The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 5 years ago

Curious Storytelling Podcast

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Two traits that will help your boost sales? Curiosity and the ability to tell great stories. Kforce President of Client Strategy and Partnerships Casey Jacox tells us why developing those skills are critical to being a great salesperson.

Hello, thank you for joining us for this podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller and I'm joined today by Casey Jakos. Casey is the president of Client Strategy and partnerships at K force. Casey, thanks for being here. I am so happy beer appreciate the opportunity to talk to Rachel Casey. We've been working with K force for several months now a variety of areas. I know that you're not sick of us yet, but you do know that our people love to tell great stories, and this is a topic you're passionate about as well. So today we're going to talk about curious storytelling. Yeah, if I think of to two skill sets I want any rep at K force having is ability to be curious, which means they're always going to be digging deep in discovery, which means they're always going to be understanding and the covering pain. They're always going to be learning more about a customer, learning more one to say yes, I want to say no, and the storytelling comes into the playoff. Why do people read books? Right? Why do we read books to learn? Yeah, while we watch movies to be entertained. So learn...

...to learn. Yeah. So the goal is we want to do the same thing in the customer reaction. We want our sales reps or delivery associates working with consultants to be able to tell a story to get them excited about how that was. It was unique. He or she was different. I didn't know that K force could do that. Wow, they said a really unique way in and one of the one of the coolest talks I ever saw lives by Kevin Spacey at the Att Developer Summit in Las Vegas, thinks like for years ago, and he stood up on stage he said there's there's six words. I can remind you if you lead that I when you to mind six words. He put up five listeners out there. I have a hand up, a five, my thumb up once we have six fingers. It was. Let me tell you a story, and it just really stuck in home, is that we're all storytellers, and even Dave Davies from from force management, I still remember the story he told about a gut him, Bob Sanchez, who sold to him at Duke Energy and the fact that he he he...

...drilled home the fact that they had a repeatable process. That story of how he told it. It's stuck in my mind. I still tell her reps that way. So I'm I'm taking only what you guys did. Kind of long going answer, but you know, I want people asking a lot of questions and I want people to be effectively tell story in an authentic way that creates that positive environment, but really strong relationships. Right. I think what you're talking about, who is the ability for salespeople to demonstrate success and stories or storytelling. It sounds a bit soft, right, we're not librarians here, were salespeople, but at the same time that demons, that ability to demonstrate success through a great story. And you mentioned Dave. He always says one of his great advices for salespeople is is to go in curious and that's critical to telling great story. Totally why I even look about I can think about one of your previous podcast I listened to, I think was by Brian Walsh RN to have a chance to meet at he talked about for central questions...

...you're going to is what problems exist, how do we solve those problems? How do we solve them differently? In the words are proof if you can tackle those four things uniquely and well in the form of a story with proper tone. You got to have a really active listening and people who want to know more about what you're doing and I think in order to say the answers to those questions, as we teach in command of the message, is that you really have to ask the right questions to get the information that makes that story relatable. True Right. How do you think discovery plays into great storytime? I think you got to have, I think precall planning for something that we didn't do a really good job of. Sometimes we would do the wing it. You know, I've been here fifteen years, I know what I'm doing wrong. Answer Right. You always can p recall it. You take that time up front to do discovery with your rep or series of reps or your manager or your leader, whatever it may be, you can have such a better discovery session with a customer because you took taking the time to prep...

...you know, if we're like we're going to want to be Rachel. We're going to meet with tie, web, Chevy Chase behind. Yet you know we want to say, okay, what points do you want to make? What are I going to say? What are things are most important you? One of the things you talked about force manageing you. Is Purpose, process payoff, and define that like if we're going to discovery, what are what are the the threeps we want to cover, and we do that, you're going to have a great, great session. One of my own my small goals that I always tell rep seeing, I tell myself every meaning I go on I want I want the customer hopefully pause and say wow, I was a great question, and if I hear that I feel like I'm doing my job. We always say that opportunities are one and lost on discovery, and you mentioned the caddisheck reference. I'll just let everybody know who's listening. We're sitting in Casey's office and there's a tie web. How tall is that? Six one, six one, looks beautiful to you, or cardboard cut out behind me. But getting back to the point at hand, we see that, as I said, opportunities are one in loss on discovery and you can't...

