Storytelling with Sales-Focused Storytelling Expert Mike Adams
Engineer turned salesperson Mike Adams taught himself storytelling 'on the job' while selling and managing sales teams in the United Kingdom, Russia, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia for international corporations Schlumberger, Siemens, Nokia and Halliburton. Since 2014, Mike has been helping companies find and develop their own stories through his storytelling consulting practice.
His book Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell helps those who sell, tell. The book takes readers on a high-stakes sales journey, using stories to establish rapport and trust, deliver insight, inspire action and close the deal, and in doing so win new friends and collaborators. Sharing more than 50 stories from around the world, Mike draws on his diverse international sales career to teach and demonstrate the power of storytelling -- from first hello to signed contract.
Mike is married with three sons and lives in Melbourne, Australia… and today Mike Adams shares with The Storytellers Network his storytelling craft, successes and stumbles… in other words, his story.
“I found a story about our company, and I started telling that story [as a sales person]. I soon began to hear my clients telling me the story back. That’s when you know your story is doing work.” Mike Adams on the power of story in sales
Can I Just Make Up Stories to Sell Better?
One question Mike gets asked often from sales people is, “Can I just make up stories to sell my product or do they have to be true?”
It’s a fair question. How many prospects are going to go back and fact-check your story if it’s really good? And if it’s a good story, what’s it really harming if it’s made up?
The thing is, as Mike says, myths and parables generally come from storytellers with huge credibility. Jesus told parables. Albert Einstein is often quoted. We think of Thomas Jefferson as a lesson-giver. Sales people are not at this level. So maybe tell honest stories.
“[Sales people] are in a category, that if you make up a story, you blow your credibility. You don’t have the credibility to tell a mythical story or fable.” - Mike Adams on honesty in sales storytelling
Honing Our Storytelling Craft
Mike transitioned professionally from engineer to storyteller and into one who teaches storytelling. He didn’t start as a storyteller. The encouraging part of Mike’s story is that we can all get better - or become a storyteller - by learning from others.
Mike has read from some of the greats including Solution Selling by Michael Bosworth. He says being a lifelong learner is vital to honing our storytelling skills.
“Curiosity takes you a long way.” - Mike Adams on honing your storytelling craft
Connect with Mike:
Mike Adams on The Marketing Book Podcast (great interview!)
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