Business storytelling provides a way to get past the Buyer’s resistance to change

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Review the following two Storytelling examples and decide for yourself if you feel that Storytelling could help your Sales Team sell more?

Example One: Defensive Wall

“So Michael, why Storytelling… and why in the 21st century would I consider it for my team?”

Well, creating a logical argument based on facts and figures has always come naturally to me. Unfortunately, the Buyer also has facts and figures. This often created a problem when I presented my offering because they would be arguing with me in their heads. Even worse, they used their facts and figures to build a wall around the status quo so that they could avoid being overwhelmed by a new project. So, there I was, trying to overcome the status quo with logical arguments against a hostile Buyer who was both judge and jury. No wonder their defensive wall felt insurmountable.

Fortunately, I discovered that Stories are able to get past the Buyer’s defensive wall because I’m no longer challenging its logical foundations. Instead, I’m simply presenting a scenario that allows them to draw their own conclusions. As a result, they can now relax and listen and perhaps tell themselves a new story where new choices make more sense.

So, I still believe in crafting the right sales message (click how to video), however, I feel it’s equally important for the message to be delivered in the right way (click how to video) so that it gets past the Buyer’s defensive wall and is heard.

Example Two: “Sell the Problem before the Solution” by taking the Buyer out into the Middle of the Lake.

Buyer: Michael, my Salespeople only seem comfortable presenting to technology users but I need then to engage with Business Owners.

Michael: I understand. Why don’t I tell you a brief story about how we helped a similar company make this transition so that you can determine how this may apply to your situation, OK?

Buyer: OK.


Paul, the VP of Sales at Software Inc., also wanted his Reps to sell higher to C-Level Executives where decisions and budgets were made. Unfortunately, his Reps were only comfortable talking technology with the users of their software, not having business conversations with C-Level Executives.

Paul said his Reps were like Rescue Boat Salespeople cruising up and down the beach trying to make sales to Buyers who were only ankle deep in problems.

Instead, Paul advised his salespeople to share a few stories about the problems and costs to the Buyer’s operations in the absence of having their software. This will help the Buyer to realize that they are not ankle deep in problems, but that they are actually drowning in the middle of the lake. Only then, advised Paul, would the Buyer be ready to believe in the viability of their solution.

You see, Paul knew that without this step, their offering would have no value because the Buyer wouldn’t feel that they had a problem that demanded fixing.

Paul realized that getting the Reps to “sell the problem before the solution” isn’t easy. But Paul couldn’t do it himself because he’s too valuable at his day job. And Sales Training and Marketing couldn’t help. He’d tried it in the past and the sales messaging needed to train his Reps was too customized for the big Sales Training companies and too tactical for Marketing.

Once Paul discovered that Insight Demand could help his team get clear on what hell looked like for the Buyer without their offering, we got started and seared this image into his Rep’s mind through a series of mini user stories. The result was that this message was readily available to the salesperson in the heat of a sale and made it past the Buyer’s defensive wall.

But that’s Paul’s story, what’s yours? (Click video for testimonial)

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