INSIDE Inside Sales – Ep 83: Increasing Sales Through Storytelling

Image for INSIDE Inside Sales – Ep 83: Increasing Sales Through Storytelling

The trend toward Storytelling is an unmistakable force that is sweeping across organizational gatherings, meetings, and presentations globally. And storytelling in sales is no exception.

This week on INSIDE Inside Sales, we chat with one of the most successful Storytellers in North America. Ed Bilat, aka “The Closer” is the President of StorytellingSales.com, a firm dedicated to helping organizational leaders and sales professionals sharpen the craft of storytelling.
Hear how Ed’s career went from Telemarketing Agent to Vice President, working in industries like Telecom, Wireless, and SaaS. Take notes as Ed describes his simple, but effective STAR Model for Storytelling: S = Situation T = Trouble A = Action R = Results, on this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!

'And then I realized that he didn't care about my objection handling techniques. He wanted to know my story.' ~ @arkadibilat 🎧 Listen to learn how storytelling can increase your sales. #prospecting #salestips Click To Tweet

 

LISTEN

 

WATCH

 


READ

 

Host: Darryl PraillVanillaSoft

Guest: Ed Bilat, StorytellingSales.com

 

Darryl Praill: How you doing folks? It’s another week. I’m very excited. I have been traveling like a madman. I just got back from Toronto. Now, of course you guys, you know I record these in advance because my schedule’s nuts, so I don’t know when you’re hearing this. So, if you’re hearing this episode, and you go, “Weren’t you in Toronto two months ago?” Yeah, it’s real possible. I’m sorry about that, but let’s talk about Toronto, right? I had a blast there.

Darryl Praill: I was there with John Barrows and his crew, and if you don’t know who John Barrows is or the JBarrows organization, you’ve been living under a rock. I love you, but it’s time to get some sunshine on your face, all right? Go check out John Barrows. Just do a Google. He’s frickin’ everywhere, and he’s great. John’s from Boston, and he’s a huge fan of everything Boston when it comes to sports. In fact, he was bitter because of course the Raptors I think just had a 15-game win-streak at the time of this recording, and he wants his Celtics to kick their behinds.

Darryl Praill: So, he made a point of intentionally telling us how he was gonna avoid that topic. Go figure that one out. He kinda brought it up saying he wouldn’t bring it up. See what he did there? Then, he talked, whenever possible, like every Boston fan in the world does about Tom Brady, which we all get like oh my gosh, Tom. Another Tom story, but he used Tom as part of a theme, a trope, if you will, that was happening through what he was doing, which was a workshop.

Darryl Praill: The workshop was called “Filling Your Funnel,” and it was really around cold calling and knowing who it is you’re calling, who’s your ideal customer profile, what are their personas, how you connect with them, and it was actually really, really good. I’d never seen John do a workshop before, and John and I, John’s been on the podcast. He’s been on the webinars. We’ve hung out. I’ve got his daughter’s book signed by Charlotte, his daughter, not by him. All right? We travel in the same circles.

Darryl Praill: A lot of respect. In fact, it was funny because we were the sponsor of the workshop if I haven’t shared that with you, and we work closely with JBarrows and their crew, and we were talking, and he makes a comment to me at the beginning, which I think is a compliment. You tell me. He says to me, “You know, Darryl, we only work with people who are cool.” I love that. With people who are cool. So, he didn’t tell me I was cool, but I’m going to infer that I was cool because he apparently only works with people who are cool, but in that whole northeastern way, he was very direct, very towards me and in your face, and I loved it, and all through his workshop, all he did was tell stories, tell stories about Tom Brady, stories about him.

Darryl Praill: He opens it up, I loved this, he opens it up with stories about his career, how he began, how he got to where he is today, and it’s not a 30-second conversation on all the steps along the way and the different companies and the successes and the failures, and it was great because it gave context. It gave context to who it was that we were about to be educated by. Who was this man? Why should I listen to him? Where does he speak from when he says, “Do this but don’t do that, “and this is why.” Is that based on theory? Is that based on somebody else’s concept? Is that based on his actual real-life experience?

