Episode 120: How to use Stories in Sales – Mike Adams

Predictable Prospecting
Episode 120: How to use Stories in Sales - Mike Adams
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Everybody has a story. In fact, everybody has a number of different stories, and one way or another, most people wind up sharing their stories with other people at some point. Stories help us relate to others and make connections as well as illustrate important points. And if you work in sales, you can use your stories to help you connect with prospects and close deals. Today’s guest has literally written the book on how salespeople should use stories.

Mike Adams is an engineer-turned-salesperson from Australia. He’s also the author of the book Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell, a book that’s designed to help those in sales discover the power of stories, what kinds of stories are important in sales, and how you can use stories to help you close. Listen to the episode to hear more about Mike’s background, why he wrote the book and arranged it the way that he did, and how stories can help you connect with your prospects.

Episode Highlights:

  • How Mike got into sales
  • Mikes book, and why he chose seven as the number of stories to tell
  • What kinds of stories are important in sales
  • The different ways that different stories help you connect with clients
  • Why Mike organized his book the way that he did
  • Which stories can help salespeople close a deal

Resources:

Mike Adams

Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell

Transcript: 

Marylou: Hey everyone, it’s Marylou Tyler. This week’s guest is Mike Adams, he is the author of the new book, Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell. When I first heard that title, I had a million questions. One is, why seven? The second is, which seven? So I wanted to have Mike on the podcast. I am thrilled that you’re here, Mike. Thank you so much for joining.

Mike: Oh, it’s wonderful to be with you, Marylou. I’m speaking to your audience from Melbourne, Australia. It’s early in the morning.

Marylou: Early morning your time. We talked a little bit before the show, and Mike told me he’s an engineer, I had really felt that kindred spirit, because I, too, am an engineer. I’m a computer science engineer-turned-sales. Tell us your story about how you got involved with the sales process and sales in general.

Mike: Yeah, I trained as an electrical engineer. I had a very adventurous first few years working the oil and gas industry, running electronic surveys, running instruments down oil wells to work out where the oil is. I worked all over Asia during that, Indonesia, and China, in the late 80’s. But I got involved in the software that we used to do the analysis of that data, and I had a frightful meeting with my boss one day, I was working in London, called me into his office, and he had this statement that’s, if you’ve been in big corporations, well, you’ll know what exactly what it means. He said, “Mike, I have a fantastic career opportunity for you.” Career opportunity, so that’s the job no one else wants, right?

Marylou: Right, exactly. Exactly.

Mike: He said, “I want you to go to Norway.” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah. Norway, cool.” and be a sales person. Although I don’t want to be a sales person. What I actually said was, “I can’t be a sales person because my wife is eight months pregnant.” But I went home, and she wanted to go to Norway more than I did, and so we flew on the last possible day that she could fly, and I became a sales person. In fact, she’ll tell people that me being on a, it’s 1996, being on a very early mobile phone in the delivery room, instead of doing else.

Marylou: Oh wow, okay!

Mike: I sold the biggest deal in our division, well, what else Schlumberger, it’s a huge oil gas service, this company, and it was a complete accident. I just had the most outrageous good fortune in my first year. That was certainly what kept me in selling because I had the guarantee I could go back and be an engineer. I had some good luck, and that kept me in sales, and I loved it, and I ended up running a sales team in Russia.

And then when it was time to come back to live in Australia, I couldn’t work in the oil and gas industry because Melbourne, where I live now, there really isn’t much oil and gas business. I told a good story, and I got a job in telecommunications, I changed the industry completely, and sold mobile network equipments to big communications carrier here. It’s sort of hundreds of millions of dollars kind of sized business. Then when I figured out how to change industry, I did that four more times.

