In mid 2015, The Story Leader CEO, Mike Adams, met a Perth-based managing director (MD) and company owner in Melbourne at an industry trade show. They had a brief chat about sales team performance and agreed to meet when Mike was next in Perth.
Unfortunately, each time Mike went to Perth, the MD was somewhere else in the world. It seemed like they would never meet. After five attempts to schedule a meeting, Mike emailed the MD and suggested that he meet his Perth-based business partner, Sue Findlay, instead.
Mike received a one-line email reply:
"Ok I'll meet her, but we're not buying anything".
Hardly a response to motivate an already nervous Sue, whose background is in procurement and not sales.
Mike and Sue setup a practice meeting via conference call and Sue practised telling her story about why she founded our consulting company.
That story is about Sue's frustration with sales people who seemed unable to supply the critical information required for the tender submissions - submissions that Sue crafted for her clients in her tender-writing business.
Sue went to the meeting while Mike waited anxiously in Melbourne.
A couple of hours later, an excited Sue called Mike and explained how she had told her story and the MD responded with:
"Welcome to my world, lets go to a whiteboard ..."
We are happy to report that this company is now a valued client.
By telling her personal story, Sue connected with the MD on an emotional level. They had a shared frustration with sales performance and the story made an immediate connection. Of course, there was more work to do to prove our credentials but our fledgling company had a new client.