Rediscovering the Human Connection
Through the Power of Story
Let me tell you a story about a salesperson named Chris. Chris used to make a hundred sales calls a day with the hope of making a single sale. With all of his past sales training and product expertise at his disposal, Chris found that selling was still just a numbers game.
Each of his sales calls started with the same messaging; “At Acme Co., we’re the world’s leading…” Upon hearing this, his buyers would immediately raise their Salesperson Barrier, rejecting all of Chris’ messaging. Even when Chris asked intelligent questions, his buyers would cross their arms, respond with product questions and plan their exit. “Yet another salesperson. I can’t trust them!” The buyer’s instinctive response, “No thanks, I’m just looking.”
When a buyer did talk, Chris was a poor listener. He was The Expert, equipped with planned questions and anticipated answers. He never appreciated his buyer’s skepticism and was not able to consciously lower their guard. Over time, Chris became aware of the recurring pattern from this disconnect. He became conscious of the fact that when a sale was made, a connection was formed. However, he wasn’t clear why this was so rare. Chris needed to find a way to more purposefully build a connection with prospects.
Fast Forward: Chris is now a Story Seeker. He is again calling on a new buyer and as expected, the buyer raises the Barrier. This time Chris is prepared. “I’ve spoken with other VPs of Technology and found they share a common difficulty. If you have a moment I would love to share a quick story that contains a golden nugget that you might use in your operation.” Chris continues by sharing one of his stories that addresses a set of challenges and lessons learned. Concluding his story, Chris says, “Can you share with me your story?”
Now the buyer is eager to tell their story. And this time, Chris actually listens with the intent to truly understand the buyer’s situation. The buyer is engaged by telling their own story, sharing where they’ve been, their challenges and their vision of the future. Without any sales pitch, Chris and the buyer are emotionally connecting through the story and there is now an unobstructed pathway for the exchange of information and new ideas.
Chris discovered that he can maximize nearly all 100 sales calls when using story to Connect with, Inspire, and Influence people - on purpose!
Story Seekers - Mike Bosworth Leadership is a research-based framework that is designed to enable salespeople to sell with greater confidence, effectiveness and purpose, by breaking down the human barriers that buyers instinctually raise. Our effective prospecting workshops harness the power of two of the most intrinsic, yet underdeveloped communication forms: story telling and story tending.