We’ve all heard the phrase that “knowledge is power.” But that phrase needs more: “Knowledge is power–when it is applied.” We don’t lack for information in a world with too much of it. What I see happening is the inability to apply the information. Sometimes this is on the student, other times on the teacher.
Great teachers have the ability to make information stick, and to inspire change and action. It’s that simple.
One way to make information stick and motivate is through the power of storytelling. Great sales leaders incorporate storytelling into their daily training and coaching.Everyone has heard a great speaker at some point in their career. And I am guessing that they remember more from the speaker’s stories than the facts and figures they shared.
We are wired for stories because they activate chemicals in our brains. As a result, people are more engaged in what you have to say when you say it through the format of a story. You might be thinking, “Well, I’m not that great of a storyteller.”
Fine. Then invite your clients to join a sales meeting to tell the sales team their story of how your products and services are making their lives easier and keeping them more competitive.
This type of feel-good story activates the oxytocin chemical in the brain. This chemical makes us more empathetic. Many salespeople don’t realize just how much their products and services are helping clients. They forget the many problems their clients faced before bringing on your company’s services and products.
One of my clients that sold video conference services used the power of storytelling during a sales meeting. He asked one of the company’s clients, a CIO, to share her story about why she worked with the company. Her answers were thoughtful and compelling. “Our company is expanding globally and our biggest worry is that we will lose the good culture we’ve worked very hard to build,” she said. “Without the ability to connect consistently and effectively, we know that we could face possible attrition from our team and/or attrition from customers. Your service is essential in keeping our culture of teamwork and collaboration.”
This client’s story demonstrated to team members that they weren’t just selling features and benefits. It was better than any rah-rah speech the manager could have given. The sales team members were inspired because they realized they weren’t just selling a product: They were selling culture, collaboration and teamwork.
If you want your sales team to learn, remember and be inspired, incorporate the power of the story in your next sales meeting.
Colleen Stanley is President and Founder of SalesLeadership, a sales development firm. She is the author of Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and Growing Great Sales Teams. As an international sales keynote speaker, she ranks in the top five and has been recognized by Salesforce as one of the top 7 influential sales experts in the 21st century. She is the creator of the Ei Selling® System, a unique and powerful sales program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills. She has also been named as one of the Top Sales &Marketing Influencers from To
Prior to starting SalesLeadership, she was vice president of sales for Varsity Spirit Corporation. During her 10 years at Varsity, the company was named by Forbes as one of the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States.