In this episode, we are going to talk about how to tell a story that connects and sells. We tell stories to inspire others, show empathy, and more. The problem is, we don’t know how to tell stories in a way that consumers will be compelled to buy our products. This is what Jude Charles is going to teach you in this episode.
Jude Charles is a story-driven filmmaker, brand strategist, and a speaker who’s been running a video production company for the past 13 years. He’s been helping entrepreneurs tell stories effectively to be able to connect with prospects and clients.
Stories are universal. There is no difference between a story about your normal day and a story you might tell during a sales meeting. The only difference is the ending and its goal. Stories are about a specific moment in time. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. What happens at the end will make your story impactful.
When you’re telling a story in sales, you want the listener to buy into the service you’re selling. This story has to matter in a way that by the end, they will want to buy your product or service. Stories can make a connection.
Storytelling works because it’s relatable. A Netflix show called Money Heist has a story that pulls you in. It includes a group of nine guys that are getting ready to rob a mint in Spain. Although viewers aren’t robbers themselves, as the movie unfolds, the audience begins to relate to these men and become more invested in the characters and the plot. The viewer gets to know these nine guys and sees their reasons for wanting to rob the mint.
The same is true in selling. You want to share a story with your client that he/she can relate to. Instead of just selling your products and services outright, or presenting bullet points of the benefits, share a success story instead. Set the scene by beginning with the problem. You’ll then go into the actual journey that leads to solving the problem. As the story unfolds, the client or prospect should be able to picture themselves in the scenario. By the end, they will see themselves as the ones rescued from the problem by the solutions you have to offer.
When forming a story, think about how you will sit with the client and talk to them about what you’re doing.
The number one question in your client’s mind is about who you are and why they should do business with you. It’s during this assessment your storytelling should be an integral part of the sales process. It will become part of the conversation you’re having with your client. The basic framework of storytelling is pretty much the same:
Jude keeps a story bank and saves story notes throughout the day, from the biggest details down to the minute ones. It’s these pieces that are used to create a story that is meaningful to the client.
There are different kinds of stories. When you talk about yourself, then you are telling the Who are you? story. Other stories include Client Success stories. These kinds of stories not only build your credibility but they prove your process has worked for someone else.
There are also Closing Stories and Value Stories. These are your core values. Clients like to see integrity and transparency so you can tell a story that illustrates these values.
To see examples of great stories, a recommended book is The 10 Great Stories That Leaders Tell by Joseph Lalonde.
Let’s look at Money Heist again. The objective of the movie is for nine robbers to be able to get into the Royal Mint of Spain. The first thing they did was to pose as cops. The story raised the stakes when the police commissioner decided to try to break into the Mint of Spain while the robbers are there. The robbers say they have hostages and that one of them is the daughter of Spain’s ambassador. The police could rescue all the people but the stakes are high because the ambassador’s daughter will die.
Raising the stakes is getting to the moment in the story where it looks as though you think the journey is way too hard. A great story will illustrate how the characters overcome.
The end is where you become very strategic about your story. It will include the lesson you want the client to learn. Your goal is for the client to understand that they need to be all in. The important factor at the end of the story is how you frame the lesson. What are the results after the solution? That’s a question you need to answer.
A great way story lets your client know you have an understanding of who they are, what their problems are, and the solutions they need. You want to set the vision of what the future looks like with, or without, your product or service.
Another book called The Story Factor by Annette Simmons also talks about storytelling. While it’s not in the concept of a framework, it shows you how to use storytelling in everyday life. It shows you how you can influence the person you are talking to so you can get your message across.
You can get better at telling stories by doing it every single day and observing how people react. It’s a skill worth learning.
Connect with Jude Charles via his website, judecharles.co
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If a buyer doesn’t believe you’re credible, he won’t do business with you. Credibility takes time to craft, and it’s incredibly delicate and easy to lose. You must do everything you can to avoid destroying your credibility.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we continue our sales basic series with a discussion about how we can change our image from sales professional to trusted advisor.