Darryl Praill: And if so, I wanna know more about that. So, he really goes into the whole storytelling aspect of his background and what he’s seen, and he’s funny, as you can imagine, again, in that Boston, direct, in-your-face way, where he’s always giving his opinions at the same time about “Oh, this. “That’s BS,” or “F that,” or what have you. What you saw was the real deal, and you couldn’t help but not love him and just say, “I wanna learn from this man.”

Darryl Praill: Now, I’m not saying he’s right, and I’m not saying he’s smart, and I’m not saying what he taught me was accurate and helpful, but I am saying I wanted to learn from this guy. I wanted to hear from him. He had my attention. You see, what he was doing was he was storytelling. Now, ironically, completely coincidentally, yesterday I’m driving back, and I had got a call a couple days ago from James Obermayer with Funnel Media, and Funnel Media’s interesting. They have a podcast network that is entirely about selling. Selling, marketing, this tech stack. It’s about revenue, and the INSIDE Inside Sales show is part of the Funnel Media Group.

Darryl Praill: We’re on their network. We go live every Thursday. You’ll hear us as well as being distributed through them. So, they get the good joy of editing every single podcast you hear here. They make me sound good. They have to play a lot with the editing software to do that, and he says to me, “Darryl, can you join us? We’re doing a live call-in to show our other podcast hosts that you can have live guests and the conversation’s around storytelling, and we listen to you, and every podcast you start off with five-odd minutes talking about your week and what you’ve done and where you’ve been and what insights you’ve gleaned and what foibles you’ve had and what mistakes you made, and you’re really transparent and vulnerable. Can we get you on as one of our guests “or five minutes to talk about, dial-in live, “and talk about storytelling?”

Darryl Praill: And I said, “I would love that.” So, we did that, and it was fantastic, and it was really neat actually being truly live. It felt like I was 12 years old again dialing into the local radio station trying to win a contest. So, we did that, and the whole thing was about how it really helps you connect with the audience. So, what I’m really getting at here guys is that storytelling is powerful stuff. I use it all the time. Now, I don’t use it to manipulate.

Darryl Praill: As I told them on the podcast, the live-air recording, I do it to connect. I love talking to you guys every week. I love the feedback I get. I’ve shared this. It’s not surprising. And so, for me, this is a chance to be just me, not Darryl, the contrived persona you might see in social media. It’s just me being vulnerable, being real, mocking myself, sharing my pains and my challenges with you, my life, and if it works well, you’ll like me and you wanna hear more and you’ll connect with me, and if you don’t, you leave. Well, that’s a filter too ’cause then I know the audience I have are truly my audience. So, either way, it’s a win-win for me, right?

Darryl Praill: And then, I got to thinking, why don’t you guys use storytelling more in your sales? I see too many of you just calling and dialing and pitching, and I get it. It’s what you know. It’s what you don’t know. You haven’t been trained otherwise, but it works so well for me, and I watched John Barrows just use it like an incredible piece of clay that he shaped into a piece of art that could be put on display at the Louvre and sold for millions of dollars all because he was storytelling. He had that room packed because he was storytelling. He closed every single one of those deals to get them in that room because he was storytelling.

Welcome Ed Bilat

Darryl Praill: So, what do we do here? Well, it’s real simple. We go to Ed Bilat. Have you met Ed Bilat? I can’t even say that, guys. All right, when you’re doing storytelling, don’t stumble over your guest’s name. Rule number one for that. Ed Bilat, he’s a President of storytellingsales.com. Check it out, storytellingsales.com. He’s on LinkedIn. He’s a wonderful individual. He helps sales teams across North America to win at storytelling. He’s got his own podcast. You can find it all at storytellingsales.com. His podcast is called Storytelling for Sales. I mean, my gosh. It’s Storytelling for Sales! He’s the right guy. Don’t you think? Ed, welcome to the show.

Ed Bilat: Thank you. Great to be here.

Darryl Praill: I talked longer than normal than I normally do with that. So, that means I’ve taken away from our time together now. So, you’re gonna have to tell your story faster on that.

Ed Bilat: Well, absolutely. I’m ready.

Darryl Praill: I apologize about that. Talk to me. How did you get into the whole storytelling thing? Let’s just set the stage. Do a John Barrows. Tell me how you got started in the whole storytelling thing.

