I once heard Sue Barratt speak on fair exchange and value. She is an expert in sales as the publisher of 21 books and 500 articles on the world of 21stcentury selling. Her organization is accredited for putting the profession of selling on the university agenda.
‘Selling is everybody’s business & everybody lives by selling something’,she says.
At the time, even after being in business for decades, hearing this made me anxious, But Sue persuaded me my anxiety was ill founded. What many of us spend our time doing, creating relationships, building trust, earning a dialogue, listening, and giving a service was she said, just a fair exchange of value.
We stand at the centre of a dialogue
‘Once selling was a monologue with your customer. Now we stand at the centre of a dialogue where you exchange something of value — your capability, your experience and your ability to facilitate a service for others’, she explained. Because what a client wants from you is ‘to deal with a professional, to expect to be helped, to have business acumen, and to display conceptual thinking.’
In light of this, she asked, ‘how are you managing your message?’
Reflecting back on these insights years later through the lens of storytelling as a communication tool, I can see it has powerful role to play in the art of a fair exchange.
You can only tell contextualized purposeful stories of your value, if you have engaged in self-appraisal, are self aware, and are open to being reflective. These attributes are each critical to finding and developing self-directed purpose and to unearthing the stories that matter and can serve.
Listening to other’s stories is as relevant to being a good storyteller as telling them. Both form connections and serve to align customers and suppliers.
Good storytelling facilitates a fair exchange, persuading your listener of your capability, your value and your willingness to co-operate — all hallmarks of trust building. They sell for you without selling because first they serve.
This is an example of a curated story.
If you want to improve your ability to communicate your value as a fair exchange, or find out more about curated storytelling, click here for details of PowerPacked Pitch and Presentation communication training.