytelling was an important skill he needed to learn well.
- Why do salespeople leave out the obstacles when telling their own stories?
- What does a salesperson get from being vulnerable in their stories?
- Why do people trade stories in the first place?
- Why do salespeople think cold facts and figures are more effective than stories?
- Does media and tech help us tell better stories?
- How stories can increase the value of what is being sold.
- What makes a story portable (where anyone can use it)?
- Who does Paul consider to be a great storyteller today?
- What Paul is reading right now.
Heroic Public Speaking – Michael Port’s incredible public speaking program
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Paul’s website: Learn More From Paul
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud
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