Tell me a story …

A while ago I was asked to meet up with a friend who was having trouble with his sales. A great product he has although his problem is that he knows how good the product is but doesn’t know how to engage the needy. He was coming out of a corporate background to work for himself and I could see where Phil was having trouble.

He’d spend 20+ years steering the department instead of building. Phil was a manager and not a sales person. Not yet.

I could only reflect on my own experience. Around 20 years ago I’d just taken a sales position selling something I knew well, I was confident although I had not the faintest idea of how to introduce the product to another.

I did though have passion. I had attitude and I was determined. I could smile on cue, was aware that a handshake was the traditional way of greeting in these parts and I could start a conversation.

Fundamental stuff heh?

Even after the aforementioned revision, Phil was not there, yet.

Skills are what he had, coming from the department production floor and into management, he was the go-to guy with the technical knowledge. But could he tell a story?

I reminded Phil that people buy stories, not skills.

Add a story to the fundamental method of introduction and your engagement is complete. Almost. Are they listening to you? Are you listening to them?? Too often Phil was telling me his solution and not listening to my support. Life is like that sometimes; we know we should have inkling about something as primary as personal engagement but it somehow becomes lost in the technical, the driven, and the departmental structure.

I believe all of us are sales people but we really do need to listen to our audience, engage with dialogue. Get our prospect on side before slowly; ever so slowly we offer our own story, verse by chapter in conversation until you come to the offer of solution you have that may be relevant to their needs today.

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