01:36 – A thousand-year-old topic
03:36 – Helping clients with storytelling
06:19 – How to and how not to introduce yourself
08:33 – Achieving Grandma’s lasagna
11:25 – Three steps to sales
13:37 – This show’s Big Four
15:28 – Stories and social media
17:05 – Famous, but not really
19:32 – Kyle’s story
22:44 – The people you help
25:31 – What story do you tell yourself?
27:56 – Enhancing a natural skill
29:21 – Stories in your pocket
31:04 – The “Why now?” element
31:36 – What’s the low-hanging fruit?
32:57 – For beginners and experts
34:04 – Story types you need
36:56 – When success outstrips mindset
39:43 – The hairdressing persuasion expert
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com, this is Episode 656. We’re talking around the topic of how to sell more with storytelling. For that, I’ve brought back regular repeat guest, Kyle Gray. It’s great to have you.
Kyle: James, thanks so much for having me. This is always one of the highlights of my year, coming onto the show. And I’m so excited to be here once again.
James: It’s not just your highlight, Kyle. It might surprise you, or maybe not, to know that you are number four and number five most-downloaded episode in 2017 with your episode around content marketing, I think that was Episode 534. And even back in 2016, you were in my top 20. So that’s why I asked you back, because you deliver.
Kyle: Well, it’s always been fun. The audience is always great. And you ask great questions, so you bring out the best.
A thousand-year-old topic
James: I want to bring out the best of you today, because this topic is not going away. It’s been around for thousands of years. It’s responsible for driving the biggest sales organizations on the planet, in particular, religion. If you can subscribe billions of people with nothing more than a story, then there is power in this technique. And that’s why it keeps cropping up. Every single event that I go to, every copywriter is publishing something around story. Video is making its way into the highest echelons of how to market, and story is most definitely driving that.
I’ve had success incorporating story. Some of my most popular episodes are documentaries and behind the scenes. And lately, I’ve been growing my Instagram – I’ve got a tiny, tiny little channel, but I haven’t got any fake-y followers, if you know what I mean. I’m not doing that auto bot thing or hiring someone to go and add extra people so I can get the magic 10,000. What I have discovered, though, is compared to my corporate Instagram, I get about six times more people view my profile. And I’ve been uploading little micro stories. I’ve been using an app on my phone, which I know because I’ve mentioned now, people are going to ask, what’s the app, James? It’s called Spark. And it allows me to take little documentary videos and then split them into 15-second stories and load them up to my story. So if you’re not already following, check out James Schramko on Instagram, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
“People want to get behind the scenes, they want the truth, they want to know what’s really happening.”
What I am saying is stories are so compelling. People want to get behind the scenes, they want the truth, they want to know what’s really happening. And it’s driving elections, it’s the fundamental core of how we teach our kids nursery rhymes and all that sort of stuff. So it’s a big deal. And we’ve had episodes on this particular show – we’ve had Episode 528, and Episode 477, we covered stories and storytelling from different angles. And today, we just continue the journey. So that’s kind of the opener, Kyle, I’m going to hand over to you. Also, I’ll give you a website I mentioned early, sellingwithstory.co. Why don’t you just tell us what projects you’re working on now, and why this is part of your current crosshair in the target.
Helping clients with storytelling
Kyle: Yeah. So, Selling With Story is the name of a process I’ve been developing, and a new book I’ve got coming out May 5th, which will probably, hopefully, be somewhere near the time before or after this episode is published. But this has been a lot of my work, going into storytelling and really digging deep to answer the questions that I’ve found a lot of my clients are finding.
I’ve been working with a lot of different high-end coaches and consultants, a lot of people particularly in health and wellness, that are very scientifically minded, they’ve got a lot of really great things to say. They’re very brilliant and very skilled. But when it comes time to explaining what they do, sharing how they work with people, they end up kind of seizing up or going into a bunch of, kind of statistics or just overwhelming details, and they just kind of trip all over themselves.
And it’s a problem I’ve seen, in so many different arenas, so many different niches that, exploring that a little bit more, interviewing people on my own podcast, learning about their stories and how they’ve shaped their business and working with several clients and seeing how, as soon as we get clear on their story, it not only helps them sell better, but it really changes how they behave, it changes how they show up, it changes how they act around people. It creates a meaning and context that enables you to connect with the people you want to connect with, whether that’s in a webinar presentation, and a keynote speech, or if you’re on a sales call, or even just sitting across the table.
