Storytelling at Work: 3 Ways to Improve Performance

May 22, 2019
Storytelling at Work: 3 Ways to Improve Performance

Storytelling at work has the potential to impress more than the external players like prospects and clients. In fact, it has the ability to impress, engage, and improve the performance of your employees as well.

A simple story can flip the mindset of a downtrodden employee into an invigorated one. And with this change in mindset, comes a change in performance.

Storytelling is a great way to bring your team together.

Through words and language, storytelling can unify your company to work towards a common goal.

It only makes sense for me to tell you a story about why this is true. A few months ago, the team at Criteria for Success sat down for a much-needed, intensive planning and strategy session. We were growing, and we needed to make sure we didn’t let things fall by the wayside. We also needed to make sure everyone was on the same page in order for us to forward and grow as a cohesive piece.

At our planning session, we realized that our current vision, mission, and value statements were not true to who we were and who we wanted to become. We realized that our company story was outdated and needed to be rewritten.

As you may already know, our new mission is to enable buying in a world of selling. Since creating this new mission statement, each employee at Criteria for Success knows the intent of everything they do here. With every email sent, phone call made, or Sales PlayBook created, we are working to enable buying in a world of selling.

We have continued to hire new employees, and even with a team doubled in size, our mission remains strong and intact. In other words, our company story is strong and inspiring and, therefore, our employees are engaged and performing better than ever.

So, are you interested in using storytelling at work to improve performance? Read on:

Storytelling at Work: 3 Ways to Improve Performance 

1. Use Storytelling as Team Building

Storytelling is a great way to build strong relationships between your team members. Just think about it like this: your team members are interacting with storytelling when they aren’t working.

Even if it is just to be polite, they ask each other what they did over the weekend, or how their evening was. Usually, a response will include some type of story about what they did. As a sales leader, ask yourself how you can use this natural type of communication to strategically build rapport.

In sales meetings, you can nominate one person to share something about themselves. Or, you can have reps share the best client/prospect story of the week or month. Regardless, get your sales team to share stories!

You will notice a difference in rapport and bonding, immediately!

2. Keep Stories in Your Sales PlayBook

Want to see improved performance over a long period of time? Of course you do! Want to know how to make it happen? Keep your sales reps’ best stories in your Sales PlayBook.

These stories are a look inside to the things that make your company great. Imagine how valuable it would be as a junior sales rep to be able to read an entire list of success stories in your training. The new sales rep will buy into the value of what they are selling much more efficiently, and they will be more excited to work at your company.

What does this mean? Improved performance, that’s what!

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3. Train Your Team on Storytelling

Not all stories are created equal. I mean, you can’t really compare the Odyssey to Captain Underpants. There’s a lot that goes into make a story great. In fact, it’s almost formulaic.

Dave Lieber’s V Formula is a good one to use for storytelling in sales.

The formula goes like this:

  1. Introduce the character
  2. Bring the story to it’s rock-bottom, lowest point
  3. Turn it all around and finish the story with a happy ending

Storytelling training is important so your sales reps can avoid long-winded diatribes that prospects and clients, frankly, aren’t interested in. It teaches them to keep stories to the point. And, it helps other sales reps use their stories (found in the Sales PlayBook) with their own prospect.

A sales rep doesn’t own a story. If stories follow a formula, it’s easier for everyone to benefit from them.

So, what do you think? Storytelling in sales is probably something that your team is already using, naturally.

As a sales leader, make sure you are using storytelling at work to its greatest potential. If you use if for team building, keep them in the Sales PlayBook, and train your sales reps how to tell great stories, you will be sure to see great improvement in performance.

Have any other ideas on storytelling at work? Let us know in the comments!

Sales Webinar: Storytelling: How & Why It Will Transform Your Team to Excellence

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