There was a senior colleague who commanded respect from clients, principals, resellers and us colleagues. He was there in office every single day before office started for business. He was truly professional, knowledgeable, kept up his promises, always busy, added value to clients as well as partners, a crisis manager, a great people manager and had coffee & biscuits with us every evening after work. The evenings were interesting too.
One day I was preparing a proposal and he advised me to work on the proposals after office hours and not during productive sales time. From then on, all through the day, I was in front of customers talking about a new product or the upcoming workshops or just building relationship or talking about how technology is changing businesses and even lives. I normally simplify technology. It’s quite simple. I don’t get something if it is too complex. So, I question, read, inquire, find out the truth and understand it in detail. And then I simplify it and fine tune it according to the client I meet.
I think I built good relationships over the years with my clients and prospects. Some of them won’t buy anything related to technology without checking with me even if it is something that I don’t sell. Those were the zen moments in Account Management.
My role model has changed with time. Today it is Gary Vaynerchuk. He posted recently where in he taught how to tell a story. He says, if you are a real estate agent, tell me about the town and not just the house you want to sell. If you are passionate about Sales, tell me why you love it, your most interesting clients, biggest challenges etc. In essence, he says, don’t talk about the product / service that you are selling. Instead share the interesting anecdotes around your business. People would love to hear that. The rest will follow soon. Idea is to make things interesting.
StoryTelling is an Art. The good news is that you can learn and become a good storyteller.
You can inspire & motivate people with Stories.
With stories, you can engage people well and people will generally flock to you.
In Sales and in all other functions [more so in sales], it is very important to build your personal brand. And StoryTelling can help build your personal brand.
It can help in Sales by effectively helping the prospect visualize and connect.
It helps in communicating your point without explicitly talking about it.
Syncing of brains or mirroring of brains or in other words neural coupling happens in good storytelling. The listener is able to predict what you will say next. Perfect syncing.
You make yourself interesting. You are not making some boring presentations to make a sale. Never.
The idea is to engage the audience in rapt attention. Idea is not to sell. That happens eventually anyway. You sell without actually selling.
Some ideas for your Stories – your experience in community building from college / university, how a prospect faced problems and what you did to solve them, stories of gut and determination, stories of people who faced adverse conditions yet became hugely successful, how someone won in spite of huge opposition, how somebody helped another person while his/her own condition is helpless, how somebody turned around a loss making company etc.