I think the reason I got involved in consulting was because I had this perspective of the mood of the language, not even have a clue that you’re saying the wrong words, but have to sell, you know. You know, you got to do something in eight months, what is it that you need to know, and stories are a big part of that. Learning to speak out the right stories and know how to engage your client with stories is what I discovered on my own through 20 years of selling and running sales teams. For four years, I’ve been teaching salespeople storytelling, and it’s a lot of fun, and that’s why I wrote the book, to get those ideas a little bit more widely out into the world. And the book’s doing great.

Marylou: Yeah, we, as you know, if we’ve been bombarded here in the last few years because of distractions from our cell phones, from social networks, from the phone, from email. And so, we’re feeling this sort of need to get back to basics, as a human. We all have it in us to tell stories, but it seems certainly daunting, and all your boss tells you is, “Add more storytelling to your sales pitch.”

Mike: That doesn’t help. It doesn’t help, does it?

Marylou: I know, right? When I saw this book, and I saw these seven stories, my question to ask is, “Why seven? Or which seven?” I think we’d want it and answer that, I’m very curious, is it a why seven, or which seven?

Mike: No, well, both are good questions, I think. You’re 100% right. I think the human mental state is distraction these days. We’re just distracted, right? And storytelling cuts through, if we have time I’ll explain the reasons, but seven is about as many things that we can hold in our mind and remember. Seven was, for me, like a maximum. That’s the reason for the number seven. The types of stories in the book Seven Stories are laid out in a sequence. They’re laid out in a buying journey. What story should I tell first? And then what, and then what, and then what–so the story of customer buying.

I use a fishing analogy, it’s funny, I put some 20 rainbow trout in our swimming pool early last year as a little experiment. I had this idea that I was going to invite our neighbors around to fish out of our swimming pool. Because the pool turned green, and then black, and I figured out the chemicals to manage it, and this fish, they grew really well, they went over a kilogram, so over two and a half pounds. And then they all died from an algae outbreak, and we couldn’t eat them. But hey, I got the idea of the fishing metaphor, so the book is built around a fishing metaphor.

We start off, we need to prepare a lure, and that’s the story. We need to spend a bit of time thinking about exactly what are the best stories in our company, and how do we find them, and what makes them powerful. And not just any story, there’s only a few really good stories, so you need to work out how to find them. And then we need to connect, we need to hook. And that’s the stories, or connection stories that get you trusted, and get your client knowing that you’re an authority and that you can help them. So those, there’s three stories there, and those are your personal story. I told a kind of a short version of my personal story about why I got into sales.

The next story is the story about other important people in your company, I call it Key Staff story. It might be the story of your CEO, or your technical sales person, or you know, that you’re using on the job. And then, most importantly, your company’s story. Why is your company in business, how did you get there, what’s the narrative? Most sales people tell facts about their company, and those facts exactly like their competitors’ facts, so your client doesn’t even listen. They don’t even hear those facts. If they even hear them at all, they push back against them. But if you tell the narrative about how your company founded, how it almost failed, what was the serendipitous moment that made your company successful, it’s very interesting.

It allows you, at the end to go, “What about your company? How did you guys get started?” and that’s the clue for connection, the clue is to tell a story that allows you to ask that question, “What about you? How did you get to your job? Why are you guys in business?” The exchange is what starts a friendship. I’m sure you’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, Marylou, and I’m sure you, like me, have friends from 30 years, which is all the customers we’ve done business with. I have friends in five industries, and we make friends by exchanging stories. Some people think that, like, selling is not really about making friendship, but I disagree. I think we do make friends if we do it right.

Marylou: You know, you’ve mentioned the concept of story sharing. I love that concept. It’s not something that I hear very often, but it makes so much sense.

Mike: Yeah, I have a test for myself when I have a first meeting. You and I are going to share this after we do this call, because your listeners I’m sure know your story, but I want to know your story more. When we do that, when we share our stories in some detail, just two or three minutes, we start that connecting process, we’re much closer to that person. Particularly, if that story some vulnerability to it. We don’t want to tell a story that’s like a superhero, that we’re a fantastic person. We want to want to let people know that we’re just like them, and then they’ll share an authentic story back.

