Selling with Stories, with John Livesay [Episode 750]

John Livesay, “The Pitch Whisperer,” speaker, podcast host, and author of Better Selling Through Storytelling, joins me again in this episode.

Key Takeaways

  • Storytelling makes you magnetic and memorable! People remember stories, not information. Why aren’t salespeople telling case stories, instead of case studies?
  • John teaches the four elements of a good story. (Hint, the story is about your client or someone like them, not you.)
  • In your story of origin, sell yourself, your company, and your product or service. How can people know, like, and trust you without your story? John explains how to tell it.
  • Build trust first, give your prospect a reason to like you, and then give them something that helps them know you. Trust comes from trustworthiness. Make the prospect feel safe. Use video calls more than just audio calls.
  • You don’t have to look perfect; you have to be authentic so people will relate to you.
  • The steps in the buyer’s journey provide a better progress measurement than a sales funnel. Look at how your prospects see you. In his book, John teaches how to go from invisible to irresistible.
  • What’s the old way of selling? John explains what he understands by the “old way.” Storytelling is part of John’s new way. Also, speak informally and conversationally.
  • Where does Powerpoint fit in the final meeting? Never read from slides. People remember visuals, not what you read to them. John explains how to reverse-engineer your talk with a strong opening and a strong closing.
  • To build your closing, first, consider what you want the prospect to think, feel, and do; then provide material to guide them. The best story will be the most memorable.
  • The meeting needs a good opening. John explains a good opening. It’s never about how excited you are to be there! It’s about what the prospect needs and how you have met similar needs for others.
  • Your company story needs to be relatable to your prospect. How do you differentiate yourself? Forget the “two guys in a garage” history.
  • In the “beauty contest” or “bakeoff” — the prospect doesn’t care what’s in the specs or on paper. They will choose the salesperson they like the best because choosing will lead to a long relationship.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:00  

It’s time to accelerate. Hey friends, this is Andy. Welcome to Episode 750 of accelerate. The sales podcast of record. was Episode 750. I think about how quickly time goes. It seemed like just yesterday, I was kicking off with episode one with my good friend Mike Weinberg. Well, just like episode one today, I have another excellent guest lined up for you. Joining me this week, as my guest is John Livesey. John is sometimes known as the pitch whisper. He’s a speaker, a podcast host and author of a book that we’re gonna talk about today called better selling through storytelling. So we’re gonna talk about storytelling, storytelling that makes you magnetic and makes you memorable. If you do it right. Among the topics John, I could dive into today, our understanding of the four elements of what makes a good story. We’re also going to talk about the importance of that final big sales presentation or that Bake Off between you and your competition. And John will share some great ideas on how to use storytelling in that moment to differentiate yourself when everything is on the line to ensure that you win the decision and win the deal. We’re also gonna dive into the topic of PowerPoint. That’s right PowerPoint, we’re going to talk about how to effectively integrate PowerPoint into the flow of how you tell your story. So we’re getting into all of that and much, much more. But before we get to john, I’d like to quickly talk about ring DNA. Ring DNA is The leading revenue acceleration platform that uses AI to help businesses scale revenue growth, they offer a complete solution for sales engagement. That means you can call text email, automate sales cadences and effectively coach your sellers and more all from one tool only with a complete integrated platform can you supercharge rep productivity and optimize peak sales performance? So you can learn all about ring DNA at ring DNA comm forward slash Andy that’s R and G dna.com. forward slash Andy. And while you’re there, download LinkedIn’s free research report titled The 2020 sales prospecting Performance Report. It’s full of actionable insights to help you build your sales pipeline including data on the best time of day to call optimal first call conversation links and much much more so you can get your copy today at ring DNA comm forward slash Andy, that is ring dna.com forward slash Andy. Okay, let’s jump into it. JOHN. Welcome to accelerate

 

John Livesay  3:00  

Thanks, Andy, great to be back with you and your listeners. It’s been a while.

 

Andy Paul  3:05  

Indeed, lots has happened. That’s good.

 

Yeah, yeah, lots of things happen. So we’re gonna talk about a popular topic on the show today, which is storytelling. We’ve had several guests recently. Talking about that and you have a relatively new book called better selling through storytelling. So what, given all that’s been written recently about this topic? What was the impetus to write this book? What were you adding to the discussion?

