Using the secret of story telling helps master the art of persuasion.
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How the secret of story telling helps you master the art of persuasion.

“Pitching?, nah, not for me. I don’t do sales”

Wait…before you go…

  • Have you been asked to present a business case for purchasing new piece of software?
  • Want to clearly position your skills and expertise to smash a job interview?
  • Need to share an idea with your partner to improve your lives?

We all ‘pitch’ at some point, maybe we just don’t know it. 

“Maybe as humans we just need to deliver better, clearly getting our point across, which is where the secret of story telling comes in. “

Sure, we’ve all experienced brilliant sales people trained how to pitch: 

Some get us to say ‘Yes’ a lot, 

“Do you want to increase your business sales?”

“Yes”

“Has there ever been times when you get frustrated with poor conversion?

“Yes”

Repeat. 

Other sales people just transmit features and benefits and then ask if we want to buy.

No thanks, you’re not solving my need.   

There are many good sales people who understand our problem and put themselves in our shoes. They intelligently take the role of the guide, recognising how we’re feeling and how to help us.

So maybe we just don’t like the phrase ‘pitching’: for me I get defensive and don’t like I’m being pitched to. Maybe we replace pitching with just needing to get our point across clearer, which is where the secret of story telling comes in. 

The easy 3-stage secret of story telling framework


This easy 3-stage framework has helped me get my point across using the secret of story telling:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Action 
  3. Result

So let’s avoid your CFO daydreaming and pique their ‘Curiosity’ …

let’s position what we need instead:

Curiosity

You’ve got an audience with the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and your team is backing you to ask for an investment to get a new CRM system. 

You’re feeling the pressure. You know those first few minutes in front of the CFO are vital. 

Your opening lines will either get your CFO curious or they’ll lose the will and stop listening and start daydreaming. You’ll see them nodding in all the right places, but they’re not really listening.

You’ve already lost your audience.

BTW, daydreaming is simply our brains way of conserving energy. Daydreaming is what we do when communication is poorly delivered.  When we daydream our brains use this downtime to look ahead. That’s when our CFO will start planning in their head the report they have to write and what tomorrow’s meeting with the bank looks like.

Daydreaming is bad, if you’re the cause.

So let’s avoid your CFO daydreaming and pique their ‘Curiosity’ and after the initial greetings. Let’s position what we need instead:

“We’re losing 5-10 sales conversions a month worth around £10,000. The reason is we’re spending too much time still trying to manage several spreadsheets and documents where we keep our sales contacts and meeting notes.”

Pause. 

This opening sentence of our story succinctly wraps up the current financial loss (we humans hate to lose, more than we love to win) and that’s why we must ensure the story alludes to the revenue opportunity and the tangible cause. 

Whilst ‘trying to manage multiple spreadsheets and documents’ is the primary problem, you know there are several reasons preventing you and your team from converting more business. Don’t confuse the message.

At this stage stick with one message and focus on one problem. Don’t introduce several issues.

Action

Now you have the CFO’s attention, let’s continue the pitch story with the ‘Action’ phase…

“I’ve assessed three CRM’s that remove the need for managing spreadsheets and documents. Bringing in a data-driven CRM enables us to make better informed decisions and free up more time to convert higher-value prospects. 

You’ll see how the story focuses on resolving the one key problem, followed by other benefits. 

We’ve told this story in just 12-lines.

Result

At this point the CFO is interested, and this is a good point to help our CFO figure out the RoI at the ‘Result’ stage:

“Spending more time converting the 5-10 sales we’re losing, would help us win back the £10,000 in lost we’re losing every month.  And that’s not all. The CRM would streamline the sales process, helping us track each lead, delivering more timely interactions at key touch points, so we nurture each prospect through the pipeline. 

I’ve forecast we could increase our overall sales by a further 15%, which would see a return on our investment in the first year”

And leave it there. You’ve delivered the what you need perfectly using story telling

We’ve told this story in just 12-lines. The story is factual and shows you’ve done your homework on three potential CRMs, helping the CFO imagine how a CRM could transform sales.

So if you struggle to get your point over, try using this simple 3-stage C.A.R. framework that succinctly helps to persuade using the secret of story telling.

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