Bernadette McClelland - THE STORY STRATEGIST % SALES LEADERSHIP SPEAKER
Less Travelled Road - Bernadette McClelland

Will You Take The Road Less Travelled Or The Path Of Least Resistance?

It’s scary taking the road less travelled as most people take the path of least resistance instead. It’s easier!

On moving to the USA from Australia, I knew there would be a huge component of personal and professional growth. It would mean I’d shift the way I went to market as well as iterate my message.
After all, when you shift your environment, something energetic happens.

🔖 You FEEL different.

🤩 You feed off the vibe of new people.

👀 You take in new surroundings.

🔬 You experiment with different ways of life.

🤝🏽 You meet people you never would have met.

🔥 And most of all there is a freedom in being OK with trying new things.

In fact I didn’t want to just iterate, I knew I wanted to deepen my message. In my opinion, (no matter how humble, at times, I think that opinion is 😉 ), I know we all have more to give – and I have more to give over and above training sales teams just as you have more to give, too.

Do I enjoy sales training?

Coaching - Bernadette McClelland

Absolutely!

My clients are the most down to earth and relatable people I know and I get the biggest kick from seeing them execute what they learn and then keep in touch with the amazing results they achieve. [cue: iron fist in a velvet glove]

But I wanted to add more arrows to my quiver to provide even more value. And that can be a scary place to go out and create a new lane, or dare to disrupt the stereotypical approach to anything – let alone the sales conversation.

Prior to leaving Australia I had entered into a partnership with Anecdote International, and continue to thoroughly enjoy facilitating their Story Powered Sales Program with an amazing, global telecommunication company (message me separately to find out more because it is a game changer).

However, I wanted to also add more to the Story angle for Sellers over and above the magic of story telling.

I want sellers to look deeper into what ‘story‘ means for them and their business growth – in addition to making the buyer the hero and following the Hero’s Journey – after all what does that really mean from a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective, right? and how do you do it strategically without getting carried away with rapport building?

So, I did some research and gave some thought to the numbers:

Consider the following:

The Rain Group shared their studies on what buyers want most from sellers, yet are surprisingly, not receiving. Two key areas of frustration and concern where they felt sellers were letting them down, just happen to fall into speaking and seeking! Those two areas are a lack of education and a lack of listening.

💡 64% of buyers are seeking ideas and perspectives, but only 44% of sellers are delivering. What are the internal stories to cause sellers to not communicate ideas and perspectives?

💡 71% of buyers want a seller to help them discover what it is they really need, yet only 26% of sellers are doing so, and a huge 89% are saying this is challenging for them. What is so challenging that these salespeople cannot bring relevant stories into a conversation and draw parallels to help their buyers with fresh insights in a truly collaborative way?

💡 68% want to be shown how to solve one of their business problems but only 1 in 4 are able to listen effectively. How much money is being left on the table by sellers not being able to ask key questions and elicit those often missed essential buyer stories?

💡 If 53% of salespeople are not achieving targets due to not having these effective conversations with enough of the right connections, then it’s no wonder quota achievement is down. (Korn Ferry)

💡 If 67% of sellers are living in a state of survival, burnout, and desperation, with cortisol their driving force because they are not able to convert these conversations, making them less effective, then the ripple effect on the economy is huge (Uncrushed Survey).

It’s not only Groundhog Day for sellers, but the dreaded hamster wheel is also in full operation, as well.

I expect 2023 to call for a new lens with which to look at the B2B approach to market.

And that lens is StorySelling (not just storytelling)

StorySelling as a portmanteau, marries the oldest form of communication (story) with the oldest form of commerce (selling) and is not leveraged nearly enough to achieve quota attainment, business relationships or personal fulfilment.

So what do we do with this very telling market feedback?

For 2023 and beyond, I see a combined focus on three levels of Commercial Leadership emerging:

Personal Leadership with a focus on mindset (specifically the INTERNAL stories sellers tell themselves around identity, authority, and money).

Thought Leadership with a focus on mental models (visually capturing and collaborating EXTERNAL stories in a graphical way that serves the buyer and differentiates the seller).

Sales Leadership where new tools are plugged into existing sales operating systems and methodologies enabling true transformation to occur between seller and buyer by bringing more meaning to the sales conversation (with the ability to elicit the all too often missed ESSENTIAL stories – our buyer’s stories!)

In the words echoed by Daniel Pink and the late Peter Drucker – we are in the ‘wisdom era’ and need to become ‘wisdom workers.’ I predict 2023 will see a return to achieving the results that matter the most whereby sellers begin to stop selling widgets and start selling wisdom through the philosophy of StorySelling.

To shift or disrupt your environment, your responsibilities or your message to market and build out more value, what would be the path less travelled be for you?

With that thought in mind…

Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant (with some sage wisdom thrown in for good measure).

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Pic: My camera in Bar Harbour, Maine

P.S. Here are a few more ways I can help you grow your business:

📚 Join the waitlist for my upcoming book, ‘SHIFT and DISRUPT: Stop Selling Widgets.Start Selling Wisdom.’

✍️ Subscribe to my newsletter, Commercial Conversations. Guess who subscribes to my newsletter? My clients and amazing growth focussed individuals like you.

📺 You can subscribe to THE STORYSELLER my brand-new (I mean brand-new!) channel on YouTube 

💜 Connect with us in the ‘StorySeller from DownUnder Facebook’ page where stories, strategies and shortcuts will be shared to boost sales. Click here to join!

🎤 Connect with me on my Speaker Page where my keynotes for SKOs or association meetings focus on two extremely powerful messages that amplify potential for business or individuals.

💃🏻 Work with me to help you build your business by messaging me here on LinkedIn

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