Stories That Sell
We've been talking about the process to sell the way your customer buys and we call it the CALL method: Connect, Ask, Listen and Link, and we've been breaking that down and unpacking how do you connect, what is it you do to connect with another human being? And again, these things work in life as much as they do in person and before I go onto the rest of the CALL method, I wanna connect you to somebody that I just adore, this is my good friend and colleague, Lee Eisler. (applause and cheering)
Great to be here.
And since we're talking about stories Lee, I thought maybe I should talk a little bit about how we met.
Does that sound good?
Right out of the blue.
Right out of the blue, you know, I lived in the Bay Area recently a couple of years ago with my family, and I thought, wow I'm gonna take a adult education course at Stanford, 'cause I never went to Stanford. I know some of you probably went to Stanford. I always wished I had gone to Stanford and the campus was so c...
lose, I thought, I'm gonna take some classes. So I took some history, some literature, I took a course on leadership and then I signed up for a course on public speaking. And a lot of my friends and clients said, "Why are you signing up for a course on public speaking? You speak professionally for a living, you could teach the course," I said, "Well, really not so." I never understood why if sometimes when I spoke I felt like I was a 10 and other times I was a three or a four or somewhere in between. Now, the convenient thing to do would be to blame the audience. Oh, it's just a bad audience, right? Sorta like salespeople blame the customers and say, well it's not my fault, it's just a bad customer. But I knew I couldn't do that. I knew that it was up to me and I also knew there were probably distinctions for speaking. So just like there's distinctions for selling, and we've been talking about those all day, what are the seven distinctions or seven keys to connecting? What are the four goals of a good discovery? What are we trying to unpack in the discovery? What are the ways that we do in information, confirmation? I found when I met Lee, that there is distinctions for public speaking. And so it was very, very interesting taking her class I started to realize why sometimes speaking worked and sometimes it didn't. We also found that we shared a love for stories. So we got together, Lee had been working with some big companies, who names I can't mention, and also training Ted speakers and we got together and we thought, well we need to teach classes together on storytelling and how to speak and how to build the emotional state when you're telling stories. So, we started doing business together, is that kinda how it happened?
Yeah, but there's kind of another, always there's another point of view to a story. So, Shari came to my class and as you probably know, she was one of those lots of questions, really engaged in class. I thought, oh my God, fabulous, this is gonna be great. Class two, no Shari, class three, no Shari. Then I get a phone call before class four, "I'm coming, is there any way I can catch up?" Well, come a half an hour early and you can do your speech to me and so she came, she did her speech. Content was amazing, was fabulous, and then I looked at her 'cause I love working with tone of voice and how you get the right tone of voice or something, and I said, "Let's try that again, let's do an adjustment on what you're doing. And this time when you speak, I want it to go through your heart and out to people." And she tried it and she got it halfway, and she tried it again, I said, "Let's try it again," 'cause you have to do that a lot with public speaking and with story, and she nailed it and she's been flyin' ever since.
Well, and again, it's interesting having those distinctions and let me just tell you really, from the bottom of my heart, just because you learn something doesn't mean you do it all the time and I go out and I speak and do key notes all over the world, and sometimes I walk outta there and I go, dang I was a 10, that was awesome. And sometimes I walk outta there and go, argh, that was like a four. So, it's not like you take a sales class or a public speaking class and we nail it every time. I told you at the very beginning, we learn through our mistakes but if we don't have a structure, what can we go back to? There's nothing to go back to and that's why it's so important to have a structure. So when we talk about connect, we've got the seven keys to connecting. When we talk about questions, we've got skin, bone, heart because I find without structure, there's a tendency to blame external circumstances for our lack of success. I mean, I'd always rather blame the audience rather than myself, feels better, right?
But Lee provides a structure and together we created a structure for storytelling and I'm excited to bring it to salespeople because I can tell you, there is absolutely no better way to find out the big four, to find out what your customers skin level information is, what their second level, their problem is, their emotional motivator and their objection, and answer that information via story about somebody else somewhere else. Now, part of the reason is obviously, we're in a social media economy, people don't believe it when we say it, they believe it when they read it on a Yelp review. So it's very, very important to talk about other people. This is the social proof that becomes paramount when building credibility and trying to move our customers to action.
So stories, stories connect us. I always say facts inform us but stories connect us and you need both. I think that facts go straight to our prefrontal cortex and they hit our logic center. But stories come in and they go to our midbrain and by going in through the midbrain, the amygdala, and the hippocampus, they're stored in our long term memory. You know how many times you go to some place and that's what you remember, you say, I remember the stories. So facts, today we can pull them out of the air, we can just ask our little Google machines or Alexa. Stories are different, I always say they have to be kind of pulled up, pulled up from your background or unearthed in order to bring them to somebody. So they take a little more work, and that's exactly what we're gonna do today. We're gonna build some stories together. So, I often get this when I work in tech firms more than anywhere, people say to me, "I don't have any stories." And I go, "What, you don't have any stories in your life?" because, you're laughin', the truth is if you're five or 15 or 55, you have tons of stories to tell. But how do you go back and get them and bring them forward? Now, some people are natural storytellers, like this one here, I started working with Shari and we were working together and she says, "How 'bout this story, how 'bout that story?" Most of us aren't like that and I wasn't like that. I've had to pull my stories forward that I use when I teach and I would say that stories for me are a bit like, for any of you gardeners, they're kind of like root vegetables, you can't go into your garden and just pick a pea pod and eat it. Like root vegetables, you have to pull 'em up, you have to unearth them, you have to clean them off, dust them off, clean them off, you have to prepare them and once you prepare them, they're delicious. And stories are delicious once we've prepared them. So we're gonna talk a little today about what are some structures to make some stories, what types of stories we use in sales and business and practice them because stories are something that if you don't practice them, then they just stay in your head as an idea, I think. Do you wanna jump into some story types here?
So, there's different types of stories and you may want to write this down, there's stories that hit an emotional motivator. That is heart stories, stories that hit the heart. So we find out what's important to somebody, it's a heart motivator. Stories that overcome objections, we're gonna spend particular on those today. I find those a fabulous way to overcome resistance from a customer because they don't believe it when we say it, they believe it when Bob, the CTO says it, right? And it's a great way to sort of transfer authority, if you will, is to use these stories to overcome objections, and then it's not as combative either. So it's another reason it's great to have a story. Stories that solve a problem, so when Mario was up here, we were talking about a problem that his service would solve. Wouldn't it be great to say, our other client had a similar problem, and here's what they found? Okay, so again, we're using stories to hit an emotional motivator, overcome objections, solve a problem. Stories that share similarities, so when we can use stories and show that we're just like them, again it sort of connects us. Stories that show our values and the big one is transformation stories. Transformation stories about, and Lee's gonna be talking about this, somebody was here, it's the classic hero's journey, they were here, they had this terrible struggle, and then they realized and now look at where they are now. And these are the stories that really connect us because there's nothing people love more than hearing about struggle. As Lee said at the beginning, we are more alike than, we are more similar than we are different and when we're vulnerable, and we share our own personal struggles, and how we climbed out of that struggle, it really connects people to us.