Stories that Sell

Increase attention, retention, and action from sales presentations through storytelling skills.

Sales Storytelling

Guest Article - June 2007

"Stories are the real thing" says management guru Tom Peters. "They are how we remember, how we learn and how we visualize what can be."

In a good story, somebody does something and we see it happen in our minds.

The higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more important communication skills become.

We hope you make time to read these gems. Robin Fielder MD, LDL

1. Focus on stories not presentations "Do you ever make 'presentations'?" Asks Tom Peters.

"I bet the answer is 'yes'

Well...STOP NO MORE PRESENTATIONS EVER AGAIN" Never give presentations. Instead tell STORIES

Most leaders have a clear idea what they want to accomplish, but "increasing revenue 12% next year" is unlikely to get people jumping out of bed excited to come to work.

Inspiration is sparked when people can clearly see what such an achievement would mean in their everyday work lives. What is the story in your next presentation?

2. Tell stories of others who have done a good job.

You can inspire people with short stories about others in the team who have done a good job. People relate to the story, and want to be the hero themselves next time.

Christmas Eve is the worst night of the year to work for an airline. Bad weather, crowded planes and missed connections. On that night, the worst job at the airport is handling baggage. That's why, for many years, Southwest Airlines' CEO Herb Kelleher spent Christmas Eve at Dallas Airport hauling luggage.

The message to staff is that Herb cares so much about us that he'll give up his time to help us - not just with words of thanks, but with his own labour.

What inspiring stories can you tell about people in your team?

3. Create your own legends. 

A legend is a story that is told and retold. Legends begin when a leader takes an unusual or extraordinary action and others start to talk about it.

If you're serious about changing the stories and legends told about your organization, initiate unusual actions yourself and encourage other managers to do likewise.

If the stories are worth repeating, legends will grow. Legends spring from what you pay attention to, how you react to a challenge, how you treat people and what you reward.

Talking of legends - you might like to read Steve Jobs' speech to last year's graduating class at Stanford - stories communicate!

Three stories from Steve Jobs

What key message can you reinforce with a story?

Article by Robin Fielder

Reproduced with permission of Leadership Development Ltd learning@ldl.co.uk, web: www.ldl.co.uk 

If you need to develop sales stories that work for your business or improve storytelling skills, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to discuss your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively Send email to custserv@salessense.co.uk for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.

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