The international expert
For our first public story workshop I invited friends and past colleagues to come along. One participant was Alan, the brother of a family friend. When I called Alan about the workshop he was enthusiastic: ‘I truly believe in storytelling. I use it all the time!’
Alan told me about his role as the only Australian representative for an overseas software company. ‘I had used the software myself in a previous company and loved it. So when I met potential clients I just told them the story of my experience; needing a solution, surveying the market and falling in love with that product.’
Alan had no trouble creating interest, but he wasn’t able to run a trial or answer detailed technical questions, so an expert was brought in from overseas. As they worked together, Alan could see that this technical specialist was not connecting with his client’s technical people. His lack of English language fluency was making a bad impression.
That was frustrating because Alan knew his technical guy had tremendous, relevant experience. Alan coached his technical specialist to tell his personal story about how he became expert in that technology.
After the coaching they both told their personal stories and the clients shared their stories. Alan and his colleague had huge success opening up the market in Australia.
Extract from Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell