Category Archives: Story Tending

How to Actively Seek Out the Customer Story

Nonverbal Cues That Help Your Story Tending

In story tending, listen to understand, not to respond.“You cannot avoid sending nonverbal messages; however, it is possible to train yourself to send the right ones. Here are ten nonverbal cues that convey confidence and credibility in the workplace.”

“…when a person sends a mismatched message–where nonverbal and verbal messages are incongruent—recipients almost always believe the predominant nonverbal message over the verbal one.”

“In other words, how we say something is more impactful than what we say.”  by Jacquelyn Smith

Read more:

See on Scoop.itStory Selling

Ken Jondahl‘s insight:

The article is focused on helping to build confidence at work. However, any time we are actively listening to another person, we demonstrate many of the same non-verbal clues.

Such as good eye contact, effective gestures, how we stand/sit, facial expressions, using appropriate voice tone, responding to the other persons emotions, and providing our full attention. This is 7 out of the 10 Jacquelyn discusses.

In Story Selling, the whole purpose of sharing a relevant story with a prospect/customer is to receive their story. This is where our skills in active listening need to take over. Many of which are non-verbal.

One could say the art of story tending is 90% non-verbal and only 10% around the types of questions we may need to ask. All of which are seeking to understand, not to position our product/service around a need while we are tending their story.

As with all non-verbal clues, the customer will know if you are there to help them, or your self.


For Real Influence, Listen Past Your Blind Spots While Story Tending

“More than ever before, people see through the self-serving tactics and techniques that others use to persuade them.”

“They don’t like being pushed, played or nudged to comply, and they resist and resent agenda-driven influencers.”

“The alternative is to use real influence to inspire buy-in and commitment.”

“To invite genuine buy-in and engagement, we need to listen with a strong personal motive to learn and understand.” by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

Read more:

See on Scoop.itStory Selling

Ken Jondahl‘s insight:

The authors discuss all 4 levels of listening and how the first 3 fall short.

In sales and marketing the power of story comes alive when we truly listen to our customers using level 4 as described in the article. However, there are many things which get in the way.

If you are in sales or marketing, think about how the customer feels when we do not “tend their story” using level 4 and what bad things can happen. Think about your good and bad “buying” experiences.

Was the person actively listening to your issues and needs? Or were they focused on something else?

To receive a story in sales, be prepared to go first and share a relevant story. Then actively listen and connect with the person telling their story in return. Active story tending is a habit which can be learned. It starts with listening to understand, not to respond.

In story selling, to “positively influence change” we need to build trust one story at a time. Just remember, the majority of these stories should be those of the customer.