074 – It’s not how good you say you are

Posted by  Anecdote International —September 8, 2020
Filed in Culture, Podcast, Selling

What happens when you highlight a colleague’s expertise to a prospect? Listen to hear how a simple tweak in conversation can dramatically change the sale outcome.

On this week’s episode of Anecdotally Speaking, Shawn shares a short but impactful story that he read in Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks’ book, Messenger: Who we listen to, who we don’t, and why. The story follows a group of well-known psychologists who used a simple technique to increase sales for a London-based real estate business. For more information about Martin and Marks’ book, click here.

In the coming days, we will be releasing new details and tickets for our October Storytelling for Leaders and Story-Powered Sales workshops. These workshops will now be run online due to COVID-19. Keep an eye on our events page or email us at people@anecdote.com for updates.

Shawn is hosting a webinar, 7 ways to use storytelling to foster innovation, at the Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival (2020BIFF) on Tuesday, the 8th of September, from 10:00am to 11:00am. To find out more about 2020BIFF and to watch Shawn’s webinar, click here.

For your storybank

Tags: sales, change management, expertise, psychology

This story starts at 01:01

In 2005, a group of acclaimed psychologists, including Richard Cialdini and Jeffrey Pfeffer, decided to help increase the sales of a London-based real estate business. They wanted to test the impact of one person highlighting another’s expertise.

The study conditions were pretty simple. Whenever a prospect called the organisation about renting or selling a property, the first contact they had with the firm was usually with the receptionist. The receptionist would understand the reason for their call and then transfer them to whoever was best suited. It was pretty seamless and happened in a few seconds, but the receptionist would never mention their colleagues’ capabilities, expertise, or experience.

The researchers made a small but significant tweak. When the receptionist received a call from a prospect, they would point out their colleagues’ capabilities before transferring the call. For example, they would say, “Let me put you through to Peter. He looks after sales and has 20 years’ experience in the area. He is definitely the best person to give advice.”

Then, the researchers watched the results. The difference was quite immediate and impressive. After a short period of time, the firm’s sales jumped by 15%. This was a significant increase.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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