Your Product’s Invention or Discovery Story

{The 12th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories.} This story marks our transition from the rapport building phase of the sales process to the actual sales pitch itself. And for most salespeople, this is the heart of the matter—this where most of the traditional selling is done, and where most of [read more]

Here’s What Happens When You Wait Too Long to Say, “I’m Sorry”

When Darrell was in the third grade he did something he’s regretted for the thirty-five years since. What was his unforgettable and unpardonable sin? He wrote a poem. A very bad poem. Darrell’s class had been learning the rhyme and meter of several forms of poetry. One particular week they learned about limericks. That’s a [read more]

Don’t tell me to “think outside the box.” Give me a bigger box! Here’s how. . .

Perhaps you’ve seen this puzzle. There are nine dots on a page, arranged in a 3-by-3 matrix. The challenge is to connect all nine dots with four straight lines (or fewer) without lifting your pencil or retracing your path. If you haven’t done it before, or it’s been a while, give it a try. Okay, [read more]

Your “How We’re Different From Our Competitors” Story

Professional buyers will tell you (like they told me) that competitors in just about every space are so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart. They need a differentiation story—which means you need a differentiation story. One of my favorite examples of that comes from Sharad Madison, CEO of United Building Maintenance. UBM is a [read more]

The Only Way to Listen Better by Talking More

Listening is one of the most important communication tools we have. In fact, it’s one of the only two requirements for actually having a conversation — the other being it’s far more popular teammate: talking. But even when we do listen, most of us listen with the intent of responding, not with the intent of [read more]

5 Steps to Speaking Your Customer’s Secret Language

Who knew you could learn so much about running a business and understanding your customers from a professional photographer and a candle? I didn’t. But then I had a chat with Jeffrey Shaw, former photographer turned business coach and author. He spent three decades as highly-sought after portrait photographer. Now he’s the host of business [read more]

A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling with Data

Can you use the same storytelling techniques with data that you can with words? Of course, you can. In a previous article, I shared one method of telling stories with data. In the video above, I’ll show you another method that I call the “Discovery Journey” story method. And it has nothing to do with [read more]

Dealing with Loss: The Great Berkeley Fire of 1991

People lose things every day—a set of keys, a matching sock, or the homework they can’t find on their computer—all minor daily frustrations. Not the kind of loss most people need help dealing with. The kind we need help with is the kind of loss that stops your heart, forever alters the course of your [read more]

3 Steps to Giving a Presentation You Don’t Believe In

Here’s a situation that happens far more often than we’d like to admit. What do you do when you’re told to give a presentation that you just don’t believe in? It usually happens to a midlevel manager who’s told they have to deploy the latest corporate mandate. Now they’re stuck in between the executives issuing the [read more]

A 6-Minute Guide to Storytelling with Data: The “How We Got Here” Method

Can you tell stories with data like you can with words? Absolutely! In the video above, I’ll show you one of my two favorite methods for doing that. Have a look, and then try it out yourself. If you’d rather read, see below. But the video is a lot more fun! (If you have trouble [read more]