Here I go again, causing trouble talking politics… But honestly, whether you loved his politics or hated them, Clinton was, without a doubt the best salesman to occupy the White House in the last 20 years. Not since Reagan could a President make a pitch with the level of congruity he could.
I mean really, only a sales guy could deliver this famous line and mean it like Clinton. Like him or hate him, he made that sale and didn’t get impeached despite the fact they had his DNA on her dress.
So, when I read an interview with one of my heroes, Canadian billionaire Frank Guistra where he mentions that Clinton recommended he read a book on persuasion I figured this has got to good.
I was able to quickly track down a copy of the book and I began doing a quick read.
A warning here: if you get sick to your stomach with unabashed name dropping handle the book with care. Guber displays the most “I know everybody who is anybody” I have ever read. Really, its unbelievable.
But I suggest you get past that part to see why Clinton, the consummate salesman recommends this book.
In the book Guber nails the value of “The Story.”
Guber shows repeatedly through personal and public examples of how “The Story” sells. Pay attention, fellow professionals, in every case where you present based on the facts, you’re committing sales suicide.
Instead, go with “The Story” and let it sell the deal for you.
Now I know that this is not anything we sales pro’s don’t know already. But are you doing it? Or, like me, do you find yourself trying to convince with the facts.
Yet, time and again, prospects reject the facts. But they can’t resist “The Story.”
What I found particularly useful about the book is that Guber goes beyond simply making the point about the importance of using stories. Guber teaches you how to construct your own stories.
He reminds you that every one of us has a long history of real stories in our own lives. We have cultural stories, personal stories and great movies that tell stories. Guber demonstrates how he learned to format his stories in ways that helped make the sale.
From a sales training point of view, I think he does a great job of delivering the message. He gives a number of aaahaa sections where he dissects the steps — I found them easy to follow and worth the read.
By understanding the formulas Guber gives us a good model. And, ladies and gentleman of the sales profession, getting our prospects fired up on a good story gets our prospects a lot closer to buying.