Posts Tagged ‘Tell stories’

Stories Called the Greatest Relationship Builders

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Storytelling is one of the five new realities of sales discussed in a new book entitled, Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar. The author, John Jantsch, discusses each “new reality” in depth, including storytelling, which he says is the new “nurturing.” The other four new realities of selling offer equally interesting perspectives on the new way of doing business. They are 1) Listening is the new prospecting, 2) Educating is the new presenting, 3) Insight is the new information sharing, and 4) Connecting is the new closing.

In a blog summarizing the author’s explanation of the five new realities, Dave Kerpen says Jantsch describes stories as the world’s greatest relationship builders. The author explains that salespeople need to make their organization’s core stories relevant to their customers and the world they live in. (Actually, relating to the customer has long been an essential element of effective advertising and selling.) When that relevance is presented as a well-told story, Jantsch posits, the story not only resonates with the customer, but the customer takes ownership of building a new story with the salesperson’s business as the lead character. The salesperson’s company actually becomes the hero of the story, meeting the customer’s problems head-on and solving them.

Many successful salespeople naturally use stories to help the prospective customer imagine what life would be like after they benefit from the product or service being offered. Most don’t. Instead, they focus on the features of their product or service and leave the prospective customer to figure out how it’s relevant to their lives.

In today’s fast-paced, constantly changing world, it’s essential to have an array of carefully crafted stories to draw on at any given moment. You need to be able to pull out and tell the best brief tale that “sings” to the individual you’re presenting to. The Corporate Storytelling® system will give you the knowledge, the skills and the tools you need to create and tell stories that resonate with your ideal customers; when you do that, they will see your company as the hero they’ve been looking for.

Sell Ideas Like Malcolm Gladwell: Tell Stories

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The spectacular success of Malcolm Gladwell’s first three books clearly demonstrates that he’s very skilled at selling ideas. Sales of The Tipping Point surpassed 3 million copies and Blink, and Outliers each sold more than a million copies.

Wharton School of Busness professor Jonah Berger explains how Gladwell has been so effective in selling his ideas. In an online article Berger lists three techniques, one of which is storytelling.

Like other skilled storytellers, Gladwell paints vivid pictures for his audience by telling stories to illustrate his points. As Berger notes, stories surprise and engage the audience and also causes readers and listeners to vicariously experience what he’s describing. Stories also “serve a “larger purpose,” Berger says. A story is “proof by example,” conveying information that “comes along for the ride.”

To read the entire article, go to

Then ask yourself, How can I learn from and emulate Gladwell? What stories can I tell that convey important information and persuade others to my point of view in an engaging way?

Burning Man Inspiring Recruitment Tool for Creative Culture

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Executives at Burning Man? At first glance that sounds like a headline from “The Onion.” But as “Fast Company” reports, a high-end business service provides direct flights to the week-long Black Rock, Nevada, event, where plush accommodations and fine dining await groups of executives seeking creative inspiration–and even the possibility of finding great recruits who will fit into their business cultures. If they’re as unconventional as the founders of Google and many other 21st Century organizations, that isn’t as far-fetched an idea as it may sound.

“Fast Company” reports that Google Co-founder Sergy Brin has explained, “Larry and I searched (for a leadership candidate) for over a year” before he and his co-founder, Larry Page, attended Burning Man, where they met Eric Schmidt, now the chairman of Google. Commenting that Schmidt is a great fit with their approach to business, Brin added, “More companies should look at cultural fit.”

He’s absolutely right. Too many companies have traditionally sold candidates on the benefits of their organization by telling stories that paint an unrealistic picture of the type of person they want. The importance of identifying the personality traits and behavior styles that truly will fit into the organization is often overlooked. It’s an oversight that can be very costly, particularly in terms of low productivity and high employee turnover.

What does your company–or any you know–include unorthodox practices as part of its recruiting efforts? We’d like to hear how creative thinkers like the founders of Google find the people who fit well into their cultures. Share your stories with us!

Even Data Scientists Need to Tell Stories

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

data-analysis-cartoon-1Two data scientists acknowledged in a recent blog post that even they need to sharpen their storytelling skills rather than thinking it’s enough to keep on cranking out data. They also urged their colleagues to recognize not just the power of storytelling, but also the need to tell stories to give their data meaning.

Writing on the “Harvard Business Review” blog, Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin of explain that there’s a good reason many people immediately think “Big Brother” when they hear the term “Big Data.” While computers can do a lot–and keep on cranking out reports and numbers 24/7–people intuitively know that their core needs as human beings can’t be quantified or fulfilled by a machine. So the more computers are able to do and asked to do, the more anxious people become.

“As the cost of collecting and storing data continues to decrease,”Bladt and Filbin write, “the volume of raw data an organization has available can be overwhelming. Of all the data in existence, 90% was created in the last 2 years.” Yes, you read that correctly: 90% of all data at our disposal today was created in just the past 2 years! The authors caution that human translation and context is essential to make use of that information successfully.

“Without a human frame, like photos or words that make emotion salient,” the scientists say, “data will only confuse, and certainly won’t lead to smart organizational behavior.”

What do you think? How does your organization process and manage the data it collects? More importantly, perhaps, is this question: How well are all the humans in your company coping with the flood of data you’re expected to use?

Dare to Tell Small Stories to Generate Large Emotions

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

In his new book, noted author William Zinzer offers sage advice to aspiring writers: “Dare to tell the smallest of stories if you want to generate large emotions.” This advice literally cuts to the heart of the matter; the stories that reach people on a personal level are the ones that touch the heart. Zinzer’s own focus is on writing about “people whose values I respect.” As he explains, “My pleasure is to bear witness to their lives.”

Another subject covered in a recent review of Zinzer’s latest book, The Writer Who Stayed, is his dismay over widespread abuse of the English language. I couldn’t agree more. Author of a classic text on writing, he bemoans the use of terms such as “reading experiences” when referring to articles and “content management systems” for article collections.

My favorite is his critique of the word “relationship,” which he rightly points out can mean whatever someone wants it to mean. “Relationship” certainly never appeared in classic literature about famous lovers. Romeo and Juliet were not described as being “in a relationship”; neither were Tristan and Isolde or Antony and Cleopatra. Further, “relationship” doesn’t work well in a song. Imagine, Zinzer says, Cole Porter writing, “Let’s do it, let’s have a relationship.”

Does such non-specific language bother you? Let us know what you think. Or, if you like, tell us a small story.