One of the most challenging places I think storytelling really comes in handy is actually when you’re attending a lot of events, and you’re going to different conferences and things like that, and you’re getting thousands and thousands of people asking, what do you do? And so, if you have something that’s intriguing and interesting, most people all of a sudden, just again, just kind of load you up with unnecessary details or kind of not really getting clear on the true value they provide. But if you can just be prepared, and knowing how to share a story, to have a better talk or just in whatever conversation faces you, I think people feel a lot more empowered and a lot more confident in what they’re doing. It makes it a lot easier for them.
So with that, I’ve been working on this on multiple levels, whether it’s helping people develop a keynote speech or a breakout speech. I’ve worked with people in helping them put together compelling webinars, which works in similar ways to a speech, but also has a lot of visual elements. We did a little bit of a work on a webinar, I think, late last year as well.
How to and how not to introduce yourself
James: We sure did. And it was good, going through that process. I hope we can share some of that. And just before you keep rolling on, because you’re often like a self-saucing pudding when it comes to an interview, what’s a bad introduction? What’s a typical introduction you get at a conference that’s off-putting?
Kyle: It would be something like, if I could introduce, like, a bad example of myself, I would say, “Hey, my name is Kyle Gray. I’m a copywriter. And I help people write webinars by first going through and making sure that their story covers all of the bases of essential persuasion. And then in the next part, I teach them how to utilize that with high-tech systems….” And just kind of rambling on and on and on without actually having much context or meaning. Instead, I can say, like…
James: Hang on, I know what you’re going to say. Thanks, Kyle. Yep, I’m just heading down to Starbucks.
James: So what’s a good example?
“It speaks towards a result instead of actual things you do to get the result.”
Kyle: So, you can say something more like, “My name is Kyle, and I help coaches and entrepreneurs and influencers really communicate their value with storytelling, no matter whether they’re online or offline, and in whatever situation, communicate effectively and share their value.” And so there’s a couple of different things about this. It speaks towards a result instead of actual things I do to get the result. And it speaks more to the customer’s perspective and what they want to hear from him.
James: It also gives him a couple of objection overcomes there. The “even if” part, even if you, whatever. And it’s sort of covering a few possible scenarios or categories.
I’m interested why there’s no pain point early on. A lot of people teach, lead with the pain, like where they’re already at.
Kyle: Oh, yeah, it’s a great kind of add-on to that statement, I teach people how to use storytelling, without feeling like they’re sleazy salesman or something like that, to add in. And you can definitely grow and adapt that. And especially if there are pain points that are particularly like, relevant with whatever audience you’re working for.
James: Right. So you might say, So for people who aren’t quite sure exactly how to introduce themselves, I help them come up with a really easy-to-remember, natural, organic way to describe what they’re doing, in a way that’s very compelling for their perfect target audience.
Achieving Grandma’s lasagna
Kyle: Yeah. Actually, I start a little more foundationally by starting with a proprietary process, or something I call grandma’s lasagna. And the reason I call it that is, if you think back to maybe your youth, your grandmother, or maybe some other member of your family probably cooked a dish that was really exciting, really memorable and really delicious.
James: My grandma used to cook chicken for me when I’d go and visit her. But she was starting to lose her memory a little bit. So sometimes I’d go around there, and she told me that the chicken’s in the oven. And I’d be waiting a while, and a little bit longer. And I’d think, this is weird, because I can’t smell the chicken. And it’s been a while, and I go and check – in the oven is the chicken in the Glad wrap, the oven’s not switched on. And then I say, “Nana…” because that’s what I used to call her, “…how about we have pizza tonight?” I’d take it out, and we’d go and get pizza. But, you know, it was still a memorable dish. And she taught me a lot of amazing, incredible things. I spent plenty of time with my grandparents. But even thinking about it now, and it’s so many years later, we’re talking about over 30 years ago, I still remember the emotion of, you know, the connection of being at my Nana’s place and interactions and life lessons, etc. So it’s a strong trigger, isn’t it?
Kyle: Yeah. And if you think about probably that example wasn’t the best tasting chicken. But if there was a dish, you know, that was like that, you’d probably couldn’t order…
James: Pizza was great. In fact, you know, at that age, pizza was pretty high on my agenda of favorite food. So if Nana’s cooking chicken, that meant pizza anyway.
