Learn the key ideas of the book by Paul Smith

Sell with a Story

Effective storytelling to win over new customers and make the sale

Paul Smith interviewed professionals from more than fifty companies, of such calibre as Google and Microsoft, collecting more than two thousand stories for close study and analysis, to try and identify those components that can turn a simple narrative into an epic tale. Sell with a Story is a practical manual, divided into two sections: the first part explains the meaning of storytelling and its importance in the business and commercial context, while the second part describes the processes and the main components which contribute to the creation of a “sale story”, a good story, a story that can sell.

Sell with a Story
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Help those who want to learn the art of telling stories in order to sell.
  • Learn the key components and structure of a good story to help us sell.
  • Understand why storytelling is so effective in establishing a relationship of trust with our clients.

The author of the book:

Paul Smith is a famous American speaker and one of the world's leading experts in corporate storytelling techniques. He was manager of Procter & Gamble for twenty years; in his consulting business he has had prestigious clients, including Google, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Walmart. He is the bestselling author of The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell, Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story. He lives in Ohio with his wife and two children.

IDEA CHIAVE 1/12

Telling stories helps us sell more by leveraging emotional involvement and our uniqueness

Storytelling is the art of telling, of persuading through a story. A sale story is a story that we use in the sales process, it can be of help and support at every stage, from the acquisition of a potential customer to the closing of a contract.

Those who know how to use the storytelling strategy sell more than those who don't; good storytelling is an important tool in any salesperson's toolbox. Its importance lies first of all in the fact that the narration of a story puts the listener (and therefore the potential customer) in a state of peaceful, relaxed, unadulterated listening. Without any inkling of the situation as an attempt to sell, the potential customer is open to listening without prejudice, and this is the best and most direct way to enter into a relationship with a person.

Telling a story means leveraging the emotions of the listener and this is a very important factor, because it is almost always our emotional side that leads us to make decisions. When we listen to a story, it is as though we could see the scenes, we are literally captured by the story, making it very easy for us to remember it and also relatively natural for us to understand the ideas and concepts that the story itself comprises.

A good story can give value to an apparently insignificant object and is also potentially very contagious, because if it manages to capture the attention of the listener, then it is very likely that it will be subsequently passed on.

A story reflects our originality and our style, enabling us to stand out among many pre-packaged and well-known sales techniques. Good storytelling allows the potential client to learn lots about us and our values, to have fun and to get excited, keeping the conversation flowing nicely, as if we were at dinner with friends: it is here that the basis for building a lasting bond is formed.

  

The key ideas of "Sell with a Story"

01.
Telling stories helps us sell more by leveraging emotional involvement and our uniqueness
02.
Storytelling is not a strategy that can work in one direction only: we do talk, but we must also let other people talk too
03.
Storytelling is used to build a lasting relationship with our potential customers
04.
Use stories to handle possible objections from potential customers and to close the sale
05.
Continue the narration into the after-sales period to maintain a strong bond with customers
06.
For a sales story to work it must have a hero, a challenge, a struggle, and a useful lesson
07.
The structure of a good sale story is divided into seven steps
08.
A story must excite and surprise
09.
We use dialogue and details to make the story more attractive, realistic and authentic
10.
Keep an archive of stories from which to draw so as to never exhaust our repertoire
11.
Quotes
12.
Take-home message
 
 
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