When you operate within a system of quotas or appointments, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the people behind those appointments.
If you allow yourself to focus primarily on scheduling appointments and you forget about the human beings you’re interacting with, you’re undermining your own credibility.
Likewise, if you promise your prospect a solution to a problem, but during the scheduled phone call you mention handing him off to someone else for the solution, you’ll undermine your credibility.
He’ll have the sense that you lied just to get him on the phone, and he won’t want to work with you.
Communicate to your prospect that you care about what he cares about, and prove yourself trustworthy.
Sales professionals understandably get annoyed when people miss their scheduled appointments. If you’re doing the same to your prospect, and you’re missing scheduled appointments, you’re disrespecting his time.
You’ll inconvenience him, and you’ll diminish your own credibility in the process.
Instead, prove yourself trustworthy. Keep your prospect’s priorities in mind.
When you do break his trust, apologize.
I can think of countless times in my career when I could have easily blamed other people for things that broke down in my customer’s process. Instead, I apologized and fell on my sword.
If you acknowledge your mistake, recognize the consequences, and apologize, you’ll re-establish your credibility with your customer.
We often rely on excitement about our product or service to communicate our intention to the customer.
We believe that if we’re excited enough, we can accomplish our goals.
While enthusiasm is important, it isn’t enough. We must demonstrate to our customers and establish ourselves as trusted advisors.
We aren’t required to know everything, but we must know their business and their problems.
Know how he makes his money and understand why he’s losing money.
It takes a while to establish credibility but it makes a world of difference.
We’re excited about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen brought to you by our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a blueprint for what buyers want and the things they hate based upon survey information.
Check out the Video Jungle Podcast to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video. The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.
Email us at SPN for more information.
We want to help you find more prospects, build stronger value, close more deals, and do big things.
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On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss some little-known secrets about decision-makers. We’ll address why you must distinguish yourself from the pack in order to escape “voicemail jail.”
Early in our history, people traded commodities like milk and grain.
When manufacturing entered the picture, sellers were forced to distinguish themselves and their products from others in the marketplace.
We’re in a different era now. Everyone expects quality products on a timely basis. If you can’t provide those things to your buyer, they’ll get them from Amazon.
The question, then, is what can you do for your prospect that stands out from the crowd? How can you distinguish yourself beyond quality and timeliness?
Imagine Congress passed a law tomorrow outlawing sales calls to businesses.
Sales professionals would find ways to be creative. We’d use LinkedIn or social selling, but we’d find a way to contact our prospects.
As it is, the phone can be a crutch.
Which emails and voicemails do you imagine they delete first? Why do you suppose they’re not calling back?
Each of these people has something on their radar that is their main focus. If you can offer me something that addresses that part of the job, you’ll make their life easier, and you’ll more likely get their attention.
What is the CEO or CFO of the company most concerned about? What is the business driver?
Have you read the website to identify the company’s vision or goal for the quarter or the year? Are they expanding? Planning to sell?
Investigate. Find the problem the company needs to solve. Bring something to the table that demonstrates your interest in the company.
Imagine your research revealed that the company is losing $10K a month in processing fees. Your email subject line might say “$10K is going down the drain each month, Donald.”
In the body of the email, I’ll indicate that I’ve spoken to Pam in the organization, and I have a solution to the $10K problem.
You could even send a fake $10K bill to the company with a note about the problem attached.
Offering specifics provides value to the company and demonstrates your interest in helping solve problems.
If that seems like a lot of work, consider that I encourage people to target their Dream 100 prospects.
Create a list of the dream clients you’d most like to reach and work personally toward earning their business.
We create this content because we want to help you create value, make a deeper impact, build experience, and get out of voicemail jail.
Check out Stop Selling & Start Leading for a blueprint on buyers, and how you can increase your sales.
Join The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to interact with sellers of all levels, from all regions, in all industries.
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