Ed Bilat: Well, absolutely, it happened by accident.

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: Right, and it happened actually here in cold Ottawa, Canada about 18 years ago. My poor, old Honda died on the way to work, and I managed to push it off the street to a Tim Hortons parking lot, and while I’m sitting there waiting for my mechanic friend to come over, I’m making cold calls, and they’re truly cold calls because it’s Ottawa, Canada.

Darryl Praill: It’s cold.

Ed Bilat: It’s minus 19, and it’s December 19th.

Darryl Praill: Yes.

Ed Bilat: Right? And I’m extremely stressed. I’m looking through the frozen window of my car. I see people enjoying coffee. I see cars full of gift boxes, but I can’t enjoy any of that because I have a quota, right? And I’m onto my third month of probation. I work for a large telecommunication company. My first job in Canada, and it actually took me nine months to get that job.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] That is stressful. That is stressful.

Ed Bilat: And I have absolutely nothing on the board. Zero. I mean, who am I gonna close in Ottawa, Canada on December 19th?

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Before Christmas, yeah.

Ed Bilat: Yes, and so I keep calling and calling. My only hope is Lord Elgin Hotel.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yep.

Ed Bilat: And the general manager, David Smythe, whom I’ve never met, and now I’m supposed to close him in three days, right? So, I try and try, and on the fifth attempt, he finally picks up, and it’s becoming a very ugly conversation very quick because he says, “Okay, I don’t know where you got my cell number, and I don’t care because you dialed me five times this morning, and while I appreciate your assistance, it’s annoying and unprofessional. Third, there’s no way in hell we’re changing our wireless providers because three months ago we signed a contract with Bell. We’re happy with what we have now, and then I don’t think much about your company anyway because your phones don’t work by my cottage in Val-des-Months. Ed, are you still there?” Right?

Ed Bilat: Like he just gave me four solid objections, and just of being polite I’m saying, “Yes, Mr. Smythe, I’m still here,” and then he said something really interesting. “Ed, in addition to calling me five times this morning, “you actually sent me maybe 12 emails, “and then in your signature, “I see that you have a degree “from the University of South Alabama.” “And then I talk to you, “you definitely don’t sound like a guy “from Mobile, Alabama. “What’s your story? “Can you even say, ‘Y’all’?” And I say, “Yes, sir. “Y’all come on back now, ya hear?”

Ed Bilat: And he goes, “Listen, Ed. It’s Christmas. “Why don’t you come to my hotel tomorrow “for 20 minutes, coffee. “I wanna hear your Alabama story in person,” and I did, and that 20 minute conversation became a two-hour discovery meeting where I quickly realized that my original proposal was nothing to him. Right? He showed me exactly his drivers, what he was struggling with, and eventually he gave me his business right before Christmas. Right?

Ed Bilat: And he didn’t even stop there. He introduced me to the Ottawa Hotel Association and then one-by-one, I started closing big brands, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Novotel, Brookstreet, Crowne Plaza. They all became my clients. I’ve won company’s Presidents Club. They put me and my wife on a private jet and flew us to Monte Carlo, which is huge for an immigrant, as you probably see.

Darryl Praill: Wow.

Ed Bilat: Right? And then I realized that he didn’t care about my objection handling techniques. He wanted to know my story.

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: Right, and that was a major switch for me to see, and the main thing, David Smythe is still my friend, 18 years later. We still go for coffee, and he always laughs about that call I made.

Darryl Praill: What I find interesting about that is many people are looking at storytelling as a tactic to use to engage, which it is, but I think if I listen to your story, what you just shared, and I listen, what I just shared about how I approach my opening few minutes on the podcast every week, I’m not trying to entertain. I’m trying to be real. I’m trying to be this is my story, and I’m sharing my story with you. You can connect and relate.

Ed Bilat: Absolutely.

Darryl Praill: All right, and it really is foundational to establishing a relationship, which is building upon trust and rapport to the point that you wanna work together if possible ’cause you like each other ’cause at the end of the day, if you don’t like the person you’re doing business with, you’re not gonna do business with them. I mean, is that a fair point?