We’re not saying my wife was eight months pregnant, and I was just lucky in my first year, which is true, that’s probably not what people would put in a personal story, but that’s what needs to be in a personal story. We need to share some vulnerability so that the client, the other person feels like sharing, they feel like telling you something about themselves.

Marylou: And it feels safe, you know? It feels like it’s okay for me to share my story, too, or maybe I had a similar experience that I would like to acknowledge yours, because I’ve had similar, so yes, I agree.

Mike: That’s right, and that’s the second requirement, if you like, for these company and personal stories. They should have a bit of variety in them. If I talk about a few different things, I’m offering the possibility for my client to key on something to go, “Oh my sister just came back from Norway, or my wife is pregnant, too.” just anything. You don’t know what it’s going to be, but it’s a connector, right? And traditionally, salespeople have been talking about the photo on the client’s desk or something that sounds fake. But the most important, interesting thing in the room when two people meet each other for the first time is the two humans that don’t know each other, right? So why not tell a little about yourself, so that they’ll tell a bit about themselves, and it’s a much more authentic way to just start that connection.

Marylou: You’ve mentioned about being in the room together. A lot of my audience that’s listening in thinking, “You know, we have the phone, and we maybe have email,” because as you know I’m more top of the funnel, I’m trying to establish that rapport, and just I’m trying to get that lure and that hook started. I don’t necessarily get all the way down to creating the negotiation stories or anything like that, but I do have a limited use of the belly-to-belly togetherness where I’m at. Is this something that we can translate into the phone work that we do and email? Is it all about getting the story, at least the concept of the story, in place, and then creating different modalities to share that story or does it work better face to face?

Mike: I need to move on to the next two stories to answer that question. The reason is, we can’t tell a personal story or a company story if we’re interrupting a client in a first call, because that would be an instant hang up, right? I had to choose how to start the book, and I chose to start it from the first meeting. The reason is I’ve spent my career in working for big corporations and selling big deals. And actually, big companies don’t have the problem of getting the first meeting. Their business card gets them the meeting, if you like, right? They have the problem of getting the second meeting, to be honest. I chose to start there.

Let me tell you the next two stories, because if we’re reaching out to someone who doesn’t know us, and isn’t expecting our call, we actually need to start with half of one of the next two stories. And the next two stories are, now we’ve hooked our fish, right, so the fish is fighting on the line, so the next part of the book is called Fight. We need to fight for line share, and we need to fight to differentiate who we are compared to all the competitors, and compared to doing nothing. The two stories that help us do that are insight stories and success stories.

The insight story, insight is to find there’s something that your company knows about your clients’ business or markets that they don’t properly appreciate, but should. It’s commercial benefit for them to understand that. There are books, there are points on books written by the CEB guys called The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer, and those books are about challenging your clients with insight. And those books are fabulous, but there’s a little bit of a problem with the word challenge.

Challenge, we kind of take challenge to mean that I have to force a new idea onto my client, like be challenging in my approach, but that’s not really what challenge means. Challenge means the insight is challenging your clients’ understanding of their own business. If you think about it, it’s sensitive situation because you’re basically saying, “I know my business better than you, Mister Client.” but the solution is the insight story.

I’ll give you an example from the medical industry and I think your listeners will get it. There were a couple of medical researchers in Perth, in Western Australia, in the 1980s called Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. And they were working on the problem of stomach ulcers. At the time it was thought that stomach ulcers were caused by stress, and that the best thing is to rest if you get stomach ulcers. What Marshall and Warren thought that, “No, stomach ulcers are caused by a particular bacteria. H. Pylori is the name of it.” And they couldn’t get their papers published, no one believed them. In fact, they believed that it’s impossible for bacteria to exist in the acidic stomach environment.

