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Doctor_354_shadowI was 10 years old when I came down with what my family believed was the flu. Later that weekend they found me in the corner of my bed tightened into the fetal condition and unresponsive.

The doctors quickly determined that my comatose body had contracted bacterial spinal meningitis and that I likely would not live more than a couple more days.

I woke from the coma four days later, to the surprise of the entire medical team, and a funny thing happened at the hospital a week later.

It was almost Christmas, and so I asked my father if he really would buy me any game I wanted since I woke from my “sleep.” It was something he told me while I was still in day three of my coma.

In sales, sometimes you may not believe your buyer is taking in your words with consideration, and truthfully sometimes they aren’t, but there is often more going on in their head than we can see. So trust in yourself, even when what you see is causing you concern. Remember what’s worked and work it.

Yes often starts off looking a lot like a No.

I told you this story to make two points:

  1. Well-Built Stories Are Powerful: They’re far more powerful than simply talking about a list of your product’s or service’s features or benefits.
  2. Storytelling Speeds Growth In Business Relationships: You can deepen the relationship in a shorter amount of time with relevant, powerful stories.

You’ve heard this before, about the power of storytelling in sales, but do you really know the science behind it?

Once you do understand it, you’ll become much better at it because there will no longer be any doubt about how much we as humans are built to seek, enjoy and respond to stories.

I found, last week, what I can easily say is the deepest dive into the science of storytelling, as it directly relates to selling, I’ve ever read. And, if you have any interest in this subject at all, you’ll enjoy learning more about storytelling from it as well.

Founder of Vesper (@meetvesper), pilot [and a fellow lover of French toast], Jimi Smoot (@jsfour), wrote a blog post titled: Stop Selling Features, Start Selling Stories: The Science Behind Story Telling And Why Selling With A Story Works.

It’s the only blog post about storytelling and sales you need to become absolutely convinced that stories are essential in the work we do.

“The difference between any particularly emotional story and a good marketing story is that a marketing story has a purpose” — Tim Halloran

I want to share with you elements of Smoot’s post so you know a little about what you’ll find in this important resource. The author shares the science behind:

  • Why Telling A Story Right Can Add To Your Credibility
  • How A Good Story Can Literally Shift a Customer’s Brain Chemistry
  • How Stories Transport Customers to New Worlds
  • Why Storytelling Can Squash the Skeptic In Your Customer
  • Why Stories Are Critical To Build Relationships

There are also two embedded videos you should definitely take the time to view.

Once you understand, and trust, this information, your colleagues will notice more confidence building in you. Your buyers will respond even more positively on a steady and consistent basis.

That will mean more sales for you. Read the post at Vesper Blog now.

Oh, and yes…my father was true to his word. I chose my game wisely [then I was given many more games and toys by my parents and others]. That year we enjoyed the very best Christmas together as a family we ever had.

[Reading Time of Smoot’s Post: 7:00 minutes]


QUESTION ::: What’s the best story you’ve used in gaining a sale?

Let’s talk about it…

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Storytelling_3_317_shadowThis set of links for sales professionals includes a couple of important “How To” blog posts from industry leaders, as well as quite a bit of vital information you really need to know about B2B sales.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

HOW TO ::: Blog
How To Master Storytelling In Business (And Sales)
Business leader Ago Cluytens (@acluytens) put together this valuable look into the topic of storytelling for sales professionals. He takes a look at some of the ways in which great sellers harness the power of storytelling in business.

KEY QUOTE: Rather than simply conveying [your] points, stories enable you to do so in a way that evokes emotion, as well as reduces the danger of your prospect seeing you as yet another chest-pounding salesperson full of themselves.

Read it and you’ll be rewarded with an upgrade to your storytelling skills, and ultimately to your skills in earning more sales. #onceuponatime
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


Jack Malcolm’s Blog
How to RULE the Sales Conversation
President of Falcon Performance Group, Jack Malcolm (@jackmalcolm) introduces us to the idea of Motivational Interviewing, then breaks it down in a way that can clearly relate to sales.

KEY QUOTE: The premise is that clients are ambivalent about changing their behaviors, and trying to get them to change before they are ready only increases their resistance. So, the idea is to ask questions and manage the conversation so that the client talks about their own reasons for changing and arrives at their own commitment to change.

Malcolm explains the RULE acronym and shows how it can be immediately incorporated into your selling today. #RULEoutlostsales
[Reading/Listening Time: 1:30]


RAIN Selling Blog
5 Changes in B2B Buying Behavior You Need to Know About
It’s Ago Cluytens again (@acluytens). This time, he penned a post for the RAIN Selling Blog (@rainselling). It offers some key information B2B sellers need to know about today’s B2B buyers.

KEY QUOTE: Today’s buyers are well-educated and often aware of the various options available to them. They tend to have a clearly articulated opinion about what it might take to address the challenges they’re facing.

What they seek, therefore, is not simply information, which they already have in abundance. They’re looking for a sparring partner—someone who can help them find the best way to move forward, and cut through the complexity of the decision making process itself.

Cluytens has the helpful background of being a former buyer. Receiving these insights from that perspective make this worth reading. #changeistheonlycertainty
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]


openview Labs
35 Crucial Stats Every B2B Sales Professional Should Know
Sales Strategist CeCe Bazar (@howbazar for @OpenViewLabs) recently put some quality time into compiling this list of helpful information that’s important for B2B sales pros to know to increase buyer retention, response rate and overall customer satisfaction. You’ve heard some of these before, but not all of them.

KEY QUOTE: A new decision-maker enters the fray in the last 5 – 10% of the buying experience. Often times, this person needs to be engaged, educated and sold from scratch.

Some of these nuggets will come in handy in a sales conversation, others will motivate you to do more to keep up with and exceed what your peers are already doing. #theressomethinginhereforeveryone
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:30]


>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<


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2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales


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