Episode #332 – Donald C. Kelly

Story Selling is in the Details


Donald C. Kelly

Donald C. Kelly is a top Salesforce Influencer 29 and LinkedIn Top 22 Sales Insider. He’s the founder of The Sales Evangelist Sales Training and host of The Sales Evangelist Podcast with over 4 million all-time downloads. Donald’s mission is to evangelize the best methods for building and closing more sales pipelines.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

Our Vision Is A World Where Selling Is A Profession To Be Proud Of

People make decisions on an emotional level and then justify them logically. If you hear a story about someone else that mirrors what’s happening to you, you visualize yourself in that role. When you hear that someone else has used this product or service as their solution, it makes the decision to buy easier. It helps ease your nerves.

As the seller, you can tap into the real needs of a buyer that help them make a decision. You do this by sharing real, relevant, and descriptive stories that put the buyer in that scenario. Donald C Kelly shares how story selling is in the details in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] Why is storytelling an important skill to possess in sales?
  • [2:42] Can you become a more gifted storyteller?
  • [5:14] What makes a great story that sells?
  • [7:01] The characteristics of a great storyteller
  • [8:54] Resources to improve your storytelling
  • [10:35] Top three storytelling dos and don’ts
  • [13:14] Why you should share stories that resonate

What makes a great story that sells?

Every story has to have a hero and a guide. Donald Miller talks about this in his book, “Storybrand.” You are Gandalf and the client is Frodo. You need to make sure you’re guiding those individuals and not trying to take the limelight.

Secondly, you have to make sure your story is demonstrating a real and relevant problem. You can’t make something up. Frodo had to save Middle Earth from destruction. The guide was able to help them.

What was the defining moment? What was the impact? What is the solution and resolution that comes from it?

The characteristics of a great storyteller

Donald emphasizes that you have to have a good imagination. Salespeople tend to push the sale to the close. But when you’re telling a story, you need to linger on descriptions. You need to linger on details. You need to linger on the things that pull on people’s heartstrings.

You can share how you helped someone with their CRM. Or you could say, “They go into the office dreading opening their CRM because it’s so convoluted and difficult to use…” Focusing on emotions helps them imagine the pain and difficulty.

Top three storytelling dos and don’ts

What are Donald’s top storytelling tips?

  • Don’t rush your story, tell it with the necessary details.
  • Be sure that you’re not telling a dry story. Be descriptive, vary your pitch, etc. It’s something you learn in Toastmasters.
  • Be descriptive. It’s important to share relevant details.
  • Don’t lie. Don’t fabricate stories and deceive people.
  • Don’t push a story about yourself, but share one about the prospect.
  • Don’t pressure prospects when you tell a story. You want them to feel good and feel like moving forward with your solution.

Why you should share stories that resonate

Donald was selling software to Indian River County Schools in Florida. The School District wanted to go paperless. They had a place on campus that housed all of their files that no one wanted to use. It wasn’t only difficult to find anything but was dangerous because there were boxes stacked everywhere.

So Donald shared a story about another school district in a similar circumstance. Unfortunately, an elderly staff member was hurt because they had to climb on the boxes and fell. He helped his prospect to visualize what could happen without a solution.

But Donald didn’t stop there. He shared how this school district implemented the digital solution and how their life became far easier. This resonated with his prospect and they were able to move the sale to the school board.

But that’s not how the story ends. Listen to the whole episode to hear the rest of Donald’s story!

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

Learn More About Donald C. Kelly

Are there any books on or including Storytelling that you recommend? Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller and Sell with a Story by Paul Smith.

In the field of Business Story Telling – Who do you most admire and why? Donald Miller  

Are there any aspects of your own Story Telling skills that you are working on improving at the moment? Utilizing details by being more descriptive. 

Hobbies, Interests? Traveling with my family, stay-cation, and BBQ

How can our listeners contact with you? Connect on LinkedIn & Instagram or Visit www.thesalesevangelist.com

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Sales Reinvented Podcast

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