Kyle: But yeah, but there’s this kind of effect for a lot of people that you couldn’t order chicken, the same kind of chicken at a restaurant, because it wouldn’t taste any good. And and even though Nana didn’t use any, like, special ingredients, really, to cook a chicken, it was this emotional connection. And so it’s the same with you and your process where a lot of people, you know, maybe you’re just doing Facebook ads, or maybe you are a weight loss coach, or maybe you are a lawyer and a professional. And if you just say that you do the same things, then you’re just kind of the same chicken dish, you know, anywhere else. But as soon as you have your process that has a story around it and a little bit of a deeper meaning and speaks to a result they really want, then you get the Grandma’s lasagna effect, where people can’t go just down the street again to get what you are serving. And so having a good process that is built around having a good key result, an outcome to speak to, and then several key steps or teaching points that you can walk people through that shows, here are the results I’m going to get you, and here are what the steps of that look like.
“Here are the results I’m going to get you, and here are what the steps of that look like.”
James: So, here’s the result, here’s how we’re going to get it using my proprietary, special system. And it’s the only place you can get this.
Three steps to sales
Kyle: Exactly. So I’ll give you an example that I’ve developed, and I call this the One Clear Path to Sales process; it’s got three simple steps. First, you need one clear message; you need to get clear on the exact message your customers need to hear to capture their attention and desire. Second, is one clear lesson. Once you’re clear on your message, you can craft amazing content that empowers, inspires and educates your audience on how to get what they want. This builds trust with you and their desire to invest with you. And then finally, third, is one clear offer. You connect it with a key offer that aligns desire, that aligns with their desire and the lesson you’re teaching.
And so just having those three steps shows how you can get the result, and it’s kind of clear what the process is going to look like and what the benefits are. But I’m not really getting into detail on like, we’re going to fill out this worksheet and we’re going to do this exercise and have this template. That is the basis of things. And that’s kind of where I think the subtlety of storytelling comes into place.
But the cool thing about having a process like this and knowing my three key teaching points for my process, and knowing how it helps and serves people, is this becomes a really flexible tool. I can use this process in a sales call and say, “Hey, I’m going to take you through this process. So these are the steps that it’s going to look like if you’re working with me.” You can use that as teaching points for a webinar. Or, I use this when speaking on stages. I spoke at an event called Microbiome Medicine in San Francisco a couple of months back, and I used this process as a framework to develop and teach my talk. And I can also use it just whenever I’m in normal conversation or speaking with somebody, and maybe through conversation, know that they want to learn a little bit about how to come up with one clear message. And through just understanding the process I’ve prepared, a couple of like, key stories are teaching points that address each of the different steps. So you can always have something on hand and organize to work with people.
James: I know our listeners will have just picked up on what you just said about the microbiome conference. You know how in Africa, there’s like the big four, or whatever they are, the animals that you have to see?
Kyle: Oh, yeah.
This show’s Big Four
James: I don’t know if it’s four or five. Let’s say it’s the Big Four. On this particular show, on SuperFastBusiness, we have a big four. I think we’ve nailed two out of the four so far, that keep recurring over and over again. And I’m going to emphasize them, because they’re so important. Story keeps coming up. It surfaces in my live event, on this podcast – story, story, story. Tick.
Gut. Gut is just like, from nowhere, it’s become ultra important, like this massive part of our body that controls everything from how we feel to how long we live. And I’ve been through a personal journey of improving my gut microbiomes. And, in fact, one episode just a few episodes ago, we heard from a specialist in this particular topic, a whole episode about gut – can you believe it? – on a business podcast, because it is that important. That was Episode 643, Improve Your Gut And Improve Your Business. I find out these things through SuperFastBusiness members, like yourself, Kyle. Amanda is a member, and I’ve been helping them grow their gut business. And I’m fascinated with the results they get, it was phenomenal.
The other two that come up, so if you want to cover them now, you can – one is sleep, the importance of sleep. And you know, I’m the anti-grinder. I reckon, sure, there’s hard work in the beginning of your business, but I leave the grinding to the barista. Sleep is critical. And celebrating lack of sleep or waking up at four if you go to bed at midnight or whatever, that’s just dumb. It means you’re a failure. In my mind, you haven’t got it right.
And the other one that comes up, and I’m really interested to see if you’re involved in this, is meditation.
James: They’re the big four. When we started talking about this stuff, it was probably edgy. I think in a few years from now, it’ll be absolutely commonplace, and it’s all because of the rise of social media.
Stories and social media
Now, back on topic, social media is just the most incredible place to use stories. I just had a presentation from Molly Pittman at my live event, which we run most years. And she was talking about how story-based Facebook ads are working, where the old ones where they highlight the fact that they’re an ad with borders and things don’t work. In fact, the funny story she had was, someone who saw her ad actually was trying to almost apologize to her for not even remembering her, because it was written in such a way that they might be friends, that he almost felt guilty for not remembering who Molly was, his friend Molly.
