A long time ago, when I was relatively new to the sales world I learned that to be a good salesperson you really should become a good storyteller. If you can tell your company’s story well and truly believe in what you are saying, then as long as you are talking with clients who have a “need” then the “sell” doesn’t need to be hard.
Every now and again I am reminded of the power of storytelling. One example was a breakfast meeting in preparation for a United Way campaign a few years ago. We talked about the “goal”, about the “theme” and about some of the great causes that will benefit from the fund raising that we do.
“Stories are how we remember; we tend to forget lists and bullet points.” Robert McKee
We also had a guest speaker who is very involved with the charitable world and his talk was powerful, because of his storytelling capability …
- he didn’t talk for too long, maybe 30 minutes;
- he told us a story about a famed US Vietnam pilot who 30 years after the fact met the guy who had packed his parachute every day. He used this story to tie his messages together;
- he talked about himself at a personal level … told us a couple of stories about his childhood, and people who had a positive affect on him;
- he talked about some of the people he has met in our community, and told their story … and how they arrived at a place where they needed help from organisations the United Way supports;
- and finally he tied it back to us and how lucky we are to be part of the “community of hope” as opposed to a “community of despair or even fear”, because both of those “places” exist in all of our cities.
The talk was effective, he engaged his audience and made his point. He didn’t need to “sell” us on anything, just reinforce the fact that there is a job to do … and we were reminded of its importance.
“Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business.” Gary Vaynerchuk
Are you telling compelling stories?
Develop interesting and compelling stories, and become a story teller!
Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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