Sell With a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale
According to Paul Smith, storytelling can be used at every stage of the sales process. Successful salespeople, he tells us, use it every time they make contact with their customers. BUT, you have to know what story to tell and how to tell it.
He begins the book by explaining the difference between a story and other narratives. From there he moves on, using both anecdotal and scientific evidence, to explain why storytelling is more effective in gaining sales than other sales strategies. Once this foundation has been laid, the book becomes a workbook, as Smith takes readers through a step-by-step process aimed at helping them develop their own stories and their own successful way of telling them.
In addition to providing a very understandable treatise on this sales technique, Smith also includes discussions of intimacy thresholds, emotional content versus emotional delivery, creating surprise, effective use of dialogue and details, determining proper length of the story, use of embellishment and aggression, setting expectations, and getting prospective buyers to tell you their story.
The last chapter, Getting Started, pulls it all together in a no-nonsense summary, followed by appendices with formats for My Story Wish List, Selling Story Roadmap, Story Structure Template, and List of Sales Stories. There’s no mistaking Smith’s belief in what he’s telling readers and the results he has seen these techniques produce. This is a must-read, especially for people working in small businesses.