James: And he commented in the ad, you know? That’s a very story-based, very organic style of marketing. Even though, you know, one could argue that it’s super manipulative. But then I also argue there is positive manipulation, i.e., a brain surgeon fixing your brain hemorrhage, you know, he needs to manipulate that scalpel with super precision to get a specific defined result that’s going to make you better off. So manipulation for good outcomes, I think’s okay. Same as you manipulate the steering wheel on a car, so you don’t have a head-on collision. I’m okay with that.
So, we talked about how stories can help you in the environment where you’re meeting people at a conference. You can go from a bit unclear or uncertain on how to introduce yourself, and I can totally resonate with that, because when I was running an SEO business, a website development business, and I was a super affiliate, and had a coaching business, it was kind of a bit hard for me to tell people what I do at an event. Only when I started selling off the businesses and getting clear on what I actually do, it made it a bit easier to start formulating a response to that question, the age-old, “What do you do?”
Famous, but not really
And thankfully, even now, a lot of people who I bump into already know what I do or know me before I even meet them, because the pre-marketing or things like the podcast and social media videos, especially with stories, are cutting through and people actually feel like they know you, like a TV celebrity. I’m nowhere near as famous, you know? I’m no Jay Shetty or Grant Cardone. Those guys are super famous, and they’ve created a massive story around themselves. Like, Jay was a monk who got all business savvy. And then you know, Grant’s a hardcore investor, passionate property sales-closer type guy. He’s been doing it for a long time and spending a lot of money making sure everyone knows about him. But he weaves stories in there. They attract the crowd they want. They have massive fans; they have millions and millions of fans. And the comment streams are just insane, engagement levels through the roof.
So let’s talk about social media.
Kyle: I think you’re hinting on, like, a key difference that I think is really cool and important. Like you know, just your strategy, where you are famous, but you’re not famous, like massively, like Grant Cardone, but I think there’s advantages to that. I would much rather be famous in a way where, you know, a very specific audience of people, who I can really help, know who I am and recognize me, but then still, you know, I can go to my local Starbucks or whatever and not be bothered. I’m not sure if Grant Cardone would just, but I think he would attract plenty of attention.
James: Well, he’s not going to be bothered. He’s in his jet.
Kyle: Yeah, he’s in his jet. He won’t be at Starbucks.
James: I don’t want to take anything away from what he’s doing for him. Because it’s his life, right?
Kyle: It’s his jet.
James: One could look at that and think, well, I don’t have millions of followers. So therefore, I’m just going to give up. And my message is this: you can have a tiny list and a tiny following; as long as you’re hitting the bullseye, it doesn’t matter. You can do just fine, without having to spend a lot of money driving ads. If you can just have a message that resonates with the exact right person who you can solve a problem for, you can have a tiny list. We just purged our email list, tiny, tiny email list. We have, in our business now, I think, somewhere around 7000 emails in total. Like, for a multimillion-dollar-per-year-revenue business, that’s not many emails. So you don’t need 800,000 emails, you don’t need to spend 200 grand a month on ads.
Kyle: Yeah. And so it’s a matter of the message that you’re saying. It’s having the right message aligned with the right person.
I’ll break down a little bit of kind of my own story from a different perspective over the last couple of years, and will kind of exemplify that, and maybe even manage to tackle the other ones, the big four.
So over the last four or five years, I’ve been discovering I had this autoimmune condition that was really kind of just turning down the volume on a bunch of different levels of my life, and I wasn’t sleeping good. And I would wake up feeling a bunch of anxiety. And I lost a lot of energy, a lot of physical strength, and just a lot of optimism, and I couldn’t do the things that I was normally doing. And for a while, I thought I was just getting older, until I found, over the course of a couple of years, I did some testing and found out exactly what was going on with me. And it was gut health problems, essentially.
And also during this time, I work at workshops where I help people get on stages or prepare speeches, so once you’re on the stage, you have an awesome speech. And I was at one of these workshops, and it happened to be filled with health and wellness practitioners. And I sat across from one woman at lunch, her name was Grace. And she’s like, “Hi, my name is Dr. Grace Liu, and I help people overcome chronic autoimmune conditions through the gut.” And all of a sudden, all of my storytelling knowledge that I had been developing and honing over the last few years connected with this deep problem that I had been experiencing and researching, and honestly didn’t think I had much of a way of like, figuring out. My story up until meeting her was like, well, I’ve just got to, you know, swallow a bowlful of pills every day to kind of cover up how crappy I feel, which just wasn’t awesome.