Biggest Threat to Sales is Attention Span

Ed Bilat: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, I agree. So, the biggest threat in the sales environment in general what I see is that attention span. Right? Because we get so busy

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: That people don’t pay attention to anything. So, I think they did a study in the year 2000, attention span of a regular person in North America was around 12 seconds. Right? That’s before mobile revolution, before iPads.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yep.

Ed Bilat: 2016, we’re down to eight seconds. Right? As a comparison, attention span of a goldfish is around nine seconds. Actually, Microsoft did that study, and I don’t know how they measured attention span of a goldfish, but they did.

Darryl Praill: That’s probably a good story to tell about that.

Ed Bilat: Right.

Darryl Praill: Yeah, exactly.

Ed Bilat: Right, but what that means, if you go to Walmart, you know how they have all that seasonal stuff in the back, and you practice your sales pitch in front of the fish tank, a fish in the tank will pay more attention to you than shoppers. And I actually did it. Nobody cared.

Darryl Praill: Nobody cared?

Ed Bilat: Except for the fish.

Darryl Praill: Did the fish buy is the question though. Yeah, they have no budget, so they’re awful.

Ed Bilat: Right, so how–

Darryl Praill: You’re right, and that is funny because here’s, let me tell a story about your story about what you’re trying to say here. So, when I was doing this live call-in on the radio, if you will, yesterday on the drive home, because I knew I was gonna do this live call and we were driving back from Toronto to Ottawa because of the time. We had scheduled a train. The trains got canceled, so we just drove. So, my wife is with me. She had clients in Toronto. And so, she drove. So, she picks me up at the pickup point, and I hope in. We’re like five minutes before I have to on the air. So, you’re cutting it close.

Ed Bilat: Before the podcast.

Darryl Praill: Before we go, exactly, right? So, I tell her, I’m like, “Shh. Don’t be eating potato chips “or whatever,” right? “No noises please, honey. Turn off the radio, and don’t laugh at whatever I say, please,” not that I had to worry about that ’cause that never happens, but we did that, and then I disconnect. My story was done, and I hung up, and she was talking about what she heard me say, and she was funny because my wife, for those of you who don’t know, is an interior designer. So, she’s the furthest thing from a tech B2B buyer.

Ed Bilat: [Ed] Yeah.

Darryl Praill: Her point is, she goes, “I don’t listen to a lot of your podcasts, Darryl.” Usually, she’ll hear them when I’m playing them on occasion ’cause I wanna hear it played back. I don’t listen to myself often because I already enjoy it the first time, and she goes, “but what I like outta your podcast,” and she goes like, “I listen to your stories, and I giggle and I learn stuff, and I wanna learn more.” She goes, and she makes a point. She goes, “You get me from the very beginning. You hook me in from the start.”

Ed Bilat: [Ed] That’s right.

Why Storytelling in Sales is Critical

Darryl Praill: She goes, “Normally, these kinda “blah, blah, blah. “Get past the whole commercial, “but you hook me in,” and I’m like, “Oh, honey, you’re sweet,” but the point that she made, the fact that she made that point was really, really interesting. So, is that why we do storytelling? If I had to ask you to sum it up, why should sales reps do storytelling? What would you say?

Ed Bilat: Number one reason, this is a true way to show who you are, right? So, to show the authenticity of who you are and what do you represent, right? Because everybody knows we have those sales scripts. Right? So, we memorize them and we practice them many times, but that doesn’t work anymore, right? So, people, because their attention span is so short, so people will immediately find out. Right?

Ed Bilat: It’s like, are you speaking from your center, from your heart, or this is just a memorized script you told 300 times before you talked to me? Right? So there’s nothing authentic about a script. Stories truly connect people. Right? Because this is where the magic happens. Right? And then, of course, like you just mentioned, the marketing is using hook, engage, and call to action.

Darryl Praill: Yeah. Yeah.

Ed Bilat: All the time, right? So, there is a way to make the story authentic still, while using some formula, and that’s what I’ve seen. I’m just back from Orlando, right? So, we have a room. It was about 40 people. Each of them has between 20 to 30 years of experience, and I ask, “Think about it.” Right in this room, we have 1,000 years of experience, 1,000 years of true stories, right? You know how powerful that is?

