October, 2016 | Published by Anecdote - Putting Stories to Work.
Greetings from the team at Anecdote and welcome to the October edition of Anecdotally. This month, we’d like to tell you about the important role storytelling can play in the legal profession, how stories can help you inspire decision-makers with data, the evolution of storytelling, and why our Storytelling for Sales program will make your sales force much more influential. We’d also like to tell you about the events and presentations we’ll be involved in over the next few months. Finally, another reminder to those of you who don’t yet have a copy of Shawn’s new book Putting Stories to Work that you can buy one (paperback or e-book) on Amazon, or you can order the special hardcover edition from our website — Shawn will happily sign your hardcover on request.
October/November — Mark is travelling to Istanbul to accredit three new partners: two based in Turkey and one in Israel. Our network is becoming even more global! During that trip, Mark will also be running two public Storytelling for Leaders presentations.
14—16 November — Shawn will be a keynote speaker at KMWorld 2016 in Washington, DC.
Business storytelling methods for lawyers and law firms
Last week I was in London and had the pleasure of catching up with Ian Rodwell from Linklaters, one of the largest law firms in the world and part of the magic circle of elite legal companies headquartered in the British capital. Ian has been a long-term advocate of our work and we spent an enjoyable 90 minutes talking about how lawyers employ storytelling in their work.
We quickly set aside the obvious use of storytelling in the courtroom partly because it only represents a small proportion of legal work — that which is done in front of a judge. Then, after exploring the role of stories in pitching for work, building engagement among people in the firm, helping with change and communicating strategy, we dug into what is a daily necessity for many lawyers: quickly building a rapport with prospective clients.
Like any good professional service provider, it’s vital that a lawyer makes a good connection with a potential client in the first meeting. Clients will only engage the services of a law firm if they feel comfortable with the professionals who work there. That means trusting each person’s capability to do the work, and also trusting them to do the right thing. Stories help clients make a quick assessment of both capability and character.
I remember an early success back at the start of the 1990s. I was helping some councillors see the need for a tree-planting program to provide nature corridors across their shire. Before they saw the results of our geographic systems analysis (what we called computerised mapping before Google Maps), the councillors had told themselves the story of how, over the years, they’d invested in planting trees and that’s why their towns had such leafy surrounds. They felt they’d done more than enough. So when we unfurled maps showing tiny and mostly unconnected stands of mature trees and a vast expanse of paddock, they were more than surprised. After the initial shock and some resistance, they agreed to fund the tree-planting project.
Storytelling: enhancing your sales force effectiveness
We developed the first version of our Storytelling for Leaders program nearly 10 years ago. Subsequently, we were asked many times to modify the program for sales teams. The results were so effective that we set about developing a specific program for sales, Storytelling for Sales, which was released in 2015.
I’ve just finished reading a relatively recent book by one of the world’s sales training gurus, Mike Bosworth, and it’s a superb advertisement for our Storytelling for Sales program. Mike has been involved in sales training for over 40 years. He was part of the original SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need—payoff) selling pilot project and went on to found a sales training organisation named Solution Selling in 1983. He published Solution Selling in 1994 and in 2006 he co-authored the book Customer Centric Selling.