Storytelling sells: what is your story?

Premium brands all have stories to help endear their customers to them. Whether you are a global luxury brand or not, a story will help drive a premium for your product. BMW has long history of creating performance vehicles that started with the production of engines for early airplanes. Read more

Using fictional storytelling techniques in business, part 3

Of course, stories in the business sphere don’t always fit into this tidy framework. Regardless, they must have sufficient detail to make the story authentic and vivid. Physical detail will help give your story vividness and pull someone in, because it creates a dream state in the mind. When crafting stories, be as specific as possible. Read more

What are your impossible goals?

With the New Year upon us, goal setting is a trendy topic. Few business leaders have been as eccentric and unpredictable as Ted Turner in setting and meeting their goals. He took pleasure in choosing goals that seemed impossible to achieve. He created the first “superstation” television station, WTBS, which broadcast nationwide through a network of local cable television operators. Read more

Using fictional storytelling techniques in business, part 2

In the wildly successful book Made to Stick, authors Chip and Dan Heath offer an easy outline to remember when trying to make ideas memorable and convincing: SUCCES (simple, unexpected, concrete, credibility, emotion and stories). And there’s a reason they put stories in the acronym’s last spot. Read more

Hot (or cold?) sales incentives

Fargo, ND as a sales incentive trip? In the WINTER? You betcha. Well, not really — more of a “disincentive trip.” MSNBC reported that the company that makes Hot Tamales candy “offered its sales team an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii if it met its annual goals, and a trip to the nation’s arctic tundra if it didn’t.” Read more

Is there room for storytelling in business settings?

This post first appeared as a guest blog on the Corporate Executive Board.

Is storytelling appropriate in business? Is there a place for incorporating an engaging tale in the commercial world? I believe there is, but after sharing my ideas about storytelling in the boardroom and beyond for the past year, I encountered many who disagree. Read more

How to steal your competitors’ top people

Geoff Colvin, Fortune senior editor, has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge on the most vital issues facing business and the economy. Top business leaders confide in him. For obvious reasons a top CEO did not want to be named when in late 2008 he said “Any CEO that is not panicked about the economy, should be.” Colvin now sees opportunity. Read more

Relationships do matter in sales

A quick search of Amazon for books about how to sell will give you access to nearly 700,000 ideas about how a sales person can win faster and more often. One topic receiving little press lately is the value of the relationship between buyer and seller. The days of stopping by with donuts in hand and getting the decision maker to place an order are probably gone, but strategic relationship plays are alive and well. Read more

Black Belt, schmack belt, why Six Sigma?

A quick Google search says we have over 50,000 options for sales seminars to teach sellers how to win more deals. Of all the options, would you expect to find the General Electric (GE) system known as Lean Six Sigma to be included? You should. Xerox’s recent success with 8,000-plus sellers is rooted in these principles. Read more

How to make a presentation interactive

As a presenter, you always want to know your audience. When presenting to hundreds of audience members at a large event, you could troll the lobby and get a feel for how some will react to your content. Some venues may even offer interactive polling where you could open some questions and get immediate feedback from audience members holding voting devices. Read more