 

John Livesay  3:31  

Well, and I think I was adding to the first the awareness that a lot of salespeople don’t see the connection between storytelling and selling. And they think if they just push out a bunch of information, throw a bunch of stuff against the wall as what I was told about early sales career and see what sticks, that that just doesn’t work anymore. And that storytelling does two things. It makes you magnetic and more importantly, memorable because people remember stories, not information.

 

Andy Paul  4:00  

Right. Right. Yeah big believer in, in stories, but I, you know, setting aside sort of the value of stories and I’ve had this discussion with another guest recently on the show was but same time, sir for like restore it out because I see everything’s being written about it. But when I listened to sales calls when I listened to her yeah recorded calls or if I’m watching somebody in a particular meeting with a client, yet I don’t see the adoption. And so I’m really curious what you see as sort of this barrier between what knowledge is the value of stories, but life, those barriers, why they’re not really used?

 

John Livesay  4:41  

Well, then I give keynotes to sales teams and sometimes workshops afterwards. The first aha moment is when I tell them we’re going to turn your case study, even the words study sounds boring into a case story. And that’s when they get the green light. And I say to them, would you like to hear the case stories? That allowed Gensler to win a billion dollar airport renovation against two of the law firms for Pittsburgh. And that usually gets people to sit up and say, Yes, I’d like to hear that story and learn how to tell my own case story, huh? And that’s the upside, right? You know, the, you know, the old way of doing it for architects was to show their designs of the new project, and to show some photos before and after other projects they’ve worked on to show the transformation. I said, the visuals are great, but there’s no story. So I teach people the four elements of a good story and how to turn a case study into that. And that’s what hooks people into remembering, oh, we want to go on that journey with you. And I think the big misconception, Andy is that salespeople think, Oh, I’m going to tell the story. I’m going to be the hero of it. No, you’re your client is the hero that you helped and you’re the Sherpa or Yoda in Star Wars.

 

Andy Paul  5:54  

Well, it brings up an interesting point about stories because I think that again, one of the things that I think is an issue is that so many of these books that are written about story say they put a list together, right? Like 10 stories you need to know or seven stories you need to know and, and the primary profit most people’s just knowing one story they can tell right?

 

John Livesay  6:27  

So okay, there’s one. Let’s just start with one. The one story every salesperson should be able to tell their own story of origin? Is what I start with you because I believe you have to sell yourself, then the company even if you’re just a one person company, and then you sell whatever product or service you’re doing, and people skip the first two steps. So people buy from people they trust and like and no, and if you don’t have your own personal story of why you became interested in this industry or this particular job, then that’s a big problem. So I work with people and let’s make sure we craft your story back to the Gensler. Example again, they have a team slide of If you pick us these are the people who will be working on your project for the next five or six years. And so each of those people I worked with them and pulled out an individual story, as opposed to Hi, my name is Bob. I’ve worked here for 10 years. I do this boring, forgettable blah, huh? I said, Bob, what did you do that made you become an architect? What inspired you up? Well, I was 11 years old. I played with Legos. That’s what inspired me to summon 11. I still play Legos with him and I bring that same passion I had to this project. Boom. Very interesting and memorable. There’s a little story about Bob. Okay, next person Sue. Where did you work before Gensler? Well, I was in the Israeli army and said, Great, you’re going to bring that same discipline and focus from being in the Israeli army to making sure this project comes on time and under budget. So now they started having individual stories instead of just a bunch of boring information about their backgrounds. Again, so we’ve got case studies turning into stories. Now we’ve got team slides turning into individual stories that make people feel like they trust in life. And know them.

 

Andy Paul  8:01  

Yeah. And you write about in the book, how you’ve inverted the know, like trust, trust, like no. And why is that?

 

John Livesay  8:10  

Well, I think the first thing is people think again, oh, if I tell you a bunch of information, and then you’ll like me, and then eventually trust me, and I believe that that order is wrong. It starts from the gut, which is the fight or flight response that you know, we have handshake came about, so you didn’t have a weapon in your hand. So we have to build trust first, and then we go up to the heart, which is the likability factor. And that’s really a salesperson’s expertise, if they can show empathy. I believe that the better you explain your problem, the better the potential client thinks you have their solution. And then it moves up to the head where they started after they trust and like you they go, okay. But will this work for me, I know you’re showing examples of other people you’ve helped, but if I don’t see myself in that story, I’m still not going to buy. So it’s really important that you start from the bottom and work your way up, in my opinion.

