We help people sell
How do you convince someone to buy your product, service, or point-of-view? Tell them a short story.
Then prove what you said was true. And if you can, give them a chance to experience it for themselves.
We build Short Stories that Sell™. Why? Because we help people sell. That’s OUR story … what’s yours?
Our storytelling tools
- Social media
A short story
Imagine you’re interviewing for a job. The recruiter says “Give me three words that describe you.”
Your answer might be “Well, I’m creative, resourceful, and perseverant.” Then the recruiter pauses, looks at you, and says “That’s interesting; give me an example.” How do you respond? Tell her a short story: “You might enjoy hearing about how my wife and I built our first house back in Iowa – a geodesic dome home.”
Selling is not easy
When Cisco’s IP telephones first came to market, convincing an IT telecommunications manager to replace PBX-based telephones was not an easy sell. Usually the reaction was one raised eyebrow, an incredulous look, and a one word question: “How?”
When they learned a new data network was also needed “How” quickly turned into “Why??” Our best response was to share customer success stories and invite them to experience the difference. “Here Woody, you make a call. Try it for yourself. Then you can tell me why.”
Tell a story
If you have 20 seconds you can tell a short story. Take a few more minutes and you can bring it to life with characters, plot, challenges, and a success. Neuro-scientists have shown that while we like to hear facts, our minds crave narrative explanations. Stories shape who we are and who we will be.
As American poet Murial Rukeyser said – “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
Stories are hard to forget
You decide to tell the interviewer another story. This one is about how on a Sunday morning in Dallas you helped close the sale of 180,000 Cisco IP telephones to Bank of America in 10 minutes. Weeks later, what will the interviewer remember? Facts from a resume – like job titles, departments, and dates? Or will she remember the story about your best sales success? Stories last long after facts have faded.
A simple, easy way to sell
Every sale goes through four phases: find the customer and the problem, educate them, ask for their business, then build a long-term relationship. Our focus is on the second phase; helping you educate your customers. Our process is five simple steps. First, have a plan. Second, tell your story. Third, prove what you said was true. Fourth, provide an engaging experience. Last, make sure they’re completely satisfied.
Tell your story
Planning & satisfying your customer are important steps, but lets look at telling your story. Maybe it’s a one sentence elevator pitch. Maybe a short success story. Sometimes the story behind the story – your backstory – is most convincing. Product, service, or point-of-view: it doesn’t matter.
People want to hear your story. If life threw you a challenge, did you give up? Why not? You are the sum of your experiences; sometimes sharing a few personal ones can be a good thing – like Who am I?
When you hear a good story, you might respond with a skeptical “Really? Prove it; give me the facts.” Facts make a story believable. Want to make it really believable? Have someone else – like a customer – talk about how you helped them. Capturing audio or video as someone re-tells their story has never been easier or more affordable. Everyone has a few great success stories worth sharing. Why not find a couple and put them to work?
“Tell someone there’s a million stars in the sky & they’ll believe you. Tell them there’s wet paint on the park bench and they’ll need to touch it to find out.” By nature, we need to touch, to smell, to hear … to engage something before we really believe or really understand. You don’t need to recreate a Disney experience to WOW your prospect. Sometimes the most simple, low cost experiences can be the most convincing.
Everyone and every thing has a story. Whether you’re selling a product, service, or point-of-view – we can help find the stories that make you special. Together we’ll craft them into flexible narratives, easily adapted to fit when, where, and how you need to deliver them.
Contact us. It’ll cost you nothing. And if you don’t like how we’ve helped you, then that’ll cost you nothing as well. That’s our promise. Let’s talk.
On a Friday night at Virlie’s Grill in downtown Pittsboro, you might find yourself picking up the menu and getting ready to order some chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, greens, and sweet tea for supper.
From the minute you walk in the door, you can tell this place is a hometown diner.
A rather stout fellow, mid 60’s, comes up to the girl at the cash register and orders a piece of pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. “Why Larry, is that all you’re having tonight?” Larry nods & starts to shuffle to his favorite booth in the back.
There’s the farmer in the freshly pressed, checkered shirt & the white straw cowboy hat. Chores are done. He’s waiting on his 14 oz. ribeye steak, making small talk with Gina the waitress, telling her about how he & his late wife raised four kids on the farm just north of town.
Virlie’s is that kind of place. Every time I’ve been there Kane – who is just about the friendliest, most hard working guy you’ll ever meet – has waited on me. As I put down the menu & gave him my order I noticed the story on the front cover. “Is Ms. Virlie your great-grandmother?” I ask Kane.
“Oh no …” he replied, and started to describe his relationship to Virlie Pickel. To be honest, my attention was on the menu and the description of Virlie’s kitchen: “… a local gathering spot where everyone was welcome for good food and conversation.”
Yup, that’s Virlie’s. I can’t wait to try the chicken-fried steak. Everything in this place just smells so good.