She was having troubles, because she was so brilliant at what she did, but she was overwhelmed with a lot of one-on-one clients, wanted to figure out more digital scalable products, and she wanted systems to sell those scalably. And we started putting together a lot of different things for her. We put together a mini-course, or a seven-day challenge to help people with gut health. We actually also were able to turn that into a book that I ghost-wrote for her; got it published on Amazon, and it was an Amazon bestseller in a couple of categories and health. And we really started getting her message out there a lot more.
And meanwhile, my life totally changed. Within a month, the anxiety that had plagued me, where I thought, like, I just wasn’t meditating enough – I had been meditating actually, you know, almost daily for a long time, just to try and keep ahead of the anxiety that I would feel on a normal basis. But a lot of that started melting away. I started sleeping better; I started getting much stronger. And now it’s been almost a year and a half working with her. I’m in some of the best shape of my life, and can rock-climb again. I can go skiing again, which is something I’m really passionate about. And we’ve been having an amazing year. It’s April, which is, you know, usually the end of winter here in the US, but I still think that we’re going to get another couple more months. And so I’m so grateful to have the body back and the health back and the energy and the mental clarity and power that came from gut health and actually unlocked better sleep and enhanced my meditation.
The people you help
But what we can learn from looking at a story like that is, now, I have my processes and my skills that I can go and serve any kind of entrepreneur; but my story, my personal experience makes me uniquely powerful and uniquely useful to health and wellness coaches and practitioners who are selling high-end coaching products that are similar to high-end products that any entrepreneur or consultant would sell. But they usually have been spending most of their time studying gut microbiome and all of that information, not marketing or anything. So they are uniquely in need of the skills I have. And so, through that, my own story has guided me towards a niche. And it’s transformed something that was one of the worst aspects of my life three or four years ago into actually a blessing, because it’s guided me to kind of this new field and this niche where I can be much more successful, I can make a much greater impact. And it’s people I’m passionate about helping.
James: Well, I think it’s not just gut practitioners, right? A lot of the people that I’m helping are good at what they do, they’re experts, and that is a full-time job, like if you’re a dentist or a tradesperson. I’m not sure what you call them in the United States. What do you call them? We call them tradies.
Kyle: A professional?
James: Yeah. Bug men, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, what do you call that, trade? Blue collar workers?
Kyle: Yeah. tradesmen. Yeah, I think that is what we’d say.
James: Right. So they’re usually good at their thing, and they don’t learn much about business. Most businesses go broke anyway, like, by far the majority of businesses in the early years. So they need people like you and I to help them with it. So it’s a matter of articulating a message. But I’m sure when you sat down with that lady, she introduced herself, it was like, it must have fired a few neurons in your reaction.
Kyle: Absolutely. I mean, that’s when I started to see opportunity again. And even just hearing that started to shift a lot of my beliefs of what was possible for my health, what I was going to experience in the future, and any of these things, so it was very impactful for me. And even like, yeah, it’s created incredible results for so many different people. But yeah, I think anybody with a skill that they’ve worked hard to hone and craft and add value with, you also need to develop skills like marketing and handling business on top of that, or at least work with people that do know how to handle it. Because I respect and honor everybody, from the electrician to my gut health doctor, that has worked so hard to understand these things. And I think it’s good to also, no matter who you work with, resonate with their message and who they are, and really want to advance them on more than just solving whatever basic problem they have.
What story do you tell yourself?
James: So we’ve talked about the message we have for others, when you meet someone. We’ve talked a bit about social media, that we put our message out there as well, taking advantage of different mediums. We’ve talked about from stage. You kind of touched on this one, is you mentioned, when you get clear on your story, it helps your self-belief. Clearly, that’s the message we tell ourselves. And I’m sure working on our own story should be the most important story we ever work on.
“Our own story should be the most important story we ever work on.”
Kyle: Absolutely. I would agree with that. I think it’s something you can always work on. This is definitely like a much more kind of emotional awareness. But you have all kinds of stories that your brain is used to telling yourself, about who you are, and what’s possible and what your reality is. And I think good storytelling, both when you are addressing your customers and when you are addressing yourself, is set up to change the beliefs that need to be changed. And so, I could have a story of a perspective of again, I’m a copywriter, or a story coach that does this, or I could change it to, I help health and wellness practitioners change the minds and health of millions of people and help prevent problems like what I’ve had, or what friends I’ve seen had. And it just adds an extra context or meaning.