 

Andy Paul  9:00  

Yeah, as I was thinking about that, because that Yeah, that’s right. Not sure I’d necessarily agree with this but it starts with trust, I understand that the handshake and so on and there’s been people writing about Amy Cuddy and others about you starting with trust, don’t you worry about competence where other people read about, start with competence and then move trust. I wonder isn’t isn’t the more interesting characteristic that people are looking for as it’s not trust, but trustworthiness? I mean, one thing is that we use trust so loosely. And, and so I think about, okay, well, somebody’s gonna buy from, right. I mean, there’s a level of trustworthiness they need to have for you to have a belief that they can execute on what they’re gonna do. But does that really turn into real trust? Or is that just you’re you’re taking a risk on the fact that they seem worthy of that trust there seem to be but on the other hand, put your thumb babysit your kids

 

John Livesay  10:00  

Well, now you don’t necessarily suit me, I think if we just keep it real basic, simple brain, crocodile brain levels, that no matter what the situation is, we have to feel safe. And it’s, I agree, I agree. So it’s just making you as a salesperson realize that has to happen first, before they even want to listen to what else you’re saying. So that’s what I’m saying is the level of fight or flight? Is it safe? Is this person somebody making eye contact with me? Do they get it? Am I it’s a warm introduction, or your brain is just quickly searching through all those things to go. Okay, keep on the phone, stay in the meeting, pay attention. This is not a dangerous situation. I think it’s a, you know, archaic brain thing that we need to deal with in the first place.

 

Andy Paul  10:48  

Well, maturity is an interesting point. So it’s one thing if you’re doing it in person, because again, you have these physical cues that you can actually see, even in a call like this, you and I were looking at each other courtesy of zoom, but oftentimes That first interaction was on a phone. And so one of the cues that in your mind people are looking and picking up on at that point.

 

John Livesay  11:08  

Well, first I want to encourage as many people as possible to use a service like zoom or Skype or whatever. Because when I am being interviewed against typically one or two other speakers, I always ask to have a call like this, as opposed to just a phone call. Yep. Because they get to see and you so much more you can respond to people’s facial reactions. So whenever possible, use a video with your call. There’s no reason not to with this technology. Second one is just a voice.

 

Andy Paul  11:35  

Yeah, and I would just say it’s part of your story, right? So the way you appear is part of your story. It’s not just what you speak. It’s who you are. So I agree with you 100 percent if you get a chance that drives me nuts when people don’t want to do this. Yeah, these days, technology exists to have a video call.

 

John Livesay  11:51  

Yes. Right.

 

So that it also shows confidence. A lot of people feel they have to be perfect all the time. Whether they’re on camera Or not. And so that’s a big part of my message and better selling through storytelling is to let go of this need to be perfect. And I tell my brain is wired to crave progress and celebrate progress. That’s why the Fitbit watch video games made it to the next level. So if we start focusing on how much progress we’ve made, as opposed to having to be perfect every time, it really frees us up. And I think that includes being on camera, you don’t have to look perfect every minute of every day. You just have to be authentic for people to want to relate to you.

 

Andy Paul  12:34  

Yeah, no, I agree. And I like the reference to progress because I think that this is overlooked for the most part in sales is, if companies have these sort of rigid sales processes defined by stages and they look at how do we get from one stage to the next I’m saying has the buyer made progress? Exactly. As opposed to have we made progress?

 

John Livesay  12:56  

Well, I can again, completely look at that from you know what I think was selling for many decades. You know, everything was this isn’t a prospect 90% to be prospect 50 see prospect, you know, 30 or less, and nobody who’s a buyer thinks of themselves as a percentage. And

 

Andy Paul  13:13  

The percentages are flawed anyway, because you can look, you know, if we accept the proposal stage, we’re at 90%. But you know, if you have three competitors who also presented proposals, you don’t have a 90% chance of winning just mathematically.

 

John Livesay  13:24  

So I tell people to stop looking at your potential buyers through your lens and start looking at it through how they see you. And that’s what incentivizes me to create the ladder that you probably have read about in the book, how to go from invisible to irresistible, and that really becomes a new roadmap for sales teams to start saying, Where are we on this ladder? And what can we do to move up a rung as opposed to we see them as a percentage.

 

Andy Paul  13:51  

All right, but before we get into the ladder I want to go to something to start talking about in the beginning of the book, which is always a trigger. For me and in a good way or bad way, therapists Well, yeah, usually not a good way. Okay, but I’m self medicating so I’m okay. Is it your right that you say the old way of selling is to push your message out? Now first of all, any reference to the old way of selling is a trigger for me because first of all, you’ve been around longer than many but oftentimes when you hear that reference by people who have no idea what selling was like that’s assuming it was different then. So tell me what what do you mean by the old way because, you know, it’s sort of ironic to me as you know, you’ve written a book that’s selling through storytelling, but a good chunk of it’s really about presentations and presentations are pushing your message out by and large, so interesting what you meant by that.

 

John Livesay  14:56  

I was working for a company that had a less expensive, faster computer. And I realized that there’s a lot of other issues going on besides just price and information. And so that sales training did not include storytelling. back now. 80s and 90s. No, so that’s what I mean, by the old way. And as I referenced earlier in our conversation, you know, management would say, just keep its volume, just throw a bunch of stuff up and something he’s got a stick. That’s the old way.

 

Andy Paul  15:39  

Well, but okay, and the reason I asked that, because that’s really the new way to write. So if you look at the explosion inside sales teams and the movement inside sales, where you know, we see incredible growth in employment with SDRs that many companies have used SDRs to pound out phone calls. Yeah, what’s old is new again, and I was just wondering it to me that’s like, that’s really the way a good chunk of sales is sort of taking place. I would measure people on their activity levels as opposed to the quality of what they actually do.

 

John Livesay  16:11  

Well, I recently was hired by Redfin, which is a tech company that’s disrupted the real estate agents world by not paying their agents Commission’s they paid a salary, which allows people selling their homes to save money, and they’re using technology to drive traffic to their website to get more eyeballs and the way they drive people in. So instead of the, again, the old way of real estate people trying to go out and find clients. Redfin is using technology to generate leads and they have a whole sales team of people on the phone explaining the differences and then ideally setting up appointments for the agents to be interviewed to get the listing. So I think there is a new way of doing it and I worked in depth with that particular sales. On the phone, how to let go of some of that. Oh, you know, to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking? Oh my god, just have a conversation with people.

 

Andy Paul  17:08  

Well, but that is one of the real barriers. So let’s dig into that a little bit because again, in this world that’s evolving and and yeah, these people I said SDRs measure activity, they’ve got a certain amount of time to engage the interest of the buyer. And really a conversation is the last thing that happens. Really, that’s because I’ve got Yeah, I have pressure. I’ve got 10 seconds to engage this person’s interest. And,

 

John Livesay  17:38  

you know, well, let me let me give you an example. So the sales team was taught to ask the person’s name so that they could use the person’s name and that’s it. Sure. That’s been around forever. And so 99% of most people or companies are still saying, to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking and I say that it’s not conversational. Nobody ever says that. When they meet somebody in person my role is played with them, and I said, I’ll be you and I’ll be Redfin. And you’d be the person calling in Sure. I said, Hey, my name Hello, my name is John, I’m from Redfin, how can I help you? And they said, Oh, I’m looking at blah, blah, blah, house on whatever. Like, okay, great. Just in case you didn’t catch my name. At the beginning, my name is John, and you are, and they go, Oh, I’m Bill or Bob or whatever. That is conversational. It doesn’t take any more time than the ones with whom I have the pleasure of speaking. And so those little shifts, and being real and conversational, allow you to have a more authentic connection whether you’re in person or on the phone.

 

Andy Paul  18:36  

Yeah, and it’s interesting, cuz I was . I was, and I agree on that. That’s, that is more conversation. I was really talking about having a conversation though.

 

John Livesay  18:44  

And this is well, you’d be surprised how they go, what is motivating you to sell your house, and then sometimes it becomes a short little mini therapy for some people. Mm hmm. Somebody died, I just got divorce. That person needs to show empathy, whether you’re on the phone or in person, and the more you show empathy it talks about the more likeable you are. They’re like, okay, these people get me I want to work with them.

 

Andy Paul  19:05  

Yeah. So, going further than into your book is, is, is and is curious about this because what you see is because I see a lot less of the sort of formal stand up presentation these days. And I mean, at the end of the book, you give this succinct 12 slide template for putting together a PowerPoint presentation but again, maybe with companies you work with, you’re seeing different but but i

 

John Livesay  19:33  

I let me let me get just the industries that are still having to do this. Sure. Architects. They get it you know, they send a proposal that you read in the final three, you each have an hour to come in and present in person for an hour. Sure. And that determines who wins these big airport renovations lawyer redesigns, what have you.