In frustration, Barry Marshall did an endoscopy on his own stomach, prepared a portion of bacteria, drank it, gave himself stomach ulcers, and then treated himself with the specific bacteria for H. Pylori, and then wrote the paper about that. You can imagine that that stunt got a lot of attention. Marshall and Warren won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2004. That’s an insight story, and the components are kind of interesting. That acts like they had an insight, but their market wasn’t ready to listen to that insight. They needed to tell a story to teach the market how to discover that insight. That’s what the insight story is, or you could call it the researcher’s story. If you know something your clients should know, can you tell the story about how you discovered it? Was it discovered in your research department, was there some Eureka moment when you actually discovered that thing? Because if you think about it, that story is now taking your client from where they are with their current understanding of their market, and teaching them the way you learnt it to know this thing.

We almost never do that, we always want to ring up and talk about facts. We want to say, you know, we discovered this thing, and here’s the discovery. But if you ring up and say, “Look, I researched it up and we’re working on this thing, and they got these amazing results and they didn’t even believe it when they first started.” They go, “Uh-huh, tell me more. What was that thing, right?” Now you’re basically telling half the story at the beginning, which is how you started, and how you were trying to find out something, and then you teach them through the turning point, to the discovery, and it’s both more natural and much more interesting to deliver your insight that way.

Marylou: I agree with that. When you started telling me the story, my inclination was to say, “How did they do that? Or what happened? Or tell me more? The tell me more.” You even said that, that is the gold standard for us. Why do we have our initial interaction with a prospect whether they’re cold, medium, warm. We’re trying to get them to respond to us and say, “Tell me more or how do you do that, or wow, I never thought of it that way!” It’s a challenge, but I don’t like that word either. That seems too adversarial to me, like you need to get a sword out.

Mike: Correct, yeah, that’s right. A lot of salespeople misunderstand. If you think of it not as, “I’m going to challenge my client, but my client is challenged by this thing.” That’s the right way to think about this. That’s the first story in the Fight phase, is the insight story. The second story is the success story. And usually when I say success story, most people think case study, and it’s not the same thing, it’s a different thing.

The classical marketing case story, and this is not to give marketing a hard time, but the marketing departments are constrained. They think like, “I can’t name my client. I need to anonymize the clients. I need to make this go on our website.” so they take all the good stuff out of the stories. The case study says this was my client’s situation, it’s a story in three parts, the case study, “This is my client’s situation, this is what we did, and this is how great it is, aren’t we wonderful?” and it’s told from this perspective of our company. The client’s success stories told from the perspective of your successful client.

I’m going to give you a self-serving example, Marylou, from my book, just to get the point across. I’ll break it down as I tell it. There’s actually six parts to the client’s success story. When I wrote Seven Stories, and I had a lady helping me structure the book, and she heard my problem is that people say they got to write a book and don’t write a book. She actually advised me not to distribute my book very widely before I went to publish, and I ignored that advice because I really wanted to know what different people think.

I had just connected with a guy who was working in Budapest, in Hungary, actually. Really interesting guy, he’s an American, David Masover, is his name, your listeners can look him up. He had worked in Silicon Valley with startups, helping companies startup, and then he got involved sales process. He’s written two books on the sales process. But he decided to move to Budapest, and couldn’t really do his normal work because he’s working with sales teams and he couldn’t speak the language. There really wasn’t the opportunity to do that kind of work in Hungary.

He pivoted and decided to use LinkedIn, and start a coaching business coaching sales people just wherever they happened to be in the world. His problem was like, “How do you do that? How do you engage with salespeople?” He got my book manuscript, and I got this very excited email from him about a week after I sent it. He said, “Mike, I’ve read your book, it’s fantastic. I’d never even thought of doing that and I’ve written two books on sales process. I have included a combination of my personal story and an insight story in my first outreach to sales people, and it’s brilliant. They tell me their story, were engaged, and it works just like you wouldn’t believe” I said, “Well, I do believe it, I wrote a book about it!”