...tell a great story without that great discovery session and you need to be curious. So it sounds easy right, just go in, ask great questions, get great information. But if this is an area where I think a lot of reps struggle, true, where do you see them struggle the most with discovery and what are your best kind of going in? Curious tips? I think the biggest thing is, like I mentioned, for you, if you don't plan, you're going to be curious for about two questions. Right. If you don't, if you don't take time to research on Linkedin, Google them, Google the company. What articles have been out that recently? What questions could I ask? How could I be different? You know, think about ways, think about ways to talk about only about their business, but think about you. Guys taught us the Ted Flosshe teld me explain, describe in the way of asking good discovery questions. Use that, that that framework of questions around competition, around business challenges, around how the measuring success, which most companies don't ever ask think of. I think if you do those...

...things consistently well, driven again by frontline managers or your top performers, the rest of your company will start seeing those things put an action. So for me again, you you can't wing it, which I think majority of the reasons if I, if I had to give feedback to any rep who comes in my office, that they wants to dive into an opportunity qualifier which forceman, just forceman, taught us about. It usually always goes back to discovery. There's usually always four or five questions you didn't ask, and one of the tips that I I always tell my ups, and someone told me, early micres. When you're done. This is where the Volna really peace comes in. If anybody listen to the other podcast we did, Reachel is like if I was rolling with you. It's a a Rachel, my great I really appreciate him. We learned a lot about force management today. Yes, in wrapping up, I'd love for you know, is there I love you to tell me other is there any questions I didn't ask that should have asked that would have driven more value? Back to our meeting today and hopefully you'll be like I was kind of a ballsy question right and you make get some good information there. You might learn a lot and because I'd rather again to...

...quote Coplin, it's okay not to know, just not okaynut do anything about it. And I think that's all what we always we preach a lot. I have written a lot of content about this on our blog. is to not be afraid to dig deep and Brian Wall Shop, one of our delivery partners always talks about salespeople have a tendency not to dig deep because they want to say, Oh, I'm going to solve your problem, we're going to talk about the good things. But your ability to really dig, even get the customer to uncover their pain, is in direct correlation how successful you will be in the later stage of that sales process. Without without pain, you can't sell right. Without a business problem you can't sell. And there's three you guys talk about three critical sales of sales, of sales skills, which is identify pain, to the problem, particulate value in differentiation and then negotiate on value. If I'm not, if I'm negotiating on price, we've gone wrong somewhere and I'm not done a good job of dignity, which dold you rhy and rewind the conversation, go deeper in discovery and I think those,...

...the discovery questions, allow you to build that story that you can use when you are negotiate on value. That helps you minimize that price discussion, to use those of you are familiar with Kman of message, to use those terms. It gives you that information that takes somebody from the before scenario to the after scenario and gives you a story to tell. Yeah, and I think you hit on earlier is reps are afraid to make client still pain because it's going to be awkward. And the best compant, the most consultative elite sales organizations out there are doing that. So the question I would add, if those are you listening out there? Either can ask the different questions and differentiate yourself or you can let your competitors do it for you and you just want watch them go right by you. So, like Rachel Minton, you mention, you got a hold whole like braveheart, or think about you know that Golfswing, hold the top pivot and then really go out for that golf ball...

...hard. But if you go on too fast and you want to solve the media problem first, you're it's going to get off the tracks. But digging deep into pain making like you mentioned, really the the they after scenario. A Lot Times customers don't you know what great looks like. And through great discovery questions you know that that great after scenario drives right into the positive business outcome that they might not even know that it through good question and you can help them get there, which again the biggest reason that will happen is a differentiates. differency differentiates. You thin guess the English. Yeah, and you mentioned after scenario and those tvos. Another great component to telling a great story are those proof points. Yeah, proof points are, like I mentioned. Your proof points are a sticky point, because a sticky upun intended are are a tricky one, because you know saw, I'm a new rep and I use hired him. So happy work in breach on that will, Rachel. I don't have any proof points. It's the first day and wrong hire.