Ed Bilat: So, you don’t need Google, and you certainly don’t need me to facilitate this. All you gotta do is just to share the stories, and if you have somebody new joining your team, no problem. You can still go to that story library of yours, 1,000 years, and borrow a book, but not just any book, it’s a book which already been tried, rehearsed, and prepared for this particular sales situation, and this is where the true power of stories come together. We just need to start sharing them.

Secret Formula to Storytelling (STAR)

Darryl Praill: I love it. All right. You made a reference there very passing quickly so that there’s actually a structure, a formula of sorts on the podcasting. I’m gonna drill down on that because I want our audience to learn that formula if you don’t mind sharing it, but don’t tell me yet because we’re gonna go to a commercial, but when we come back, you’re gonna hear the formula. So, stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

Darryl Praill: Okay, so talk to me about the formula. What is the secret formula that is storytelling? ‘Cause what I hear people say to me all the time is, “Yeah, but Darryl, you’re just a natural storyteller. I’m not that way,” and to which I say “Pshaw, that’s not true at all. We’re all storytellers.” We all tell stories even if we don’t realize we’re telling stories, but I love the idea of a framework. So, talk to me about your framework.

Ed Bilat: Absolutely, so the thing with storytelling, I don’t like a long formula.

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: All right, so I want something actionable, something which you can use right away. The one I liked and worked for me and the sales teams I trained and my own sales team is something called STAR, S-T-A-R. S stands for situation. T stands for trouble. A stands for action, and R stands for results. So, take my Lord Elgin story for example. Situation, what is the situation? I’m in a frozen car in a Tim Hortons parking lot. T, what’s the trouble? The trouble is, of course, that I’m under quota. This is my first job in Canada. I’m extremely stressed. I’m about to get fired. Actions, actions I keep calling. I made the cold call to David Smythe, who is a General Manager of Lord Elgin Hotel. And result? He invited me to a 20 minutes coffee. Right?

Ed Bilat: So, this is your story. S-T-A-R, situation, trouble, action, and results. So, the only change I would make probably is to quantify it at the very end. What happened as a result of your actions. So, a quick formula, STAR.

Darryl Praill: I love STAR. Now, so when, I’m just curious, so when you teach that formula to people who perhaps don’t fancy themselves a storyteller or they stumble with it, what’s their reaction like? Do they just gonna go, “Oh, it sounds too simple,” and then when they apply it, and they start applying it, what, I guess, do they find it easy, intuitive? Talk to me about the experience.

Ed Bilat: Yeah, the experience, the first reaction is, of course, like this is textbook. Right? So, like,

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: “Ed, how complicated is that? I can memorize four letters, no problem.” Right?

Darryl Praill: Yep, yep.

Ed Bilat: And then, we start going through the exercises. Well, situation, how do you make it more relevant? Because the more details you can put in the situation, the more believable that story is.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] You’re painting a picture.

Ed Bilat: Right? You’re painting the picture.

Darryl Praill: I’m sitting in my car. It’s Canada.

Ed Bilat: Yeah.

Darryl Praill: I’m an immigrant. First job, took me nine months. It’s minus 19 degrees Celsius outside. I’m cold as hell. It’s December 19th. Christmas is around the corner. Who’s conducting business?

Ed Bilat: That’s right.

Darryl Praill: You’re painting a picture.

Ed Bilat: Right, right. Because this is how the prospects, the future customers, this is how they decide if this is BS, or if this is a true story.

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: If this something that actually happened to you.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yeah.

Ed Bilat: And this is where the trust and empathy start building, right? So, and then, of course, when we go through the story several times, they start getting it, and more and more and more, and then all of a sudden we say, “Well, I know my stories, but the person who works with me, they don’t know my stories, and I don’t know their stories. How do we start sharing it?”

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: Right? So, how can we help each other with the storytelling and as a library, right?

Darryl Praill: I love that point there. I wanna stick on that point just for a second. One of the things that I hear my sales reps say to me all the time is, “Darryl, can you write down your stories?” And some of them, yes, they’re my stories. So, I couldn’t tell your story about being near a Tim Hortons with a broken down car, minus 19 degrees Celsius, but that one is 100% mine, but what they’re getting at is often I’ll tell a story like I would do something like this, Oh, VanillaSoft, we sell sales engagement.