Let me break down the six steps, because it may not be obvious. You noticed my story started with David. I told you about him, and his situation, and how he had been successful, but now had a problem. His problem was he needed to change his business. If you’re a consultant, you don’t get paid while you’re trying to figure out how to sell your new service. That is quite his problem, and then he met a guide, and the guide was me, in the form of my book, and the guide had a plan. The plan was, “These are the stories that you need.” He implemented the plan, so he avoided failure, so he avoided the failure of not being able to connect with salespeople to get his business going, and now he’s very successful. He saw the book was 100% full, he’s doing brilliantly.

Those are the six parts of the success story. You start with your successful client in their situation, you describe their situation, and then you describe the challenge, and then you describe how they met you, the guide, what the plan was that you gave them, how they avoided failure because failure is really important to actually all stories. The difference between success and failure, like how far you can stretch those apart, is how engaging your story is. That’s why some stories are really powerful because they have maybe something about possible death, or children dying, children dying might be the most powerful story we have. That even in business, the stories that have avoiding failure or those kind of thing, those are the most powerful ones.

That’s the two stories that you need when you do […]. If you’re reaching out to a new client, half of those stories are the way to reach out. If it’s a success story you decide to reach out with, then it’s going to be, we were just dealing with a client, just like you, just the other suburb, or the down the street from you guys, and they were struggling with this and this, and you’re telling them half a story, and because it’s a story that’s about a situation that they can relate to, they’re doing exactly what you said, and really they’re saying, “Tell me more, tell me more, tell me more.”

Marylou: And then the rapport starts building, and that implied trust, so you can just sense, even on the phone, the tonality of the recipient, you can sense that they’re relaxing, and then they’re opening themselves up more to say, “Okay, I am ready to have a dialogue with you, it’s okay.”

Mike: That’s right. Generally, if you’re on the phone, and it’s your job to get through a big phone list, you usually not continuing the meeting at that point. You normally say, “Look, it will be better if we meet face to face.” And then when you have that first face to face meeting, you’ll step back and go through the hooks, through the connection stories. You’ll tell your personal story, and the company’s story, and ask for their stories, because now you have the time to do it. You need to step back to the beginning because the connection stories—the hook stories—are the ones that really explains to your client that you’re an authority, that you really know what you’re talking about, and you can be trusted, and they also make you like them. There’s this sort of combination of liking, trustworthiness, and authority that’s delivered in those hook stories–in those connection stories.

The insight and the success stories are the stories that allow your client to picture a different future for themselves. The insight story opens their world up so they understand their world a little bit better. And the success story lets them almost experience the success without having to buy your products and services, they can get the benefit of it without some, without having to buy. So that’s what makes it safe for them to buy, it’s the success story.

Marylou: And the way that you’ve organized the book, correct me if I’m wrong, is the logical, emotional progression of building rapport, getting to know people, and sharing more as you get to know them more. Which is the pipeline, we’re starting at the very tippy top, we’re starting with, we may not have had a conversation, or we’re warming up a chill the conversation that might have happened six to nine months ago, if we’re digging into our lists, our house lists. And as we move along, we are starting to get to know each other better, and then the more stories unfold to the point where you said we’re taking that picture, that vision, of what life is like now for them, what life could be, which is that challenge insight section, and then we move from there to more proof and specificity around, “Here’s how we can help you. Here’s how others have come along the path, that the success path, from where they worked to where they are now, and this is how we’re going to take your hand and take you the rest of the way with us to accomplish the same thing, or even go beyond where you think possible right now.”

Mike: Yeah, it’d be exactly right. Now, for completeness, because I know your listeners are going to be going, “Okay, Mike’s told five stories, and the damn book says seven.”

Marylou: Yes, I have a very operational market.

Mike: What are the last two stories, right? The final part of the book is called Landing the Deal. We have to land the fish, right? And the two stories there are stories that seek to solve the problem of risk. Because you’ve opened your client’s mind, they now can accept there’s a new way of thinking, and it seems safe because others have done it, if you have a success story. If you don’t have a success story, by the way, by definition you’re a start-up, and that’s a much, much harder sales situation.