If you can really tune into the value you provide, it fuels you with this healthy pride and this healthy conviction for what you’re doing, and a belief in yourself. And so, by understanding that value, and always reminding yourself, this is really what I’m doing it for, this is the big goal. And for some people, even having, like, an actual measurable goal that they’re working towards, whether it’s, “I want to impact a million people by speaking, by helping empower a thousand speakers to speak on more stages,” or if you want to make a measurable and changeable impact on the world. And actually by enrolling people in working with you as a client or as a collaborator, to helping you achieve that goal, that’s kind of a bridge of both kind of empowering yourself and igniting yourself and changing that story and involving your audience with it.
James: Two of the top episodes I’ve had on this podcast about story are from people who had autoimmune diseases and took to story to share the message and help others with the same thing.
Kyle: That’s weird.
Enhancing a natural skill
James: You know, if you have such a difficult time, and then you’re able to fix it, you must naturally have a built-in desire to spread the word. And it’s kind of like the way I think about NLP. People are persuasive in real life, and sometimes they might be doing something similar to what a person might learn at an NLP conference, but they’ve never heard of the technique, they don’t know what it’s called, and they’re not even conscious of what they’re doing. Perhaps they might mirror someone in a conversation that makes them more persuasive, but then an NLP practitioner might do that, because it’s a specific technique.
So I think humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time, without any story coaching or without any particular framework taught to them. It’s just a natural thing. And having just had a newborn, and going through the story phase right now – because apparently, talking to your kids at an early age, it can significantly increase their abilities later on with language and comprehension, and so forth – I’m really acutely aware that we really get indoctrinated into the story mode, especially in books, at a very, very early age. How much can we enhance our natural ability by using a framework and being more deliberate and specific with our stories?
Kyle: I think that that’s a great question. And I think you can enhance it massively by just being practiced and prepared, and having a couple of, just knowing that you have these stories prepared in your pocket.
Stories in your pocket
James: Right? What stories do we need in our pocket?
Kyle: Yeah, yeah. So when I mentioned the proprietary process, I mentioned that you usually have, like, three to five steps. And I would recommend having a story, one of each of these stories, if possible, for each of your steps. So, something you’re saying that nobody else is saying. You know, maybe it’s something like, many people I’ve worked with think you can only be successful in marketing if you have a big social media following. But I believe you can have a successful marketing campaign without any social media.
James: So I could say, you can still make a million dollars a year profit and only work 25 hours a week.
Kyle: Exactly. And so, having something that you’re saying that nobody else is saying is a quick way to separate you, create a little bit of controversy and interest. And having one of those around your key points is always very useful.
“Address the objections before they appear.”
The next one is a success story of a client who’s used this step, or a specific element of the process. So you know, something like, “Well, one of my coaching clients, Phil, just doubled his sales by making this one small change to his keynote speech.” And so, this is really great, especially for addressing objections, if people object to a certain part of your process or have certain ideas, you can tell stories of, well, you know, “This client had that exact same problem, and he solved it with this and was grateful that he did it all the time.” And so you use these stories as a way, especially while you’re teaching, to address the objections before they appear, and before they actually come out.
James: So the biggest celebrity that’s possible, right?
Kyle: Yeah, yeah, obviously, always. Always has to be that.
The “Why now?” element
Kyle: Number three is a way to create urgency. So I’ve worked with financial planners before, and they have a really good example of like, there’s new tax cuts happening in the United States right now. But they’re only available for a certain amount of time. And so you can say, “There’s a closing window of opportunity to take advantage of this.”
James: And that sounds like a Tin Men salesman.
Kyle: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. But at least it serves as an example of like, when you’re talking and teaching and telling a story, if you’ve got a way to show, like that it’s important to take action.
James: So it’s a “Why now?” thing.
What’s the low-hanging fruit?
Finally, or number four, you need a quick win. So, something with a story or an idea or something that you can share that they can immediately just take and use.
James: So I had this lady it at my event, who discovered a way she could get back around 85 thousand dollars a year by accessing a government loophole that’s available to her that she didn’t know about prior to attending. So that’ll be a good quick win, right?
Kyle: That is an amazing quick win. There’s somebody, a guy I interviewed recently named Garrett Gunderson, I did a great video interview of him. And he’s got a similar kind of tax loophole in the US that he shares with a lot of his clients, and it just blows their mind.
James: I’ve shown all my Australian clients. I’ve shown them how they can have my SilverCircle for free, and the government will pay them to travel overseas and to fund their advertising costs and their team. And it’s quite a revelation, when they’re not aware of that. It’s like, it’s pretty huge low-hanging fruit.
