How good of a storyteller are you? Answer that question, and I'll tell you how good a sales person you likely are, because stories stories and sales go together. Stories can be your differentiator in a crowded, chaotic, commoditized marketplace. That’s because your story is unique. No one else has it. No one else can tell it exactly like you, or replicate it. Stories will help your current or potential clients and customers listen longer, learn faster and buy sooner.

Does your staffing sales pitch begin with a bunch of bullet points? We'll do a better job...we care more than the other guys...we have a higher success rate...more experienced people...we do it for less and on and on?

How many times do you think that client has had someone exactly like you in that exact same chair you are now occupying saying the exact same thing you are now? Maybe even that same day?

Before long, the staffing sales reps who tell HR managers they will serve them better run together, to the point where they tune you out.

Stories represent a pathway to understanding that doesn’t run through the left (analytical) side of the brain.

That is not a way to make your company stand out from the crowd. A well-told story can though.

In his best selling book A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink says stories represent a pathway to understanding that doesn’t run through the left (analytical) side of the brain.

“We have a hunger for what stories provide – context enriched by emotion, a deeper understanding of how we fit in and why that matters. The Conceptual Age can remind us of what has always been true but rarely acted upon – that we must listen to each other’s stories and that we are each the authors of our own lives.”

Learn to tell short, succinct success stories, in which you - and your staffing company - are the heroes.

Learn to tell short, succinct success stories, in which you - and your staffing company - are the heroes.

If you are sitting in the offices of a contract manufacturing firm whose workforce needs fluctuate quickly, tell about the time you had 35 temps on the job 24 hours after getting a call from the client.

Or tell about the time a large client was struggling with a whole host of issues across multiple locations, and you designed a solution that involved assigning a dedicated service manager working from a centralized branch office to the account, becoming responsible for the complete coordination of the company's staffing needs across all locations.

You get the idea. Think of the last sales conference you attended. Did they have a keynote speaker? What were the takeaways they left you with? Could you have learned any or all of that same information via Google?

When companies, associations and professional organizations pay professional speakers, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or even $100,000 for a single speech, they aren’t just getting information. The speaker is delivering (hopefully) stories that give us context, emotion, and other things that actually make a connection and resonate with us so we can remember what they say.

Alan Kay, a computer scientist who got famous with the quote “The best way to predict the future is to create it” has this to say about stories. “Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we’re all just cavemen with briefcases looking for a wise person to tell us stories.”

Stop trying to drive someone to a decision by feeding the analytical - and skeptical - side of their brain with information.

So in your next sales call stop trying to drive someone to a decision by feeding the analytical - and skeptical - side of their brain with information.

Instead, create an emotional connection with the right side of your prospect's brain, the part that ultimately makes the buying decision anyway, with a well crafted, audience appropriate story that is unique to you. That's a true differentiator.

Tags: Advice, Staffing sales, Sales training, Daniel Pink, Sales, Storytelling, Sales and stories, A Whole New Mind, Alan Kay