2 minutes
September 13, 2022

Storytelling in sales: Your reps are not the hero

When it comes to storytelling in sales, it's crucial to understand your sellers are not the hero in the buying journey. It's your prospects.
Daniel Rood
Table of Contents

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In my last post, I discussed how your sales reps can use narrative techniques to turn cold outreach into a compelling story for any prospective customer.

Three elements are needed in every message sellers send to prospects. Properly aligning your value proposition to include the roles of Heros, Villains, and Guides.

Let's talk about heroes and, more importantly, who the Hero is.

Your sales team is not the hero in your buyer's journey

A good story is about a character (a Hero), who wants something, and has to overcome conflict to get it. Remember, there is only room for one Hero in a story, and it's not you or your reps. It's your customer or prospect. This reframe is critical for any outbound prospecting efforts you do.

What's critical to keep in mind is that the Hero of a story needs transformation, which the Guide can offer. That transformation only comes when the Hero overcomes a Villian (pain points).

Suppose you properly position your customer as the Hero and your company as the Guide. In that case, it frames the prospect's story through the right lens. They are on a journey of transformation in their business, and you are positioned to help them navigate that transformation.

Consider my favorite movie of all time. Hoosiers. The true story of the smallest high school in Indiana, which goes on to win the Indiana High School state championship in 1951. The Hero of the story is Norman Dale, the flawed coach. He is seeking his final chance of redemption after a series of career mistakes.

At its core, the story of Hoosiers is about transformation. Coach Dale starts the story by holding on to a humiliating secret and ends the story with renewed confidence in his ability to be a great leader and mentor. Transformation.

Prospects are on a journey of transformation, and it's your job to voice their potential redemption in your outbound prospecting. It may not be as dramatic as Hoosiers, but prospects still have the same fear, uncertainty, and doubt as any movie character. If you can voice a buyer's need for transformation and then show how they can overcome a problem (the Villian) critical to their future success, you will get their attention.

Simply put, cast a vision for your prospects so that they see you as a Guide to take them from where they are today to what they could become tomorrow.

But heroes are only one part of using great storytelling in your sales process. As a sales professional, we'll get to where you fit customer stories… but before we do, let me talk about defining the Villain.

Every good story has an even better Villain; learn how to identify the Villain in your customer's story »