Kyle: And usually, you know, there’s some things you can do to teach that that will just blow people’s minds. And a lot of people are afraid that, Oh, my God, once I share that information, then people aren’t going to want to work with me. But even if it’s your best thing, and it’s easy to implement, people are still going to want to work with you.
James: They are in my case, because they’re not paying for it anymore.
Kyle: Yeah. You just showed them how to not pay for it.
James: And it works for about eight years.
Kyle: Oh, gosh.
James: Pretty good.
Kyle: Yeah, that is a great deal.
For beginners and experts
And then number five, the fifth story element, would be having something for beginners and experts. So you want to think about your audience. And I wouldn’t say like, for each of your teaching points, you need to address each of these things if you’re giving a speech.
James: It’s just a catch-all, right?
Kyle: Yeah, to sprinkle in a few of these different things throughout your speech. So make sure you always have something for beginners, and always have something for experts, but maybe not on each one. And then, once you have these stories prepared, again, you can arrange them into a great talk. Or you can just have them ready for whatever conversation. I’ve got a template that can help knock it out that I’m happy to share with everybody to get people started on this, as well.
James: No, just keep it to yourself, Kyle. Of course, we’ll have the template. We’ll also put the checklist. So you’ve got the five things: unique, success, urgency, quick win, beginner, expert. What are the four stories you need?
Kyle: So those are the five elements that you need.
Story types you need
James: But what about story types? So we got the story we tell ourselves, we’ve got that story we tell people at events, we’ve got the story formula for social media, you’ve mentioned keynotes or breakouts. So there’s a few.
Kyle: That’s true, that does make sense. So yeah, the stories that you need to have, again, your foundation is having a good process to tell all these stories from. I think having one good presentation, which can be a keynote or a webinar, is essential. Having a story that you can use to introduce yourself or open up a sales call, something that’s one or two minutes long, that explains why you do what you do, and why you care and what’s unique and different about you. And for an example of that, that was kind of what I what I mentioned, meeting Dr. Grace. And I think also just having a really good simple value statement that you can use to introduce yourself anytime. But also, I think that having that simple statement that you can repeat that really shares who you are and what you do, I think it should really prop you up and make you proud and remind you of what you’re doing. And that creates that internal power and interest that you’re looking for.
James: I know that was a key point for me to increase my confidence level, as I battled through the various stages of imposter syndrome that all entrepreneurs probably go through (maybe unless someone’s totally got some kind of condition where they don’t feel it, which is possible, but it’s rare). Most people go through these phases. But I had to keep locking in my story; I had to remind myself, you know, I was the number one salesperson. Before that I was the number one telephone sales collector. And then I was the top salesman, and then I was the top manager, in a senior role. And then when I went online I had to recalibrate, you know? I had to convert that into a win. So that’s where I started setting financial benchmarks and other things. And a while down the track now, it’s been over a decade. I’m feeling much more comfortable in my own skin about what I can and can’t do.
But we have to upgrade and re-render our story. I think it’s like if your story was a movie in your movie software, whether you use ScreenFlow, or iMovie or Adobe or whatever, it’s like you go and you can find new filters, and you can go and edit little bits here and there and re-render it into a new version of the story.
Kyle: Keep adding new footage every day. That makes a lot of sense.
James: Yes. But I think you can also retro-edit it. If you go back and look at my old podcast or listen to the old podcasts or especially look at my old videos, one of my kids said he looked at an old video of mine from like, eight or nine years ago. And he said it was appalling. Well, not appalling. He didn’t say those words. But he said it was pretty bad. Like, that’s kid talk for crap. And I said, yes. You just got to start. So my now version of what I can produce is better than what I used to be able to produce. So I’ll just upgrade that part of my memory. That’s now the current standard. And you can get to a new working plateau of stability to leverage off.
When success outstrips mindset
Kyle: I feel like for a lot of entrepreneurs, success sometimes can come faster than that mindset.
“For a lot of entrepreneurs, success sometimes can come faster than that mindset.”
James: A lot. I’m working with a heap of 25-to-40-year-olds. I get the Molly Pittmans, the Ezra Firestones – there’s a few of them. Tom Breeze, James Dyson – these are all the people I’ve worked with who were in their 20s and have catapulted to the forefront of the industry. It’s like a puppy dog with huge feet that sometimes bashes into the hallway when it’s taking a corner. Because I think age equals wisdom, right? As you get older, you get wiser.
