Success stories are key to building credibility and trust.

When I worked for Samsung, I helped the business development teams on their sales pitches, both for direct sales and competitive bidding. The success rate wasn’t as high as it should have been. This frustration was the first step in me looking at success stories and how I found Anecdote.

Mike Adams (photo above) is the head of Sales Storytelling at Anecdote. One of his main contributions to the firm has been his development of the idea of success stories. Prior to Mike coming on board the formula we used was a simple, three step idea: A client felt anxious or upset because they had a problem, the client used a solution to fix the problem, the client feels better. (don’t you want to be like him?)

Mike’s idea is not only a more interesting success story line, it is more powerful because it really helps sales people show how they have help clients enjoy success, without big noting themselves. The NEW success story template moves from problem to solution as before but adds a few more of the bumps before success. In this examples, I am going to use a recruiting success story I heard last week to illustrate.

  1. Your client In this case a government trade organization
  2. Has a problem Was looking for a new business development manager it was a challenging role for many reasons, one of which was that the immediate supervisor was also new to her position. The trade organization tried to hire by themselves through their own network without success. Although they received a lot of resumes, none met the demands of the job. The trade organization then went out to some larger recruitment firms, but again the same story, lots of resumes, no one matching the needs.
  3. Client contacts you The trade organization contacted Lewis a specialized executive recruiter. Lewis sat down and worked out exactly what the needs were.
  4. Action plan And they were demanding: Bilingual Korean/English, a wide range of skills needed. Market research, business development, marketing a promotion and networking. It became clear to Lewis that the normal pool of candidates was not going to be effective, so he focused on these c\needs, regardless of the industry vertical or whether the person had government experience or not.
  5. Avoiding failure A great potential was found in a different city working in a large Korean company. But the candidate wasn’t interested in the position because they were already in a great position, and they were not in Seoul.
  6. Ultimate Success Lewis and the client persevered. They ensured it was the best possible package offered, and that the client over three weeks was shown the great new direction that this would take him.

The key takeaway is that the salesperson (Lewis) is not the hero.

As we say in our Anecdote WhatsApp group, The salesperson is Yoda, not Luke.

Even for those that are not huge Star wars fans – I think this illustrates the key role the salesperson plays in a success story in an easy way to remember. (Courtesy of Doug Keeley )

These kinds of success stories resonate. They do it because as well as the information shared, there is a sense of service, perseverance, humility and above all a commitment to service rather than rushing to get the sale.

As I work with my clients I find that this structure works almost every time. Clients always have problems, and they usually try to solve the problem by themselves before they call an expert. Then your job is to gather the information and work on a solution. And in any worthwhile undertaking, there are always complications.

Mike Adams going through the Success Story Framework.

Mike is tireless in his work at Anecdote, he has helped the firm improve in almost every aspect. However, his ideas on Success Stories are very powerful

Have a great week



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