A fun and educational read that will help you begin to understand the value of story-based selling when running your small business.
“I will give you 70% of my revenue, just so I don’t have to do that selling thing.” Seriously, that’s what my friend said to me.
Now here’s the really ironic part. Are you ready? She is the wise woman who told me to stop looking at interactions as “sales conversations” and start looking at them as opportunities to help people, connect with them and make a difference.
But when it came time for her own sales conversation, she fell into the same trap we all do – thinking that we have to convince people to do something they don’t want to do.
Selling Isn’t About Buying, it’s About Feeling
The good news is that none of us need to worry about convincing anyone of anything. Because the actual sale isn’t made as a result of a sales conversation. It’s made because your prospects either like you or don’t like you. It’s just that simple.
I’ve always been interested in the buying process and what makes people buy and that’s why I was excited to get a review copy of Story-Based Selling : Create, Connect, and Close by Jeff Bloomfield (@Jeff_Bloomfield).
One of the things I really like about Bloomfield’s approach is his focus on bringing together the traditional anecdotal idea of sales as a function of being trusted and liked with the science of why logic goes out the window when we’re talking about sales.
Bloomfield tackles the perennial challenge of creating stories that sell. He says they work, we all agree and yet, like me, you’re probably struggling with how to incorporate stories inside your selling conversations without looking (or feeling) like a fake or a sham.
The purpose of Story-Based Selling is to actually show you how to develop and use stories as part of the natural way you communicate and ultimately influence people (notice Bloomfield doesn’t say manipulate, but influence).
In this book, you’ll learn how to develop and use stories to:
- Build the like and trust factor.
- Craft conversations that appeal to your prospects deepest needs and feelings instead of just logic.
- Identify the defining stories of your business and your life that will help build a foundation of vulnerability and authenticity that accelerate emotional connections and trust.
- Develop an attitude that is open to a new way of having conversations.
- Leave your “left-brained” training behind and take on a new way of connecting with people that is not only fun, but affective.
Think of Yourself as a Leader More Than a Seller
Bloomfield doesn’t say this upfront, but it’s a lesson I took from the book. In Chapter 1, The Evolution of Communication, he draws the connection between leaders and great communicators. Here he gives several examples that prove his point and then (this is the best part of this chapter), he gives you a checklist that you can use to evaluate your communication:
- Eye Contact
OK, so there’s no way you’re going to get all of these points integrated into your conversations all at once and without lots of practice. And this is where the rest of the book takes you.
My favorite chapter is the one that talks about the science of the brain and how human interactions, communication and influence really works. If you read the book from front to back, you will appreciate the subtle layers of stories and examples he gives early in the book and how well they are illustrated by science later in the book.
Bloomfield Practices What He Preaches
Of course, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Bloomfield comes from a long line of storytellers. You meet his story telling mentor (his Papaw) early in the book and you’ll see, through his own stories, how he’s developed this wonderful guide that will help you develop your own stories.
Jeff has founded and managed several companies and has more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience that gives him a unique perspective that resonates with clients of all backgrounds and industries.
Read the Book and Create Your Story Along the Way
The more I read and review books, the more particular I get about how I like to consume content. On the one hand, I like interesting general content that tickles my brain. And then, I love to have practical application opportunities inside the book – a “let-me-play-with-your-content” kind of experience. Finally, I want books to be short, sweet, practical and to the point.
Story-Based Selling delivers all of these and then some. It’s short, it’s easy to read, it’s educational and fun. If you want to work along with Bloomfield and incorporate story selling – then you can do that too.
What more can you ask from a book?