For me, the definition of business development, true business development is, “I don’t have a success story. I don’t have a relevant success story. I only have insight.” and I’ve spent a lot of my career in that situation, it’s much more difficult, and there’s quite a lot in the Seven Stories book about how to sell when you only have insight.

We still need to get the deal signed, we still need to sign the contract, and when people have to sign a contract, what typically happens, even if it’s not such a big deal, is other people get involved in the decision. People who have veto power,  what happens if it doesn’t work? Will this company stand by you? Shouldn’t we spend our money on that other project, isn’t that more important? You get conflicts of resources, and the two stories that help you get through the Land stage are value stories and teaching stories.

The value stories are stories that explain how your company will behave after they’ve signed the deal. And I’ll give you an example from my experience. I worked for the big German multinational company Siemens, so $100,000 billion revenue company. They’re in all kinds of, they’re an engineering company, they’re in all kinds of engineering. And I happened to be in the CEO’s office, and I heard half of a telephone conversation, which sounded serious. And he hung the phone up, and he said, “Mike, that was the Victorian government.” We’re in the State of Victoria in Australia. Siemens was delivering an electrical cable that connects Tasmania, where I grew up actually, I grew up in Tasmania, it’s an island in the south of Australia.

We’re building this 400-km cable under the sea to Tasmania from Victoria, and Siemens was building the big transformers that transform the electrical current at each end. And the ship that was bringing the transformers from Germany to Australia hit a storm in the southern ocean and broke its rudder and smashed all six of the transformers beyond repair. It was 18 months to build them. Siemens was on the television as the company that was now going to delay this piece of critical infrastructure.

Albert, the CEO, told me that the Siemens board fast tracked, they didn’t go into litigation mode, like, you know, how are we going to sue this ship owner or all that, they just started building new transformers. And they built them in record time, and in fact, the cable was commissioned on time. That’s a value story, right, that’s a story that explains what it’s like to work with this company. And that kind of story is more powerful than you can believe. People would pay double the odds, they’ll pay double, to be sure something’s going to be delivered when you’re working on that kind of project.

Maybe you don’t tell that story, maybe your sponsor won’t tell that story in a stakeholder meeting, but if they’ve heard that story, their tone of voice will persuade. They will be personally convinced that they’re dealing with a company that will deliver. That’s an example. Now, your company might not have those kind of values.

The hospitality industry for example, they like this sort of lost-wallet story, or the lost-passport story, where you know, the bellboy drove across town to give their guest back their passport at the airport without asking for any reward because honesty is one of the values of the company. You got to work out what the values of your company really are, and then find these kinds of stories to be able to tell, which really do help you get the deal closed.

The final one, which I won’t give an example of because I know the time is short, but I call it the sales manager story, or the sales teaching story. That’s the story that helps around problems like a difficult person in the stakeholder meeting, someone who’s really being difficult to persuade or a company that doesn’t understand the cost of delay. So the stories that help get you past a block in the decision process in those meetings that the client has, you’re not even there. In fact, the story is the only that you can place into those stakeholder meetings that will do work when you’re not there. If you think about it, stories can do work when you’re not there, it’s an amazing thing, the power of stories to persuade people, it can work on remote control.

Marylou: It can, and when you remember them. That’s the beauty of it, too, you remember stories, like you said, more so than facts and figures.

Mike: Yeah, and there’s a reason, and the reason is that the big part of our minds, most people when they pick up a book on storytelling, there’s be a sort of a mandatory chapter on, I call it pop psychology, where I talk about […] and fear and all that kind of thing. But that’s not the reason that stories are compelling. If you hold your two fists together in front of you, make two fists, that’s about the size of the biggest part of your brain, which is the neocortex, that wrinkly part on the outside. So that 80%, 75% of your brain is that.

