MAKE IT INTERESTING… in his best seller “Tell to Win”, film executive and author Peter Guber does an engaging job of explaining the Power of Storytelling in Sales. He makes it very clear that the best Salespeople are also the best Storytellers. This is not a new concept, the Art of Storytelling has been with humanity since day one. Back in 1950s, personal development legend Earl Nightingale had a radio show in Chicago. Night after night he would share his wisdom about life and business. In a classic compilation of some of those radio shows (“the Essence of Success”), Earl wrote about how to be a great communicator. He said that, “To be a great presenter you must be interesting. You must capture your audience’s attention”. He went on to share the following humorous story to make his point…
“A little boy came tearfully to his father one afternoon holding out his palms. In his cupped hands was his pet turtle Herkimer. The turtle was inert, not moving… “Herkimer is dead daddy”,he sobbed. “He died! I’m so sad”. The father was very sympathetic and took Herkimer into his hands. “That’s such a shame Son, I know he was very special to you“. The boy was distraught and the tears continued to trickle down his young face. The father then made a suggestion… “I know what we could do Bobby, we could have a special funeral for Herkimer! We could invite all your friends and have a ceremony in the backyard. We could tell stories about Herkimer and then we could dig a little hole and put Herkimer in a little box and bury him under the big tree… you know the one with the swing. You could say a few words about Herkimer and let everyone enjoy the ceremony. We could even play some games and have some cake and ice cream“. The little boy felt better right away it was at that point that a miracle happened. Herkimer started to move! The father then said, “Look Bobby he’s alive! Herkimer’s okay! The little boy took one look, had a puzzled expression on his face and then blurted out… “Let’s kill him!”
Here is your ACTION STEP... now that’s funny! The father made the promise of the funeral ceremony so INTERESTING that Bobby’s priorities changed instantaneously. This Sales Tip is all about how to be interesting. To be a great Salesperson you must be a great communicator. To be a great communicator you must tell stories to your customers and your prospects all the time. By doing so you will become more interesting.
Storytelling is an art but the good news is you already know how to do it. You have been doing it all your life! The less you lecture people and the more you engage them in conversation more interesting you will be. A good place to start is the following… when your prospect is trying to make a decision, share a situation with them from your experiences when another client had the same dilemma. Explain what happened, how you helped them deal with that and how it worked out. Create a parable that they can relate to. That way they can look at a previous situation and relate it to their current circumstances. This takes a little bit of practice but not much. Take Earl’s advice. Tell more stories, be interesting. NO Excuses.