Get them out of here, right you. You have to. You have to create a culture. You have to inspire your folks to understand that. I don't care if it's bob deal, Dave's deal, susie's deal, Rachel to Downer, who's deal it is, there are deals. How many counts you think I own? And then that people are cl office here or throughout the region of Pacific North was. How many counts you think we own as individuals? I would say five to ten. Good. Try The answers. Zero KFOUR zones them. We Own Zero K four zones, and it's so when you change the mindset of the Rep and you understand. You make them understand that. Lets say I'm working out a Portland organ or Salt Lake City. You you want your rep to know what makes Salt Lake City unique, what problems do we solve? How do we selve them differently? Where we done it and where's our proof? And and to be able to learn those case studies to whether they're two or three. I would challenge any frontline manager to ask your reps to memorize two or three of those solid case studies, maybe across a couple different verticals. That would allow them to tell that story...

...to anyone, whether at their at the library, the Bar, the baseball game, their kids sock game, wherever they are. They got to be able to authentically tell that story like their own, even even down to the your operations folks, like we challenge our operations team, know that you don't have a sales title, but no more story right and be able to articulate it well, because if you know how ky first differentiates itself and how we've helped customers many different times over tell story right, the more that you know that an authentic way, I think great things are going to happen and again this goes back to we talked earlier frontline managers inspecting what you inspect, and you only you are what you allow. So if you if you keep that level accountability up to make sure that your reps know those stories, those talking points around what makes your company unique, I think you'll find great value and being able to tell the stories effectively. Yeah, and you mentioned some customers don't know what great looks like, right. They don't know. They can't even envision those, those tvos in those stories by particularly prove points of where...

...you've done it before, helps them see to where they can get to because they can attach the story. Yeah, that's where that's where power of Ted tell me, explain, describe, comes at me. Describe which is describers. You would it feel like if you're able to increase productivity by eighteen percent, like customer air be did in the similar coates, similar vertical how would that positively impact a business? You're going to get people thinking about what I want, that people my people my spatient and know why, what am I doing wrong? Right? And you ask questions in a way to get them thinking about what potentials out there. That goes back to the quote we said they can a previous podcast by the art of persuasion. You have to you have to help them think about what's possible and only if you know that you can solve that problem in the effective way by obviously able to come the way your company prides goods or services. It's great. So, Casey, give us a bottom line when it comes to this idea of curious storytelling. The bottom line of me is if I could hire twenty five year olds, I...

...would five year olds. So twenty kind I want five year olds because one of their favorite things to say is why Daddy, why Mommy? Huh? How to means I'm joking, but five year olds are the epitome of digging, even discovery without knowing it right, and that the ten to fifteen yearlds right now. Are they pity me of business analytics, because how many likes that get on an instagram post? So if I could mix those together right. But know, I think that the bottom line is you you have to you have to practice, you have to train, you have to give people the environment to practice of digging deep in Discovery, of challenging them in front of in front of the office, make it uncomfortable. A little bit like we've in front of like our money morning office, being thirty forty people here will have someone sand them say give me, give me, describe the best when you had last week and talk about what problems you solve. had to solve them, had do it differently. Words, your proof, and then the next week someone else can say, tell Chris the story, Tell Ryan...

Story, and the more that we do that, more people become comfortable saying those things because, non none of this stuff, like we talked Rachel, happens overnight. It's got it. You have to be all in, from the REP to the senior leadership to the frontline management, and then you got to inspect it and fall through often and I think that concept overall, of going and curious, of telling great story, are two concepts that people can really hang their hats on. And now they execute the sales problems. Well. That that alone, that I mean that I am, as mentioned, I started write some of the thought leadership blogouarts. I do and I'm going to be having a article come out I'm writing about the curious story too, because and it gets inspired through my relationship or force management. So I thank you, guys for the idea great. We'll be sure to look at that and at that point you can follow Casey J hacks on Linkedin and his blog. It's really great content out there. Go ahead and check it out. It's at winning the RELATIONSHIPCOM.

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