How to use your success stories to demonstrate value – Selling with Story part 3

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 31, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication, Selling, Strategy

Today’s post is part three of a transcript from my recent interview on the Voice America Business Channel show ‘Story Powered’ hosted by Lianne Picot. The topic of the program is ‘Selling with Story’ where we talk about how you can use stories in order to move people closer to saying yes to the sale.

Light at the end of the tunnel

In Selling with Story part 1 we talked about building rapport. In part 2 we talked about building credibility and trust.

Today’s podcast episode of ‘Selling with Story’, is the third of four parts on how to incorporate story into your sales.

The podcast continues… using success stories to demonstrate value


Welcome back to Story Powered, I’m Lianne Picot and I am chatting with Shawn Callahan from Anecdote in Australia.                

… that leads us to the third element in the kind of the story sales structure which is demonstrating value. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?


Well, in demonstrating value you’re still using your success stories but what tends to happen at this point now, if you’re starting to get some objections, the tenets that we work from here is that you can’t beat a story with fact, you can only beat it with a better story.


I like it, yeah.

How do you find a better story?


Right, so the prospect might have a story in their head like, “Oh we’ve used this thing before and it was a real failure and it’s caused us pain”. If they’ve got that story and you’re sitting there going, “No, no, no, no, it will be good, it will be a fantastic experience for you”, that opinion will never beat the story that they have in their head, right?

So the question is, how do you help them find a better story? How do you get them to a new place?

So it might be actually taking them on some sort of excursion so they experience a better story, but if you can’t do that, well then you have to tell a better story, get them to adopt a new story, someone else’s experience.



Identify the anti-stories


We call them ‘dealing with anti-stories‘. So for every story that you tell, an organisation or a customer will have a story that will try to fight against it, and you need to be able to identify those anti-stories so that you know how to tackle them. Right?




So you want to get those anti-stories out on the table as quickly as possible. So, a big part of demonstrating value is how you deal with those objections.


That makes great sense and again, that’s the piece in terms of having established rapport and started sharing stories, but also listening to stories. You’re going to know what stories you need to deal with and if you’re not listening, you’re not going to know.

So thank you for that Shawn, that’s great.

Now we’re going to take another break now, I can’t believe, every week I always say this, it goes so fast because I just love talking story and I am enjoying talking to you but we’re going to take a break.

For Part 4, ‘Selling with Story’ click here. Lianne and I explore the fourth and final part of incorporating story into your sales.

You can listen to the full podcast below:


About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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