Darryl Praill: Now, I don’t know if you know this, I was talking to some analysts the other day, and this is what they shared with me. They shared that for years, this is the situation, that the number one inquiry they got was always in CRM, and the number two inquiry they got was on marketing automation, and whether it be Gartner or Forrester or whomever, they all say the same thing. Now, where they got in a bit of a challenge is that there’s a new number two inquiry that they weren’t quite ready for that pushed marketing automation down. Guess what that was? That was sales engagement.

Ed Bilat: Engagement, sales engagement.

Darryl Praill: Right? So, all of a sudden, what they had to do was they had to rejig their whole research and analysis and publishing model to adapt to the changing dynamic, and for them, of course, it’s just been a huge new opportunity. So, I just gave you a situation, the trouble they were in, the action they did, and the results they got, STAR, but what that tells me is that VanillaSoft is the right product at the right time in the right tech stack. Do you have plans to put this in your tech stack today sir? That’s a story that I could put down and give to my sales reps.

Ed Bilat: Yeah.

Darryl Praill: And the only thing they’re gonna change is they’re gonna say, “I was talking to my CMO, “who shared with me, “he was talking to Gartner and Forrester, “blah, blah, blah.”

Ed Bilat: Okay.

Ed Bilat: So, those kind of stories you can chronicle and get out of the key people in your company to help you be credible.

Ed Bilat: Absolutely. Do you want another story?

Darryl Praill: I would love another story!

Ed Bilat: All right, so let me tell you about my first sales job.

Darryl Praill: Okay.

Ed Bilat: Right? So, it happened many years ago, but not very many years ago. It was my first day at job, like sales job, I come, my best suit, come to work, says, “Okay, I’m ready. “Ready to hit the road, start the numbers.” They take me to a cubicle, and in that cubicle there is a desk phone. Right?

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: And this is that little yellow brick called yellow pages.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yeah, I know it well.

Ed Bilat: Right?

Darryl Praill: And they said, “Start dialing.”

Ed Bilat: And said, “Okay, start dialing, and take your notes. Highlight the people you called “because on Friday, we will ship you a new desktop, and then you will transfer everything you highlighted in your bookto Excel file.”

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yep.

Ed Bilat: “And then, within a year, “we should get our first CRM system,” and they didn’t even call it CRM. It was called Database.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yes.

Ed Bilat: Right? So that was my first day at the sales job, right? So, then now then I see new people coming onboard going into sales. So, I have mixed emotions. First of all, I envy them because they have all those wonderful tools such as VanillaSoft.

Darryl Praill: Yep, Exactly. Yep.

d Bilat: Right? And the other area where I don’t envy them is because of that attention span that it’s so much more difficult to get people’s attention these days from what it used to be, right? So, we have wonderful technology, and then we have a goldfish versus human with eight seconds of attention. So, what do you do? And to me, stories are the answer, right? So, and a tool like VanillaSoft is probably the perfect place to have that library, right?

Storytelling and Objection Handling

Darryl Praill: You’re right, and we can embed it ourselves, and we have scripts and the whole nine yards that are a part of the product that can prompt you with the stories and even supporting pieces of collateral to back that up. One of the things we haven’t hit on, and I do wanna hit this on ’cause we’re running tight on time, but I wanna hit this quickly is the use of storytelling to handle objections. I use my podcast to start it off and warm it up.

Ed Bilat: Yeah.

Darryl Praill: But it’s a great way to respond to an objection. Is that a fair point?

Ed Bilat: Yeah, that’s right. Right? Because otherwise what are you gonna say? “What do you mean you don’t like my prices?”

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Right.

Ed Bilat: You’re like, “You’ll love it! Just sign up.” Right? So, there is a way to incorporate your storytelling in the objection-handling technique. Right? And basically all you do, you just take the story, authentic story, and then you put a little buffer in front of you, which is, “I understand how you feel.”

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Nice little bridge.

Ed Bilat: Nice little bridge.

Darryl Praill: You’re recognizing them.

Ed Bilat: Yeah, I understand how you feel.

