Lunch with the Sales Team (Or, Where to Find The Best Stories)

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Since cavemen sat around a fire, storytelling has been a vital part of our genetic makeup. We tell, we listen, we engage, we participate, we connect, we learn. Any eLearning designer will tell you that people respond better to story-based presentations rather than giving a step-by-step procedure without any emotional context (“Click the Next button to proceed.” Blech!). Not only does storytelling bring us closer together as human beings, but it also makes an impact on us, giving us a stake and making us care about the protagonists in the story. In other words, it ties us together to an idea.

At Social Media Week London in November 2015, the topic of storytelling was mentioned time and again but it was very carefully and specifically attached to the idea of being authentic. This is because marketeers have realized that social media is more effective and impactful it’s delivering a story, which explains the rise of video on social channels. Organisations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to generate content that is pushed out a single time and then retired. This shelving is why topics such as ‘content marketing’ and ‘evergreen content’ are becoming more popular. The content we are creating has to do more, which means it needs to be stickier.

And how do you generate sticky content? You build a story.

But where do you get a good story?

My favourite group of people to sit with at the corporate lunch table is the sales team. They always have a great story: about a client, a recent sale, a challenge solved after the purchase has gone through or just about how the sale saved the day for the customer. Next up on my lunch table seating companion preferences are the evangelists/product marketing team. They interact with customers on a regular basis, usually gaining terrific insight from people using the company’s products in sometimes surprising ways. And finally, down towards the puddings section, I love to chat with the customer support reps. The stories they tell about how the customer is using the tool, the efforts required to painstakingly recreate a problem step by step, and the solution that was found are incredibly insightful. The best part about those customer support stories? Sometimes, even if a client’s problem can’t be resolved, the relationship built between rep and customer during this exchange solidifies the loyalty from the client back to the company.

Organisations should seek to gather authentic stories from within their own departments, which will give insight as to how their products are being used, how they can be improved, and how to attract and engage new prospects and customers. And they should use these stories to tell other people/audiences/prospects/shareholders how they’re performing as a company. Not only will this create deeper engagement, but it will also spark ideas for the future.

Join us on January 25th at 09:00 EST / 14:00 GMT to discuss Using The Art of Storytelling to Connect Brands to Audiences and Communities.

Christie Fidura

President at The Perfect Circle
Christie Fidura is President of The Perfect Circle, a Community Management strategic consultancy. The former manager of the Adobe Community for EMEA, which was ranked 2nd out of the Top 106, Christie is based in London, where she co-manages the London Community Manager meetup group, #cmgrLDN.
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