How Powerful is Storytelling in an Interview… VERY!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Sales hiring managers are listening for good storytellers as they know customers will be listening as well. Storytelling is a recognized skill and top sellers have mastered it for their benefit.

I’ve read that people retain 65 to 70% of information shared via a story versus only 5 to 10% of information conveyed through statistics.

Storytellers are natural-born sellers as storytelling isn’t normally taught in sales training seminars or systems. Storytelling has a much stronger emotional impact than information that’s presented quantitatively.

Michael Bosworth, Author of Solution Selling and Customer Centric Selling, believes it’s a right brain-left brain thing.

This excerpt is from his interview with Geoffrey James on cbsnews.com:

…Neuroscience tells us that the left side of the brain is always looking for a right or wrong answer as it doesn’t tolerate shades of gray. It tends to be analytical, linear and skeptical and emotionally neutral. It also gets “paralysis by analysis” because it can never get enough information to make what it feels will be an entirely correct decision. By contrast, the right side is creative and imaginative. The ‘big picture’ right side interacts with the feeling power of the limbic or emotional brain. The emotional brain is where the ‘aha’ moments happen.

Stories appeal immediately to the right side of the brain. As soon as somebody hears “I’d like to tell you a story about the time…” the listener relaxes and knows that no decisions need to be made immediately, but instead all that’s needed is to go along for the ride and listen for what might be important in the future. When it IS time to make a decision, the right side of the brain (which actually makes the decision) draws upon the stories it’s heard in order to judge whether or not a decision makes sense. The story can actually engulf the listener and the teller. The connection during the story can remain between the two people after the story is over, leaving top sales reps with a connection that others can’t achieve.

Bosworth also says… the first step is to learn to adopt the same style of storytelling in business that you use in your personal life. Top sales reps are always naturally good at this. Top sales reps are also willing to share themselves as humans, not supermen. Buyers are human and so many sales people feel they have to be ‘perfect’. That isn’t reality, and top sales people understand that.

Remember, the best storyteller could be that next sales star you’re searching for!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and call if you need some storytellers on your sales team today.

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