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: Thank you for sharing this. If I would be in your shoes, I would probably do the same thing. Absolutely, there is a budget constraint. A lot of our customers felt exactly the same way. For example, two months ago, I was working with a company. They made a list. Right? So, the CEO, he’s about 45 years old.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Love it. Yep.

Ed Bilat: Right? And then you go straight to the story, and you go to your STAR.

Darryl Praill: Yep.

Ed Bilat: What was the situation. What was the trouble? They’re struggling with their sales rep. The turnover is extremely high. What was the action? This is what we did. This is the end result. Mr. Prospect, I would be happy to provide that reference call for you if you’d like.

Darryl Praill: And that’s exactly what I would have done too. Mine would have been a variation. It would have been something along the lines of, “I totally get what you’re saying. In fact,” there’s my bridge, “In fact.”

Ed Bilat: In fact, okay.

Darryl Praill: “I was talking to John Doe the other day of ABC company. He’s a client of ours now, “but he wasn’t always.

Ed Bilat: Mm-hmm, I love it. I love it, yeah.

Darryl Praill: “And he said to me “the biggest obstacle was, “‘I like your pitch. “‘I feel the pain, “‘but the price doesn’t work.’ “So, what we did was this.” Da-da, da-da, da-da. “Does that sound like something “that makes sense to you? “Or would you like to talk to John Doe?”

Ed Bilat: Absolutely, awesome.

Darryl Praill: “But if it’s okay with you, “I can start that process now. “We can overcome that objection. “Assuming we can overcome that objection, “is there anything else that you’re bothered by?”

Ed Bilat: Yeah, absolutely.

Darryl Praill: Right? So, you’re qualifying.

Ed Bilat: Yeah, yeah. I love it.

Darryl Praill: But it’s all storytelling. It makes it real. I’m not the only one. Your feelings are valid. I get it. I’m not judging you, and I want you to trust me. It’s all storytelling.

Ed Bilat: Yeah, this is where you’re merging the energy. Right?

Darryl Praill: Yes!

Ed Bilat: So, I talk a lot about the martial arts.

Darryl Praill: Yes.

Ed Bilat: And sales, this is something what we called aikido, which is my martial arts, and it’s based on using the energy of your opponent completely. Right? So, you just did that. So, instead of going. Right?

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: So says, “Okay, come with me.” So, I’m with you.

Darryl Praill: Yeah.

Ed Bilat: And you’re moving with them, right? So, and the stronger and bigger your opponent, the less work you have to do because all you do, you’re taking their energy, and you direct to where you want it, and you’re mitigating conflict.

Darryl Praill: So, if you’re listening to this, not seeing the video, let me explain what you just missed Ed do is fantastic. All right, it’s like the “Karate Kid,” which is not aikido, but the general idea was you can get hit. You can hit in the body, full on, . Price question, not knowing what to do, you’re down on the ground, right? Can’t catch your breath.

Ed Bilat: Immediately.

Darryl Praill: Immediately, story’s dead, or remember the classic wax on and wax off, when what he’s really teaching him to do was to use his hands to deflect the strike and then re-attack, if you will, and that’s what Ed was showing, how I can actually deflect that and then come back with a wonderful story.

Ed Bilat: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. So, and I like to bring the quote of our favorite philosopher of all time, which is Mike Tyson.

Darryl Praill: [Darryl] Yes!

Ed Bilat: Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Darryl Praill: Or you get your ear bit off by Mike Tyson. That’s just life, but you’re right at the door.

Ed Bilat: He actually said this, yeah.

Darryl Praill: So, yes, why it’s important to have foundational tools. All right, we’re out of time. Ed, if we need to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?

Ed Bilat: Storytellingsales.com.

Darryl Praill: Storytellingsales.com. Listen to his podcast, guys. Storytelling for Sales. Go to the website. You can get the links there. That’s Ed. Follow him on LinkedIn. Ed, thank you for joining. You are a first by the way. I think you’re in the studio today. Why does Ed sound so good? ‘Cause he’s actually in the studio. So, thanks for coming by. I loved it. In the meantime, my story is I’m out of time, but not to worry. I’ll be back soon. My name is Darryl Praill, and this, my friend, is another episode of INSIDE Inside Sales. You take care.