 

Andy Paul  19:55  

It just just clicks in that case. That’s sort of the culmination of the sales process. That’s not the beginning of the sales process they’ve done everything but but hey, come in and sum up what what you told us so far.

 

John Livesay  20:08  

Give us a reason to hire you versus the other people. You know they were told by the airport we’re going to hire the firm we’d like the best if you’re in the final three, you can all do the work. And that’s when I said get john with a say in here we need some help on the likability empathy stuff, the soft skills, but it’s storytelling. So architects still do it. executive search firms, I was speaking to the International, they compete against Korn ferry, same situation. Big companies, bringing them in for the Bake Off shoot off is one of their concepts. They call it right you have an hour to present to us why we should use you for our next CEO search your board of directors search. ad agencies, PR agencies, lawyers call them beauty contests. And lawyers now never used to be able to legally sell themselves and now they realize they have to, so I’ve been doing a lot of work with the legal industry on how to use storytelling as a way to get hired as the firm of choice.

 

Andy Paul  20:59  

Okay. Well, let’s let’s dig into that context. Because Yeah, you’ve obviously ultimate experience in that is. So I guess my first question is, is PowerPoint still effective? Because, yeah, I think back to my own experience, I’ve worked a lot of startups, raised a ton of money, you know, met tons of VCs and so on. And, and, yeah, we always started this correlation. But if we could, if we had to go to the partners meeting at a VC firm, and if we had to turn on our computer, we probably weren’t going to get the deal. But if we could just sit and have a conversation with them, and maybe stand at the whiteboard, draw things out and so on, then there is a much higher possibility of connecting with them and telling our story in a much more effective way. So that was sort of part was motivating that questions in those environments is, you know, do you still see people are defaulting sale or deck together? Yes. And do they go and say Yeah, we’re gonna give this pitch or again, maybe we were unusual, we just said, lastly we’re gonna do is give this pitch because then we’re not connecting with them because they’re all gonna be on their phones, their eyes rolling back in the head, so on. Yeah,

 

John Livesay  22:13  

I think it’s two different situations. One when you’re pitching to get funding is a completely different situation than when you’ve been invited to come in and pitch for an hour to win the business against two other competitors. The client expects a deck, the competitors are using decks and people remember things they see visually. The big mistake using PowerPoint is reading from the slides. So when I gave my TEDx talk, you know, I had a whole lot of preparation and working with designers to make sure that it was images that triggered a conversation that I made eye contact with the audience to get the conversation. So the use of visuals works, the use of reading from slides does not work,

 

Andy Paul  22:53  

right. So, again, so how to then if you’ve got this deck, you are a sales rep and you’ve been, you know, called on the, by the company come and say, Hey, make your final pitch. Yeah, how they should? How should they prepare for that?

 

John Livesay  23:13  

Well, they need to have a really strong opening and a really strong closing. That’s I tell people to reverse engineer your talk or your presentation, pitch, whatever you want to call it. What do you want the audience to think? What do you want them to feel? And what do you want them to do? When I work with teams on answering those three questions? We then craft the closing, because some of the worst closings I’ve ever heard before. I started working with him. Would he be well? That’s all we got any questions? Oh my god. No, no, no. So a good closing sounds like something like we’d like to invite you to join us on this journey, we realized the importance of creating an airport here in Pittsburgh that reflects the city’s new values and reputation. This will be the first stop people’s first impressions and you don’t get a second chance. And some of us are from Pittsburgh. So this is not just another job, just this is a home game for us, right? And we promise we’ll be committed, and we’re gonna make this something that we’re all proud of. That’s it. That’s a much better closing than any questions. That’s all we got. Yeah, same thing with the opening. A lot of people waste that first

 

Andy Paul  24:19  

one you just gave it I know, I don’t pick it because I know you’re just doing extemporaneously is. But there should be a call to action there somewhere, right? Because you’re saying what you want them to do?

 

John Livesay  24:29  

Well, I say we want to invite you to join us on this journey, they’re not going to make a decision on the spot. It’s not like you whipping out a contractor. That is the next call to action is letting them know that you want them to hire you. And that’s asking for the order in that subtle way. Not that outgoing. You know, please hire us. That’s not how I would edit a call.

 

Andy Paul  24:50  

Alright, and so then you said, How do you do think and how you make them feel so

 

John Livesay  24:55  

they feel and do Yeah, right. We want them to think that we’re the best team. We want them to feel like we understand them better than anyone else. And we want them to pick us over the competition after they’ve seen all the presentations. And this is the other big thing is people say, Oh, we tried to go last, when we have to go up against competitors. I said, we can’t think whoever goes last is the most memorable. I suppose you can control that that’s a problem I’m solving for companies. They go, whoever tells the best story, both in the case story and in the team story is going to be memorable, not the order you present. And when I told that to the executive search firm, the light bulb went off in the CEOs mind. Oh my god, even if we’re First we’ll be setting the bar with good stories. Yes, you’re hired come teach my team how to do that keynote.

 

Andy Paul  25:39  

Right. So get started make people think

 

John Livesay  25:45  

yes, and memorable. Because you know, we remember stories, not information because it all starts to blur together. When you’re listening to a bunch of statistics of, you know, square footage or whatever you happen to be selling. The other problem is wasting time in the opening. You know, even if you’re given an hour, you really only have 90 seconds just like in a 10 minute pitch for investors. Right? And a lot of people open it. Well, thanks for this opportunity. I’m excited to be here. First of all, that’s cliche, nobody remote. It’s nothing memorable. It’s nothing unique. And it’s nobody cares that you’re excited. And you would be surprised. Or maybe you wouldn’t, Andy, how difficult it is to get people to let go of that as an opening, right. And so the Oh, yeah, it’s about you having to make so good an opening sound like this. Your CEO is tasked with getting this airport rank from 24 to number one in five years. We’re just the team to do it. We did it for JetBlue at JFK, and that’s what we’re here to talk to you about to help you make your goals.

 

Andy Paul  26:40  

Perfect. Yeah, but again, so many people and I’m interested in when you talk about the team story and origin story and so on. Yeah, I find that companies, sellers, whatever, really, you know, they default to sort of the standard corporate capabilities type crap no one really cares about no one cares about two people. Find The company in the car starting the company in a garage. What you see contextually is sort of the best way to frame your story.

 

John Livesay  27:08  

Well, I do a deep dive on the companies that have hired me to help them win pitches and figure out what’s on their websites, mission statements, cultural issues, whether they celebrate diversity, but then I look for statements on the potential clients websites. And sometimes we can find a real match and we’ll pull a quote from the potential clients website, put that up on a slide and say, this is your message, but it could easily fit on our slide as well because our branding and our culture has a very similar fit. So you’re, you’re selling the company, you’re selling the mindset, we value collaborative conversations, for example, at Gensler, they have two CEOs, they’re both co CEOs, they don’t have a star architect, so they have a story of how they differentiate themselves. And if they’re talking to a law firm that has a similar philosophy Then that automatically goes, Oh, we’re already in sync. We’re global, you’re global. What that means to you is that wonderful benefit statement, you know, we’re going to have consistency across all your offices. And we have, so figuring out what it is about your company that fits their brand and their culture is great. Another way to check off a box of Oh, this is the right team for us.

 

Andy Paul  28:25  

Yeah, as a turf insurance because as I was reading your book, and because you know, these days in b2b sales, we know we talked about the vast number of stakeholders involved and making the decision and, and helping to shape sort of the options that customer has to choose from. And, and typically the way it often works is that your client and then now may not be a complete fit for the ones that you’re talking about, you know, large mid small projects and so on, but is typically someone go out and talk to vendors, and say look, we’re gonna to come up with a final set of specifications for what we’re trying to do, and, and you know, you refer to the case of IBM, IBM has competed with them beginning of my career as well, back into the Fudd days for they got divest and broken up and so on. But as it usually got that final spec, that final spec had somebody thumbprints all over it. And you knew if it wasn’t yours instantly, right? It’s like we’re screwed in this regard. So be on a project like an airport and so it’s probably no different right? So I just sort of curious as to is, you start to get to this last stage, but there’s been so much influence you’ve been trying to exert in this process to get designed into they have their final vision of what they’re going to buy is really almost shaped before these final presentations take place. So that’s I, I wonder in this day and age, given how we start seeing things evolve. is how critical These are for really influencing the final decision as to what vendor to go with.

 

John Livesay  30:08  

I think it’s still very critical I think sales are major one in those last one our Bake Off, shootouts would have beauty contests whatever you want to call it despite there might being a little bit of oh we think we want to go with these people but if somebody has a compelling enough story and can wow them in that hour they I’ve seen people change their mind and go with that person or that brand

 

Andy Paul  30:29  

But that’s sort of the question I was asking. I have never heard that story, right? I mean, the very they’ve I talked to all these people I mean, they know the story of the vendors and so on. It’s like so what’s new in that last hour of Bake Off as you’re talking about what’s new if you’re a seller in that situation, it’s like okay, what we’ve run through this whole thing they know our entire store, they know our capabilities. We’ve told all of our stories already to get them excited to get us to this point because ever disqualified us, one of the finals

 

John Livesay  30:59  

becomes you People aren’t buying you just like in a startup, they’re investing in you. And that’s where the in person energy comes through. It’s like, you know, we’re gonna hire the people we like the most, because we have to work with you for the next five years bottling this airport. So that likability, the empathy is what comes through. That doesn’t come through on the paper specs.

 

Andy Paul  31:17  

Okay, well, that’s a good answer. And that’s what I would have expected is I think that too often this is downplayed these days in sales is thinking is that Yeah, we’ve automated everything we’ve, yeah, we just the human aspect doesn’t import, you know, people have written articles on LinkedIn about relationships and sales, that’s Bs, there’s no such thing. dadadada da, and I’m of the mind and my belief and through my own experience, and seeing what’s going on is that you actually this human connection is more important than ever. Exactly. And, and yes, if this final Bake Off is a way that you further solidify that connection that you’ve been building with someone. I mean, this doesn’t create a whole cloth at that point. Yeah, it’s very important to pay attention to But make sure you do a good job there.

 

John Livesay  32:02  

And prepare, don’t wing it. Well.

 

Andy Paul  32:06  

Yeah, you’d like to think that goes without saying but

 

John Livesay  32:08  

yes, isn’t unfortunately.

 

Andy Paul  32:10  

Yeah, it isn’t us. And that’s sort of the problem sometimes was salespeople think they can talk their way in or out of any situation is that he? Yeah, that’s sales is Yeah, I’ve had this message for a long time with people, they’ll say sales is about preparation, not improvisation. And, yeah, there may be elements of improv and you refer to it in your book even in terms of how you respond to questions and so on. I mean, it drives me nuts. When somebody asks you a question. They say yes, and then the next phrase they link to but suddenly somebody has a negative in their mind as sort of as you kind of talked about the book is yes, and Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay, great. We’re building on what we’ve heard before not taking away from it. Yeah, very, very important. Okay, interesting books. Thank you. So yeah, recommend people take a read and once you tell people where they can find out more about the book and also connect with you.

 

John Livesay  33:08  

Sure. Well, if anybody wants a free sneak peek of better selling through storytelling, all they have to do is text the word pitch p Tch. 266866 and they get a free sneak peek. They can go to my website John Livesey calm. Can’t remember any of that. Just Google the pitch whisper and all my content will show up.

 

Andy Paul  33:27  

But the pitch whisper suit is soon to be located in Texas. Yes, making the move California emptying into Texas. Alright, John, that’s great talking to you again. Appreciate it.

 

John Livesay  33:43  

Thanks for having me. All right, talk to you soon.

 

Andy Paul  33:50  

Okay, friends, that was accelerated for the week. First of all, as always, I want to thank you for joining me. And I want to thank my guest, John lymphocyte. Join me again next week. As my guest will be Lance Tyson. Lance is the CEO of the Tyson group, sales training company. and author of a really excellent book titled selling is an away game, clothes, business and complete weight, we’ll start at the top of the outro. Okay, friends, that was accelerated for the week. First of all, as always, I want to thank you for joining. And I wanna thank my guest, John Lewis says, join me again next week as my guest will be Lance Tyson. He’s the CEO of Tyson Group, a sales training company, and author of the really excellent book titled selling as an away game, clothes business and competing in a complex world. We’re going to talk about what it means that sales is an away game, and how that mental image shapes how you should connect and communicate with your buyers. And as I said, this interesting book, a great conversation. So definitely join us for that. So again, thanks for joining me this week on accelerate and until next week. I’m your host, Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.