It’s all wrinkled like that because it’s actually a sheet of cellular material, cellular tissue, it’s about 3mm thick, and if you laid it out flat, if you unwrinkled it, it would be about the size of a tea towel or a dinner napkin, about that thick as well, and it’s all bunched up like that so it can fit inside your skull, and it has an incredible number of connections coming from all of your senses, but including your internal body sense–your feeling of arousal, and your heartbeat, and all of that sort of our body sense. People don’t know we have eight senses, not five.

What the neocortex is doing is it’s a prediction engine. What it does is it memorizes patterns in the environment, both the external environment and your internal body environment, how you feel, and it tries to predict what’s going to happen next. It’s continually doing that, it’s predicting on short, medium, and long term. When I’m saying some words, you’re trying to predict what I’m going to say next. Your brain actually put the word ‘next’ in your mind for you, you just said, “Mike’s going to say next.” It doesn’t just predict what you’re going to say next, it predicts what you’re going to see, it predicts how you’re going to feel, and you predict how the other person is going to feel. That’s what your cortex does, the neocortex is a memory-prediction organ.

It can only predict things that have repeatable sequences. If there’s no repeatable sequence, it can’t predict it. You can’t learn how to speak, or how to see, or how to learn if there aren’t patterns that repeat. You start to recognize what those things are, and you start to predict what they’re going to happen. Eventually, actually, most of what we say, and most of what we hear is only the prediction. When we’re dreaming and we’re planning, we’re thinking, we’re just predicting. We’re not using our senses at all. And stories are, by definition, high-level sequences that you can’t predict, so pay attention. The reason that stories work is that we know from childhood that stories are unpredictable and something’s going to happen next that we have to pay attention to.

Marylou: That’s right, exactly. Well, this has been a wonderful discussion, Mike, thank you so much for spending time. For the audience, the book is Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell. It’s about establishing rapport and trust. We talked about differentiating, presenting challenging insights, unsticking negotiations with difficult people or difficult portions of the pipeline that we’re struggling, and to create better business outcomes for us no matter where we are at the pipeline. Whether we’re trying to generate opportunities, or whether we’re actually closing business, or even opening up the conversation.

Mike, how can we reach you to learn more about the book, if there’s any other teachings you have, where do we find you?

Mike: You get your Google app, and type in Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell, and you’ll find me. It’s very easy.

Marylou: You have an Amazon.com, they’ll definitely find it.

Mike: You’ll find YouTube channel with some videos, and some video stories, and the book. You’ll find a website for the book, as well. It’s all very easily found.

Marylou: Wonderful. Well, great. Well again, thank you so much for your time, and I will make sure all these links are on there for those folks who are driving around thinking, “Yeah, I can’t write this down.” I will make sure everything’s out there, and again, very much appreciate your time. I can’t wait to put some of these to work with some of my clients. I think it’s going to be a great way. That insight is the holy grail for us to get started, for sure.

Mike: I’m just finishing up the audible version of the book, too. One of the fabulous things about writing a book is to meet some of my business heroes. Mike Bosworth, the author of Solution Selling, wrote me. He wrote the foreword for Seven Stories. Also, fabulously, he has narrated his foreword for the audio book, and I’ve just got it back from him, which is fantastic.

Marylou: Oh, that’s wonderful, yeah, that’s great. Well, be sure to socialize with us here in the States, and once this podcast gets posted, I’ll make sure everybody here got it, because this here’s for us, everyone who’s struggling with trying to get conversations started, struggling to keep that conversation going to get to the next step, stories are a wonderful way to do that. What Mike is doing for us is giving us the ability and the permission to go through a process in order to get those stories out of us and into the world to share with our clients and prospects. Thanks again, Mike.

Mike: That’s it, thanks to you, Marylou. Yeah, you need to engineer some […].

Marylou: Indeed, always, always.

Mike: Lovely to chat, thanks Marylou.