In her inspiring book Selling with Noble Purpose, sales consultant Lisa McLeod recounts a conversation she had with a top sales rep at a major biotech company. Lisa asked the rep, “What do you think about when you go on sales calls? What’s going on in your head?” Lisa writes that the rep sheepishly admitted the following:
When I go on sales calls, I always think about this particular patient who came up to me one day during a call on a doctor’s office. I was standing in the hallway talking to one of the doctors. I was wearing my company name badge, so I stood out. All of a sudden this elderly woman taps me on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, Miss,” she said. “Are you from the company that makes drug x?”
“I just want to thank you,” she said. “Before my doctor prescribed your drug, I barely had enough energy to leave the house. But now I can visit my grandkids; I can get down on the floor to play with them. I can travel. So thank you. You gave me back my life.”
Lisa writes that the sales rep told her, “I think about that woman every day. If it’s 4:30 on a rainy Friday afternoon, other sales reps go home. I don’t. I make the extra sales call because I know I’m not just pitching a product. I’m saving people’s lives. That grandmother is my higher purpose.”
[You can find this and dozens of other examples and lessons on storytelling in sales in my book, Sell with a Story.]
Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author of the books Lead with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and Sell with a Story.
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