How to Sell Simply with Story: An Interview with April Sunshine

How to Sell Simply with Story: An Interview with April Sunshine

If you are in sales, you’re probably doing it wrong. I know. I was there—FOR YEARS. You go to the trainings, study all of the flyers, pamphlets, and brochures, and you know every feature of your product or service. You are a professional, you know your stuff, and you are ready to step in and be the hero!

Before you put on your boots and start wearing your underwear on the outside, consider this: Do you wake up every morning, looking at the challenges and wish you had a hero? Or do you look at the day and its challenges and see yourself as the hero? Do your prospects care if you are some sort of hero with business superpowers? Not likely. Why not? Because before they are buyers (or “targets”—eek), they are people. Real people. And real people think just like you. You are the hero of your own story, aren’t you? To quote the great Tina Turner, “We don’t need another hero!”

But every hero needs a guide.

I am a huge fan of Story Brand since reading How to Build A Story Brand by Donald Miller. He basically took the buyer’s journey and paralleled it with the hero’s journey. That’s why I was super stoked to sit down with Story Brand’s Director of Sales, April Sunshine Hawkins, after seeing her speak at our Global Coaches Conference. She brings such clarity to sales messaging in our discussion on the Sell ANYWHERE podcast.

Your job is to find people where they are, not call them to where you want them to be. Then position yourself as the guide. They are Luke, you are Yoda. The guide gives knowledge and coaches the hero into action. What is interesting here is that almost ZERO product knowledge and training need to occur to get us to that point. (In fact, I find that often the deluge of training actually does more damage than good, in terms of the sales story.)

Once you have their attention, you have to be New York QUICK in communicating how you will guide them. What do you do then? April gives a very simple formula for your bullet-proof one-liner.

Here it is: Problem Solution Success.

  1. What problem is your customer facing? (How does it help with their survival or thriving?)
  2. How do you solve that problem?
  3. What does life look like if you overcome the problem?

Gosh, how much pressure has just been removed from your shoulders now that you don’t have to carry the burden of saving the world? Just be a guide and find some peeps to help. We are all on a journey. We all need help getting to where we are going. I hope that April and I have been able to shed some sunshine on the path you are walking.

Please take the opportunity to dig into the podcast and other resources mentioned. Here are some of my notes from the show:

7:30 The journey into being a speaker and facilitator at Story Brand.

8:42 The origin of Sunshine: “An energy giving force. I want to provide energy for them along the way.”

10:30 Fundedby.org; April’s way to give back.

13:37  Serving with your gift.

23:40 Everybody wakes up and THEY are the hero of their own story. They are not looking for Superman or Batman—THEY want to be the hero that rises up and wins the day. Whenever you can position your client as the hero, then what you are saying resonates with them.

27:30 If you confuse, you lose. The client doesn’t have time to figure out what you are doing. Describe what you do in a clear, efficient manner so they don’t have to “burn calories” to remember…and they will file you in the right part of the brain.

31:00 Keep it easy; the metaphor of the Bowling Ball.

32:40 The curse of knowledge makes it difficult for us to be concise.

36:00 Creating your One-Liner.

How to reach April and other resources we mentioned:

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