James: And they can tap straight into a top-level wisdom at a young age. It’s like a performance enhancer for these people. Their business success outstrips their ability to process what’s even happening.
And it’s funny when my kids, like, just recently with my event, just one of my kids was at the dinner there. And at the dinner table, he’s sitting with Tom Breeze, Mike Rhodes, Molly Pittman, Sonya Keenan. So he’s sitting with a virtual power group of online heavy hitters, and they’re just normal people for him. That’s his calibration. And he’s having a chat and a dinner conversation. So, you know, he’s not even aware of what’s happening in the grand scheme of things, and he might not realize for a while. But that’s part of his story, is being surrounded by those people. Like, my friends Bond and Kevin Halbert, who grew up with Gary Halbert; that was normal. Their dad just happened to be the world’s most famous, greatest living, and still to this day, copywriter, but that’s just their dad.
Kyle: Yeah, that’s kind of an amazing context. It reminds me, my dad used to love to take me on hikes. And we still go on hikes every once in a while, but when I was younger, I hated it. And I would just like, anger-stomp my way up the mountain as fast as possible. But now, it’s something I love.
James: What’s that? An anger stop?
Kyle: Anger stomp. Just trudge up there…
James: Oh, stomp. Anger stomp. The old version of rage quitting, right?
Kyle: Yes, exactly. You rage quit up a mountain.
James: You just slam the keyboard and bash it…
Kyle: Yeah. Exactly.
James: Swear at the screen?
Kyle: Oh yeah, I was terrible.
James: Oh, it cracks me up, these kids. You know, when you go to the shops, you see a kid who just does a meltdown and after they scream, they just slump to the floor and they’re like a heavy sack of potatoes, and the parent’s trying to drag them along the floor. They’re just out. They’re opting out.
Kyle: Still a better state. It’s still an improvement when they’re catatonic like that, versus the the screaming. But I don’t know much about handling those situations quite yet, fortunately.
James: Oh, you just say, if a kid does that to you, you just say, “All right, we’ll see you later,” and walk off, and they quickly jump up and run towards you.
The hairdressing persuasion expert
James: My hairdresser taught me that. He was an expert in persuasion and influence. He was crazy. The first time I ever met him, he basically looked across the room at me, and he put his hands over, like beside his face, like a scream. And he just shrieked, like, “Oh my god, who did this to you?” And then he points at my head. He goes, “You come, I fix.” So that was his story. I call this the hairdresser close. It’s like, just pointing out what a massive problem I had, and then he’s going to be the one to fix it. He’s positioning himself as the expert. He knows the answer, of course.
James: It was clever. And he taught me how to deal with kids who are mucking up while I was getting a haircut. And he also showed me how he got so many dates. And he wasn’t a particularly attractive-looking guy. But he always had the hottest girlfriends. And I observed him in you know, practicing his techniques, which would make a pickup artist amazed, I think.
Kyle: Was it similar to how he got you into the haircut chair? Just like, he goes up to girls: “You have a huge problem. You’re not dating me.”
James: He said, “James, let’s go get coffee,” which I later found out to mean that I’m buying. So he orders first and steps away from the counter. So I order, and now I’m the one paying. Very clever. And then he’s sitting there waiting for the coffee, flipping through a magazine. And then he steps back. Some really nice-looking girls come in, and they order their coffee and move over and they start flipping through the magazine. And he slams his fist down, like, whack! on the magazine. He goes, “Darling, I was reading that.” And she like, jumps back in shock. And then he says, “I’m joking. I know you. You come to my hairdressing salon.” Then he said, “Okay, you come tomorrow. I’ll fix this.” So then he’s back into the usual routine. But yeah, it was just shock and awe. Crazy.
James: His name was Marco, a persuasion expert.
Kyle: Maybe he came from an NLP camp?
James: No, I think he just came from from another country and had some pretty hardcore techniques. We’re going to have to wrap it here. Kyle, it’s been great chatting again. And we’ve talked about the five elements you need to have in your story; we’ve talked about four or five places you can use the story, and all sorts of other interesting facts. I hope you’ll join us again.
Kyle: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Again, I’ll have that template, share it in the links. And you can check out more of Selling With Story at sellingwithstory.co, and that’ll be out May 5th.
James: Perfect. And good luck with the book. I always buy your books as soon as they came out. And so it should be out by the time this podcast is live, so check it out. Kyle Gray is a great author, really knows his stuff. He’s helped me with my own webinar story. And that’s why I keep asking Kyle back on this podcast. Thanks, mate.
Kyle: Thanks again for having me. And thanks, everybody, for listening.
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