Episode #300 – Jim DeLorenzo

Why Purposeful Storytelling is Key in Sales

Jim DeLorenzo


Jim DeLorenzo

Jim DeLorenzo is a successful professional storyteller whose mantra is “storytelling with a purpose”. He has been a Strategic Public Relations Consultant for entrepreneurs and start-ups, sports and entertainment, and tech clients since 1999.

Purposeful storytelling is the key ingredient to developing a sales strategy. You have a product or service that you want to sell to customers. People love a good story. So how do you craft what people want to hear that connects to you and your business?

How was the company started? Who are some of the customers? What heartwarming and inspiring stories can you associate with the business? Purposeful storytelling can help you sell yourself. Learn more about Jim DeLorenzo’s storytelling process in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

How is purposeful storytelling the key to great sales abilities? @jhd16 (Jim DeLorenzo) shares his expertise in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Stories #Storytelling #Purpose #StoryBrandClick To Tweet


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:49] Why is storytelling an important skill to possess?
  • [2:21] The key to becoming a great storyteller
  • [4:07] Craft stories that stay “top of heart”
  • [5:56] The attributes of a great storyteller
  • [8:20] A unique way to improve storytelling
  • [10:43] Top 3 storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [13:43] Creativity is key to purposeful stories

Can you become a gifted storyteller?

Storytelling is something that must be practiced over and over. Jim works with numerous entrepreneurs in startup businesses. As an owner or operator, you are laser-focused on building your business. You work hard on a skillset to make sure your business reflects what you want it to. Jim helps entrepreneurs tell their stories.

So how did he master purposeful storytelling? He reads as much as he can about an industry or subject to see different storytelling techniques. He watches newscasts and listens to podcasts to see and hear how stories are being told. Jim writes something every day. He practices his skills every day and brings them to his clients who do the same.

Craft stories that stay “top of heart”

Startups are often selling interesting and compelling products or services. How will it change someone’s life for the better? How will it change an industry? How will it change an experience for the better? To tell those purposeful stories for startups, Jim investigates what the client is doing. He’ll interview their customers and the people behind the scenes. Jim looks for a heartwarming story that will stay “top of heart.” Once you impact someone on the heart level, the head follows. So he advises salespeople to look for compelling, interesting, and heartwarming stories—stories with a purpose.

In this episode of @SalesReinvented, @jhd16 (Jim DeLorenzo) shares that you must craft stories that stay “top of heart.” Find out what he means—listen now! #SalesReinvented #Sales #Stories #Storytelling #Purpose #StoryBrandClick To Tweet


A unique way to improve purposeful storytelling

When Jim is conducting media or public speaking training, he has his clients watch interviews. How do people present themselves? How do they tell their stories? Find the people who tell stories well and emulate them—and learn from those who don’t. You can see if people are comfortable and to the point.

Jim also recommends reading stories, articles, and books to see how different people tell their stories. Jim drew inspiration from Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show. Carson was always comfortable on camera and people reacted positively to him. Jim incorporated that into his career.

What are Jim’s storytelling dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!

Creativity is key to purposeful stories

When Jim was the Sports Information Director at Villanova University, the football team was gearing up for a media day. Jim sent notices out to local media about the date. No one showed up. Jim couldn’t figure out why. So Jim started calling different outlets to gather information. Sadly, he found out that the Eagles had scheduled a press conference at the same time. Naturally, everyone went there.

But Jim still needed someone to run a story about the Villanova football team. So he spoke to the Sports Director at Channel 6 and asked what he could do to get him out to run a story. It hit Jim: What if he had the Sports Director run plays with the team as the quarterback? The Sports Director thought it was a spectacular idea and agreed to do it the following week.

The Sports Director ran plays with the football team and aired the whole segment on all four of their newscasts. It garnered a lot of attention. The next day, the rest of the local media called Jim, clamoring to run a story.

You have to be creative to tell a story with purpose. You have to question what you need to do to get someone to listen to your story.

Creativity is key to purposeful stories. Learn all about it in this episode of @SalesReinvented with special guest @jhd16 (Jim DeLorenzo). #SalesReinvented #Sales #Stories #Storytelling #Purpose #StoryBrandClick To Tweet


Connect with Jim DeLorenzo

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Audio Production and Show notes by

Are there any books on or including Storytelling that you recommend?

In the field of Business Story Telling – Who do you most admire and why? I admire Herb Schmertz, who was a P.R. pioneer in the 1970s and wrote the aforementioned book about his theories, developed as the lead PR exec at Mobil Oil who pioneered the use of company-written “advertorials” during the energy shortages of the 1970s. I also admire and respect many coaches and executives in college and pro sports, in particular, Jay Wright at Villanova, who is always composed and on message. On television, I like to see how writers and commentators present themselves, to find things I like and things I don’t like. I mentioned Johnny Carson in my interview – he still remains the top “communicator” I try to emulate. Also, historically, look back at Walt Disney’s personal filmed introductions on his TV shows of the late 1950s and 1960s – when he talked “direct to camera” about that night’s show or event, or discussed his plans for Disneyland and later EPCOT. Another “great communicator” and story teller, like him or not, was President Reagan. Another person who knew the power of the camera and how to deliver his messages.

Are there any aspects of your own Story Telling skills that you are working on improving at the moment? I am always striving to perfect my “cold open”, as in meeting two people casually while in conversation with a client, and how to best make them comfortable with me and interested in me, if not for now, for someday. Because that first impression can be the only impression we get to make, so I want to be as “buttoned up” as possible in any public interaction.

Hobbies, Interests? My hobbies are reading books – non-fiction lately, but also certain types of fiction – detective stories or science fiction. My favorite writers include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mickey Spillane, Walter Kirn, James Ellroy and John O’Hara. I also read comic books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. of all sorts. I also enjoy classic movies and certain types of new movies – primarily comedies or Marvel Comics based movies – and am a fan of classic TV like “Mannix,” “Mission: Impossible”, “Star Trek”, “The Rockford Files”, and “Law & Order” among others. Finally, I follow Major League Baseball and my Philadelphia Phillies closely, as well as my Villanova Wildcats.

How can our listeners contact with you? I can always be reached directly by cellphone at (215) 266-5943 (voice or text) or by e-mail at jim(at)jhdenterprises.com. If I’m not immediately available I will respond to messages promptly. My website is http://www.jhdenterprises.com.