Storytelling: enhancing your sales force effectiveness

Posted by  Mark Schenk —October 21, 2016
Filed in Business storytelling, Selling

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 we set about developing a specific program for sales, Storytelling for Sales, which was released in 2015.

Sales force effectiveness

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.

The philosophy underpinning all these sales processes is that the decision to buy is like problem-solving: it’s logical and rational. These processes taught salespeople how to ask questions, the assumption being that the best sellers asked their customers lots of questions. However, in his 2012 book What Great Salespeople Do: the Science of Selling through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story, Mike admits that the principles on which he’d based his teachings for decades are wrong. He now argues that people do not behave logically and rationally when making the decision to buy, and that asking good questions is not the thing that differentiates good salespeople from the rest of the pack.

The subtitle of Mike’s book says it all. Regardless of which sales process you use – and there are plenty out there – you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your sales force by giving them the skills to become better storytellers. These skills, which are at the core of our Storytelling for Sales program, will allow your salespeople to be much more influential in changing minds, which is the essence of the sales process.

Our 6 month program turns sellers into star performers. Use stories to establish rapport, build credibility, demonstrate value and ask for the business. Learn more here

Mark Schenk About  Mark Schenk

Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:


  1. I recently discovered Michael Bosworth’s new thinking and relate to it. While selling for IBM I was trained in versions of solution, customer and feature/benefit selling techniques.

    Today, much emphasis in on process and not on the essential skills of selling. Trust, persuasion and personal meaning for the prospect are how a conviction to say yes is driven.

    It’s often said, children are the best at selling. Are elaborate methods necessary when maybe we should spend time rekindling and enhancing skills we all were successful with…before someone informed us a sale comes from logic, not emotion.

    How can we collectively elevate the conversation and increase the volume so more can learn a natural and effective way to persuade and sell?

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