Course Highlights

This storytelling course for salespeople will:

  • Equip participants with a deep understanding of “storyselling” and its value in enhancing the sales process.
  • Introduce ten common story types used in sales, expanding participants’ repertoire of narrative techniques.
  • Guide participants in using the Hero-Goal-Problem-Headline framework and seven other story structures for varied sales contexts.
  • Provide guidance for balancing emotional appeal and rational persuasion in storytelling for more nuanced and persuasive narratives.
  • Suggest ways to enhance stories with vivid details.
  • Share methods for transitioning in and out of stories during sales interactions, maintaining a seamless flow of conversation.
  • Encourage practical application through interactive exercises, ensuring skills are learned and effectively implemented.

Course Overview

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace, and effectively managing it is crucial for maintaining a harmonious and productive environment. This hands-on workshop delves into essential communication skills and strategies for handling disagreements constructively. Participants will engage in interactive exercises to apply tools for defining problems, selecting appropriate resolution strategies, and navigating the PEACE conflict resolution framework. The program emphasizes respecting and listening to others, appreciating cultural differences, and understanding when external facilitation is necessary for conflict resolution.

Program Objectives

At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain “storyselling” and the value of using stories in sales.
  • Identify the characteristics strong sales stories share.
  • Discuss storytelling pitfalls.
  • Describe how the brain reacts to stories.
  • Explain ten common story types used in sales.
  • Use the Hero-Goal-Problem-Headline framework and seven other story structures.
  • Employ emotional appeal and rational persuasion.
  • Enhance stories with details.
  • Follow best practices for leveraging authenticity and credibility when telling stories.
  • Identify best practices for strong story delivery.
  • Comfortably transition in and out of stories.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

When and Why to Use Stories: The Value of Tales for Sales

This program begins with a definition of “storyselling” and the value it brings to the sales process. Following that introduction, we will contrast two sales interactions: one that uses stories and one that doesn’t. This comparison will serve as a springboard for an overview of some quick wins participants can put into immediate practice.

Good Story, Bad Story: Differentiating Great from Ghastly

A bad cook can ruin the best ingredients.  Likewise, a skilled chef can transform mediocre “fixin’s” into a gourmet treat.  During this workshop segment, we will look at the components of a good story and the traits most exceptional storytellers share.  Next, we will identify the flaws poor stories have in common and the traps into which mediocre storytellers fall. Additionally, in this part of the program, we will discuss conditions where a story may not be effective.

Grey Matter Matters: Your Brain on Stories

Salespeople who give presentations that offer data point after data point activate Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas in their prospects’ and customers’ brains.  When this happens, language processing systems kick in, and people connect words with meaning. That’s it. A message is understood, and it’s game over. Knowledge transfer occurs. In contrast, when salespeople use stories, they can engage the parts of the brain data alone doesn’t reach.  This course module offers a brief overview of the science behind storytelling and why stories can often be selling’s secret sauce.

Story Types: Examples for Inspiration

Origin stories, success stories, value stories, and other story types are classic structures of which salespeople should have command. This workshop segment will define and look at examples of ten story types. Participants will then create stories using those models.

Connect Four: Hero-Goal-Problem-Headline

In this part of the course, we will identify customer pain points and create several micro-stories that follow the Hero-Goal-Problem-Headline format. Once the group is comfortable with the process, we will choose a typical business presentation and begin developing two- and three-minute narratives to enhance various points.

Exploring Other Options: Seven More Frameworks

Building on what they learned in the previous exercise, this program module introduces seven additional frameworks for structuring stories: Before-After-Bridge, Features-Advantages-Benefits, and more.

The Piano Sounds Like a Carnival: Building Scenes

Good storytellers use verbal illustrations to help people visualize descriptions. Great storytellers engage audiences further with vivid descriptions of smells, sounds, tastes, touch, and movement.  In this part of the workshop, participants will practice enhancing their stories with robust descriptions of people, places, emotions, and events.

Special Delivery: Stage Tricks for Better Storytelling

In storytelling, the narrative is only as effective as its delivery. This final program segment discusses delivery techniques.  We will look at ways to demonstrate authenticity and credibility, how to transition in and out of stories, and best practices for appearing confident and in control when using narratives.

By the end of this hands-on workshop, participants should be able to create and use stories for sales.