THE CONSULTANCY AcComm & Image International has been entrusted as the first licensee of Anecdote’s latest Storytelling for Sales programme in the world.
Anecdote developed a unique “storytelling for leaders programme” in 2007 and a new course for salespeople last June. The programme has been made available in Australia and the United States by Anecdote.
Mark Schenk, managing director of Anecdote, an Australia-based company, attended an event held by AcCom to demonstrate the new course for its Thai clients in Bangkok recently.
AcCom’s founder and managing director Atchara Juicharern said executives could use storytelling as an effective communication tool to influence people within or outside their organisations.
“When you can influence people fast, you save stress and time,” she said.
Scheduled to introduce the Thai-language version of the Storytelling for Sales programme here in July, AcCom’s target groups include not only sales managers but also project directors, human-resource personnel, organisational development executives, and other people who |need to coach or guide their teams, their bosses, or their clients.
“Actually, anyone who needs to ‘sell’. Leaders have to ‘sell’ their strategies to their people. Even HR departments are interested in joining our programme, since they have to convince the BUs,” or business units, she said.
Schenk said the storytelling course would complement sales training courses that had been offered in the market that focused on teaching only the processes.
“What they miss is the skills that underpin the process: the ability to connect with other people. [Storytelling] is the fundamental art of sales,” he said.
The six-month storytelling course starts with a two-day workshop to introduce the programme to participants, who will learn how to be better story coaches.
After that, the participants will be provided with monthly planners and weekly micro tasks allowing them to practise storytelling skills at their workplaces.
Atchara said her course ensured that companies would receive returns from their investment in it, since it provided a support system to make sure people apply what their learn and can make a difference in their jobs, instead of just attending workshops and ending with that.
Schenk said storytelling was an effective sales tool because people buy on emotion, not on rational logic. Salespersons can use “stories” to push through each step of sales processes – from establishing rapport, building credibility and demonstrating value to the final sale. These include connection stories, success stories, clarity stories and influence stories.
Atchara said her initial motive for taking on this storytelling programme was to sharpen her own communication skills.
“I had been searching for this kind of programme for two years, since I have often been asked by my prospective clients to tell my ‘success stories’.”