The Power of 2 Types of Stories when You Speak

Written by Ann Evanston. Posted in Speaking Strategy

Telling a  great sales storyI believe it is essential to strategize the 2 types of stories in your presentation. That is why it is the first step in my Compel. Speak. Sell. MasterMind.

There are actually two strategies for storytelling that are important to consider. These storytelling strategies are:

1.      Marketing stories

2.      Sales stories.

A marketing story is about why you. When you build a marketing story it’s to help your audience understand who you are, why you teach this information and why you are capable of delivering what you sell.

A sales story is about why them. A sales story is to help the audience see, through your story, that you understand their journey. That you can relate to the big hairy mess they are struggling with. That you are real and human and have flaws and make mistakes just like them.

What I find is that most new speakers, if they focus on storytelling at all, do marketing storytelling. They tell stories about how they got started doing what they’re doing, or how they got their degrees or certifications. They even tell testimonial stories, which again are marketing stories: they tell the potential buyer why the speaker is credible. Most forget though that people buy because you understand why them.

Sales stories are a bit harder but they are what get potential buyers to dig out their credit cards! LOL What I mean is; now they are connected emotionally and are ready to buy. That is very powerful. Most speakers are comfortable with marketing stories. They’re comfortable sharing why they do what they do, and why someone would want to do business with them.

Challenge yourself to think about how you can tell a story that is human and relatable. A story that makes your audience say: “Oh you know me. Were you in my house last night? Were you at my office yesterday?” These types of stories will have a powerful and profound effect on your presentation.  Telling a great sales story emotionally connects them to you and creates a powerful bond. Where do stories come from? The stories come from your life and your passions. You want to connect with people on a real and human level. Think about how you use these 2 types of stories when you speak!

Building a Compelling Offer: Why Use Personal Stories

Written by Ann Evanston. Posted in Speaking Strategy, Testimonials

Building a compelling offer can be a challenge. I share with my clients strategies to organize knowledge, to speak, to sell, and the importance of storytelling. A common question I am asked is: “What about stories that are testimonials, Ann?”

Testimonials are great stories, absolutely. Sharing a client’s experience is a great thing! Beware though! If these are the only stories you tell, it could come off as bragging. Now, I think that many people need to brag a little bit more. However testimonial stories are often more appropriate in your sales funnel, on your website, and in your social media.

One testimonial story can be very powerful if used strategically when you speak. It’s the other stories, the personal stories that will create the vulnerability you want to help your buyers make a choice. Testimonial stories don’t do that.

The funny thing is I see “new speakers on the scene” try the testimonial path. They load their presentations with client stories. And initially they have great success. Eventually though the sales fall off. They struggle to close more people when they speak. And they’re not sure what happened.
See, after a while we’ve heard it before. We know that you have people you create success for. Heck, many times those stories all sounds the same…no matter who is on the stage! If I want to buy from you I need to know why you can help me. I want to hear a story about how you understand my needs. My struggles. My challenges.

When building a compelling offer think about personal stories you can tell that help them understand why you are the one they want to work with. That can be much more powerful than just a testimonial.

Failure is an Option

Written by Ann Evanston. Posted in Speaking Strategy

Many successful people failFailure…such an interesting word isn’t it? When growing your business, or like, my MasterMind clients who are learning how to say and write about what they do in a compelling way, odds are you might fail in the beginning. Here are a couple things I shared with my Compel. Speak. Sell MasterMind clients:

First, failure is not a bad thing! Many many highly successful people FAIL. The key is your desire to achieve plan A, and your willingness to consciously learn from your failure. We don’t need to redefine failure. (Ask Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan….) We need to own and learn from failure.

Second, it is funny to me how many times I say to a client “stop trying to memorize your presentation” and they STILL do it. Over the years, working with many people here is why I think that is true:

a) they lack confidence in their knowledge, and what it is they REALLY do that builds transformation. They may intuitively know, but not in an organized way. When this is true you struggle with the words, and feel a need to script and memorize. All head, no heart.

b) they lack personal self confidence: they are constantly comparing themselves to others and how they think they SHOULD be or act to have success. Now you memorize because you are trying to BE what you think you should be instead of coming from who you really are (wait, those are the lessons in my book huh?!)

c) they are disguising features as benefits, and when it comes to creating a compelling presentation, speaking from the heart is hard when you do that. When we speak it is the benefits, the promises, the transformation that matters. If you don’t truly know that, you will focus on why you do (features) versus how or why it is beneficial.

Are you able to fail and LEARN? Do you have the correct knowledge to improve what you failed at, or are you just shooting in the dark to improve it?

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Testimonials

I wanted to tell you how The Influence Factor has help me grow as a person. As I first started reading I was like “oh lord I have to write something.” But as I continued to read I started to respect the exercises in the book. They make you dig deep within yourself and be honest with who you really are. Scary at first but very necessary. On page 42, where Ann shares how to “Own Your Self Worth” was a deep chapter for me. It posed a few questions which I wasn’t sure I was ready to answer: 1. Control do you have it in your life? At the time I could honestly say no I really didn’t. If you ask me now I can say yes in a healthy way at that. 2. Commitment: Are you committed to the things you value and believe in? I thought so but as I continued to soul search I realized I was more committed to everyone else then to myself. That has since changed. 3.Challenge: Are you willing to take risks and try new things? This question here is a work in progress. I am still working on it one day at a time. Thanks Ann, for your book. Everyone should read it! Love, Haneef Jordan, http://www.facebook.com/touchmycloset
Haneef Jordan, Touch My Closet
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