How do you cut through the noise to captivate a sales prospect’s attention when everyone is crazy-busy and no one has time for another sales pitch? Sales speaker and author of the forthcoming book, Better Selling Through Storytelling, John Livesay, says storytelling is the answer. That’s because stories–not facts–allow you to create an emotional connection with your buyers so they actually enjoy their time with you, and they’re moved to say “yes.”
Sounds wonderful, so how do you do it?
In his recent blog post, John shares three secrets to leverage storytelling in 2019, which include:
- Paint a Picture. “The more vivid you describe a situation, the more people can see, hear and feel like they are in the story with you,” John writes. He tells the story of how he helped a top-ranked architecture firm win a big account. Instead of having his client say, “We helped an airport get their renovations done on time,” he coached them on how to paint a picture of how they made it happen. “Two years ago, we had 12 hours (from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.) to get all the floors removed around all 20 retail stores in Terminal 4 at JFK,” the story begins. “The stakes were high…” Aren’t you curious to know what happens next?!
- R.O.A. (Return On Attention). Not only are you going up against your competition with every sales call, but you’re also competing with a seemingly endless array of distractions as you make your pitch. “Stories are your best tool to get people to pay attention to what you are saying,” John writes. “You have to make sure your story has a pay off for the buyer for giving you their attention,” and “whoever is the best at describing the problem that your buyer is facing is the person the buyer thinks has the best solution.” Before you can “sell” them on ROI, you’ve gotta give them ROA.
- Close via Storytelling. You’ve certainly heard the advice: Ask for the order and then don’t speak. “The old way said that the person speaks first after a closing question loses,” John writes. “The new way of selling is to ask for the order in a whole new way” — a “journey” question, John calls it. With his architecture firm client, he advised them to ask, “Does this sound like the kind of journey you would like to go on with us?” That’s where you allow silence, and they won the sale “because the client saw themselves in the story with the firm being their Sherpa to help them climb their own mountain of challenges.”
You can read John’s full blog post on Equities.com, or visit John’s sales speaker profile and learn more about how you can engage him to help you and your sales force soar to new heights in the year ahead.