Dec. 5, 2019

35: What makes a great story


Feel like your sales stories are a little boring? Not hitting the maark? Mike Weinberg shows us a quick story framework in his book Sales TruthSupport the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)
Transcript
Speaker 1:

Ever feel like you're still, stories are not hitting the Mark. They're rambling on a little bit much and maybe they're even a little bit boring. Might Weinberg shows us a quick story framework in his book sales truth

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

welcome to the bite size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team and a B2B company that the sales team deserves great sales skills training but usually doesn't get it and that taking bite-size steps each day to get better at your craft is the best way to improve results. I am your host Andrew Monahan and I'm using my experiences and B2B sales to bring you simple actionable ideas every day to help you get better.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] story

Speaker 1:

is one of the great communication tools that we as humans have. Stories go back generations, centuries, millennia, and if you look at some of the things that we know about, you know from centuries and centuries and centuries ago, it tends to be from stories that were passed down from generation to generation era to era and there are stories told, well really drag you in. They, they encapture you the, the, the capture your attention for potentially minutes, if not hours. And they're very effective way to communicate , uh, ideas and things to people. And yet somehow when it comes to stories in the business world, and especially, I hate to say it in the sales world, the end up being a little bit boring, rambling, not concise, not very effective, things like that. You know, I think we've all kind of experienced that from hearing other people's stories or even if we're honest about some of our own. So let's, as salespeople, let's take a lead on this. Let's try and make this , uh , something that we're as a strength of ours as opposed to one that's potentially a weakness and might Weinberg in his book sales truth gives us a simple structure to work with. Let me read that to you right now. Salespeople must be armed with a range of case studies that cover the gamut of their company's offerings and the types of situations where those offerings apply. And let's not get wigged out by the term case studies. That is just a fancy way of saying customer stories. It shouldn't take an act of Congress to create a handful of one page success stories and teach them to the sales team. Frankly, I don't know how in the world a company could expect sales people to succeed, especially newer salespeople if they're not able to easily, quickly and conversationally comfortably share examples of how their company has helped customers in similar situations. Those are table stakes. If there's any hope of succeeding, a solid, usable case study has three very components. The customer's situation. When we found them, what we did and the outcome, it doesn't get much simpler and that is why I go nuts. When large bureaucratic organizations make it seem like it's too hard to create case studies for the sales team, so that's read straight from sales truth by by Mike Warren Bergen . I would give him even a little bit further. You know what I've seen is his organizations , some that struggle to produce case studies. It has to go through, you know, how many levels of approval is it on the right brand, is it on topic and is it using the right terminology? And you know , all kind of interests gets edited out of the whole thing. The second thing I've seen as well is long rambling case studies, right ? You know, and the people that create these case studies must get paid by the word or the page because what you end up with is a three page , uh , list of things and story and you know, the trend is many words on these three pages that he possibly can and then somehow expect the sales team to then make sense of it, right ? It's almost like we're going to throw as much as at you as we can and let you figure out how to tell this story. To me that seems like a weird way to doing it, right? You know, two audiences for a story. If they're going to read it, one is the customer. That should be one way. And the second, it should be a version for the sales team that says, look, here's a two minute way to tell this customer story using maybe Mike Weinberg's framework here. I remember I joined one company and um, they were, they didn't have a , a library of , of customer stories and when they were about to go through a huge hiring spree for reps. So what I did is I actually , uh , I find out that my third or fourth week I was there, they had their customer conference and I, a bunch of the sales reps are going to be there. So actually rather than go and interview the customers, what I did was I interviewed on video all the top sales reps or that were there. And I simply said to them, you know, I want you to tell your customer stories and I want you to do it in less than two minutes. And I want you use this framework, which is actually pretty similar to my Weinberg's framework here. And I ended up with 19 different customer stories on video each less than two minutes. And then as we brought these new hires in, you know, they didn't have the luxury of having their own customers obviously coming in, right? But they were able to beg, borrow and steal from the library that we created in these videos. And they were just so thankful, right? They were just so thankful. They had something that was more interesting to talk about rather than ourselves but actually about our customers and they were armed and ready to go out there in the field. So these stories are super, super powerful. And you know , what I've seen is when we leave it up to people to figure out from that three-page case study I talked about what to say, then the story rambles all all around, right? And what you can do is if you're in a situation where you have those long kind of rambling case studies, use Mike Weinberg's framework here to create your version of that story. Be able to articulate and tell it in less than two minutes and practice it. So when you go out there, it's very effective, is to the point and it's impactful.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 3:

If you liked this episode, please share it wide and far spread the word. I get energy from seeing people download and use this content. So please just take 20 seconds to share with anyone you think would like it to .

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

episode is sponsored by unstoppable dot du . Most sales teams are not trained effectively in the skills and mindset they deserve and these are the most important people in the company. It's no wonder that only about 50% of reps make quarter every year. Unstoppable is a service that helps sellers and leaders get great at the skills and mindset they need without taking time out of the field. It exists because if the sales team has the right skills and mindset, they thrive. They are confident and depressed

Speaker 1:

for much better. Find out more and even get a free sales book@bitesizesales.com

Speaker 3:

and now to wrap up as Eric Apple, VP of sales at semantic may or may not have one said training with our implementation is just entertainment and preparer entertainment when Monaghan does it. So make sure you take action on what you learn and keep getting better every day. This world does not need more sales BS, so don't create anymore . Be great at the fundamentals. Be honest, be real. Be yourself. Just do not be us. And finally I'm setting off as the great Joe Sexton would by saying on to sell

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .