Updated: 4 days ago
In October I had the pleasure of co-leading a lunch and learn for a cohort of entrepreneurs in the gBETA program, with my friend and storyteller, Kara Kavensky, Founder, and CEO of The Storyteller Agency. In case you haven’t had a chance to meet Kara yet (if you haven’t, reach out and connect with her on LinkedIn) I want to share a bit about her with you.
Kara has extensive communications, marketing, & sales experience in executive leadership and she has been a professional writer for over 25 + years. Her specialty is a strong passion for honest, powerful, effective storytelling catalyzing meaningful, positive change - after all, sales is an effective means of storytelling. Her first memoir, FINDING JOY, will be released soon. Her podcasts, Finding Joy with Kara and Record Scratch with Kara, celebrate inspirational humans.
We received wonderful feedback from the gBETA entrepreneurs and Program Director, so I thought I would share a recap with y’all.
One of the topics we touched on with the entrepreneurs was how to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT, effectively and authentically in the sale and marketing processes to save time. With that in mind, the below is a recap of our lunch and learn session created by AI. I leveraged the written transcript from Zoom, copied and pasted it into an AI tool and provided it the following prompt, “Craft a recap from the below transcript of a lunch and learn hosted by Rebecca Bormann and Kara Kavensky for a group of entrepreneurs in Gener8tor titled,” Sales is Storytelling. Storytelling is Sales.” to be posted by Rebecca Bormann Consulting on the blog. I also directed the app to pull out the key points for sales professionals and business owners for successfully leveraging storytelling to connect with clients and grow their businesses.
Here's the result:
Lunch & Learn Recap: Sales is Storytelling. Storytelling is Sales.
In the world of sales, storytelling is a powerful tool. This was the central theme of the recent lunch and learn session hosted by Rebecca Bormann and Kara Kavensky for a group of entrepreneurs at Gener8tor. The session, aptly titled “Sales is Storytelling. Storytelling is Sales,” delved into the importance of storytelling in sales and how business owners can leverage it to connect with clients and grow their businesses.
The session kicked off with Rebecca Bormann, a seasoned sales professional, emphasizing the importance of storytelling in sales. She pointed out that storytelling is not just about narrating a tale; it’s about creating a connection, evoking emotions, and inspiring action. In sales, it’s about painting a picture of how your product or service can solve a problem or fulfill a need for your client.
Kara Kavensky, a renowned storytelling expert, then took the stage to explain the mechanics of a good story. She highlighted that a compelling story has a clear structure: a beginning that sets the stage, a middle that introduces conflict or a problem, and an end that provides a resolution. In the context of sales, the resolution is your product or service.
One tool that Kavensky believes is crucial for business growth is visualization. Business owners need to envision not only their product and how it will benefit users but also the future trajectory of their business over various timeframes, such as one, five, or ten years.
Kavensky emphasized the importance of making the vision multi-sensory (involving sights, smells, tastes, and feelings) in helping shape a comprehensive outline of the business and its goals. Business owners can leverage the outputs of visualization for clarity in messaging across channels such as their website, online presence, podcasts, speaking engagements and marketing publications as well as internal communications, to reflect clear goals, target the right audience (B2C or B2B), and convey an authentic story.
This perspective shift can make your story more relatable and engaging to your audience.
Kavensky then shared practical tips on how to craft a compelling story. She stressed the importance of understanding your audience, their needs, and their wants and preferences. She also emphasized the need to be authentic and genuine in your storytelling. “People can tell when you’re being insincere or when you’re just trying to make a sale,” she said. “Authenticity builds trust, and trust is crucial in sales.”
Bormann & Kavensky also discussed and shared best practices on the importance of focusing on the 'why' rather than the 'what' in storytelling, leadership, and sales. They both agree with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle theory which argues that in today's market where most things are commoditized, what truly sets individuals and organizations apart is their underlying purpose, passion, and the legacy they aim to create. Leading with the 'why' is the driving force and passion behind actions — businesses can more effectively connect with clients and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
The session also touched on the role of storytelling in different stages of the sales process. In the initial stages, stories can be used to pique interest and create a connection. In the middle stages, they can be used to demonstrate value and overcome objections. And in the final stages, they can be used to reinforce the decision and close the sale.
The lunch and learn session concluded with a lively Q&A session, where Bormann and Kavensky answered questions and provided further insights into the art of storytelling in sales.
In summary, the key takeaways from the session were:
1. Storytelling is a powerful tool in sales that can be used to create a connection, evoke emotions, and inspire action.
2. A compelling story has a clear structure: a beginning, a middle, and an end.
3. Your WHY is more important than what you’re selling.
4. Make the customer the hero of your story. Your product or service is the tool that the hero uses to overcome their challenges.
5. Understand your audience. Be authentic and genuine in your storytelling.
6. Storytelling can be used in different stages of the sales process: to pique interest, demonstrate value, overcome objections, and close the sale.
7. Leverage technology to save time while also remaining authentic.
Kara and I both hope you’ve found a couple of gems to take with you from this recap!
Stay focused on a growth mindset.
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