Storytelling in Sales: Notes from Prezi Podcast “The Narrative”

My friends at Prezi invited me to join them for an episode of The Narrative. It’s a podcast aimed to expose the power of storytelling in business.

I sat down with host David Hooker to share my approach to storytelling in sales and sales development.

This piece is not a transcript of the episode. Instead, it’s a supplement filled with insights and actions to get you thinking about narratives and how to better craft them. It’s incredible how often stories are needed.

Consider these examples:

  • How well does your LinkedIn profile complement (not repeat) your resume? What’s your story for how you add value to an organization?
  • How do you, or how does your team, broadcast its results? How do you highlight the journey of going from x to y?
  • Why would a live audience, especially one comprised of prospects, want to listen to your presentation? How can they relate to your theme? What’s in it for them and how can they apply what you’re telling them?
  • How do you tell prospects — in a fast, brief phone conversation — it’s worth their time to keep talking with you?

Like it or not, you’re always telling a story. The question is, are you good at it? If you are, how do you stay sharp? If you’re not, how do you improve?

David and I chat about what I’ve seen work in my career. Take a listen. If you like the episode (it’s Episode #2, by the way) share it with others.

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Show notes from Episode #2 of The Narrative

00:51 Introduction from host David Hooker.

01:37 David asks about selling for United Parcel Service (UPS), where I started my sales career in 1994.

At UPS, I was a “back door salesman” for close to six years. Most sales calls happened in the shipping area, which is typically located in the back of the building.

My learning experience at UPS was rich. It became the bedrock for my understanding of sales, management, customer service, and leadership.

While I was at UPS, the company continually raised the standards of the sales force in many ways. From how we dressed (women and men wore business suits) to how we communicated (daily huddles), we illustrated a high-caliber operation.

We opened team meetings by reading and reflecting on excerpts from the UPS Policy Book. Reading aloud our commitment to integrity, values, and management philosophies really set the tone for serving the marketplace. What does your company or team’s policy book say? What’s your mission?

The entire sales team received subscriptions to Selling Power magazine. Issues simply arrived in my mailbox each month. I could’ve thrown them out or read them from cover to cover: I chose the latter. I read and applied tips from Editor-in-Chief Gerhard Gschwandtner and contributor Jeffrey Gitomer, both of whom I later met (and keep learning from).

Read more…

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Leading the worldwide sales development organization @ServiceNow, Board Member @GableHeartBeats, drummer @seguesounds, happy guy.

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Ralph Barsi

Ralph Barsi

Leading the worldwide sales development organization @ServiceNow, Board Member @GableHeartBeats, drummer @seguesounds, happy guy.

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