Storytelling in Sales, Business, and Life with Mark Carpenter

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The Sales Warrior Within | Season 2 Episode 48 – Storytelling in Sales, Business, and Life with Mark Carpenter

Andy Olen is a Business Leadership Trainer and High-Performance Coach. Andy works with talented salespeople, business teams, and leaders who seek empowerment, improvement, and insight. Andy’s clients strive to be the best in class.

“Good Selling, Good Leading, Good Living.” – Andy Olen

Storytelling in Sales, Business, and Life with Guest Mark Carpenter

  • The podcast episode is about storytelling in sales, business, and life, and the guest is Mark Carpenter, who wrote the book “Master Storytelling.”
  • Mark Carpenter is a serial storyteller who has been telling stories since childhood, turning this into a career in marketing communications and public relations.
  • The definition of a story is a three-part narrative with a purpose: to teach, lead, and inspire.
  • The importance of storytelling in business is to humanize the process and bring greater humanity back into it, particularly in the sales process, to help people teach, lead, and inspire.
  • Mark emphasizes that storytelling can help businesses and salespeople connect with their audience on a deeper level and create an emotional connection.
  • He highlights the importance of having a clear purpose and message in your story and tailoring it to your audience.
  • Mark also notes that storytelling is a skill that can be learned and developed over time and encourages people to practice and refine their storytelling abilities.
  • He shares that vulnerability and authenticity are critical elements in compelling storytelling and encourages individuals to share their experiences and emotions to connect with their listeners.
  • Stories come in all forms and fashion, including finding common ground with a prospect through small talk is a form of an account that helps build trust.
  • Telling a story about a client’s similar challenges to the prospect can establish relatability and empathy.
  • Using stories to address objections can keep the conversation going and avoid a hard stop.
  • A story that prompts the prospect to question their objections and consider the solution can lead to follow-up opportunities.

Connect with Mark Carpenter HERE

Link to Andy Olen’s website

Link to Andy’s Online Courses





Speakers: Andy Olen with guest Mark Carpenter

 | 00:02 | There’s a Sales Warrior Within each of us. My name is Andy Olen, and I’m here to help you discover and empower the Sales Warrior Within. Sales warriors, this is Andy Olen. Welcome to another episode of the Sales Warrior Within podcast. So grateful, and thankful that you joined today. I’m really excited to welcome Mark Carpenter to the podcast today. 
 | 00:30 | Mark wrote the book master storytelling, one of my favorite topics, storytelling, how to turn your experiences into stories that teach, lead, and inspire. And so I get to have a really fun conversation with Mark Carpenter, who is a serial storyteller, and he’s been telling stories since childhood. He has leveraged his abilities into a career in marketing communications and public relations and recently served as a college professor and corporate facilitator
 | 00:59 | And his storytelling became even more purposeful and effective after he researched and then wrote his book, master storytelling. And now as a facilitator consultant and speaker and also podcast guest, Mark gets to teach others what he learned in the process. And I think what you’ll find is you’re going to hear his passion, and you’re going to hear the importance for why salespeople, business people, and all of us need to share and tell stories in order to inspire those around us. 
 | 01:29 | Enjoy this episode of the Sales Warrior Within podcast on storytelling. Mark Carpenter welcome to the Sales Warrior Within podcast. Andy, it’s great to be here with you. Thank you for having me on and giving me the opportunity to talk to your audience. Fantastic. We had a chance to just catch up for a moment and marks and the great Salt Lake City area and it sounds like it’s going to be some good skiing late into the season this year. Oh, yeah. 
 | 01:56 | I mentioned to Andy that one of the resorts here is posting a base of 205 inches here at the end of March as we’re recording this. So they’ll be skiing here for a while. I think Mark doubles with the Salt Lake City area tourism boards. So a great city to get to and spend some time and especially with those great mountains that you have. Well, as I shared with you, Mark, and with the audience as well, I’m really excited to talk to you because storytelling is such a favorite part of what I teach on and what I share and I like you, know the importance of it. 
 | 02:33 | So maybe we just sort of start at the beginning. Tell me a little bit about what a story is. Yeah, and story can be defined in so many different ways. You hear this all the time. I’m going to put my story on social media or I’m going to tell you the story of what happened today, or what’s that person’s story you know? What’s going on with them? The way that we define story is it’s a three part narrative with a purpose. So there’s a beginning and middle and end, but it has a purpose and we define that purpose as to teach lead someone inspire. 
 | 03:07 | It’s not just an experience that I’m sharing, but I’m going to intentionally craft an experience that I’ve had into a story that has a purpose and a point to make. So that’s our definition of how we look at story and how it can be used in business. That’s great. And Mark is the author of a great book called master storytelling. And as he just said how to turn your experiences into stories that teach, lead and inspire.   
 | 03:36 | And so maybe if you could share with the audience a little bit, Mark, the story of how you got into storytelling. I think that would be fascinating. Why is this an area that you love so much that you sat down, collaborated with others, put pen to paper and made this made this a career for yourself? Well, as you can expect, Andy, there is a story that’s involved with that. I am just one of those people that I’ve always told stories. It’s just been kind of part of my DNA growing up. And it translated that into business. 
 | 04:07 | I worked for 20 years in corporate marketing and public relations. There’s a lot of storytelling there and translating the business to its publics and the public’s back to its business. About 6 years ago, helped a friend write a book. I basically ghost wrote the copy for him. And when I got to the end of that process, I said to my wife, I want to write my own book now, but I’m not sure what it is. Well, she looks at me as only our dearly close loved ones can and said, oh, I know what you need to write about. 
 | 04:40 | And I thought, well, how can you know if I don’t know? And she said, now you need to write a book about how you take these everyday experiences and turn them into stories that teach lessons. And my first reaction to her was, that’s not a book. That’s just what people do. She said, no, you do it naturally, but there’s a way to do it that other people don’t know. If you could teach people how to do that, that would be awesome. 
 | 05:05 | And I started looking into it and started doing the research and pulled my good friend Daryl Harmon in to this process, and he co authored the book with me. And if we did the research, I found out that I did things fairly naturally that there is actually a good clear process for. And so I started thinking about why is that so important? And it really humanizes us in business. And so my goal is to bring greater humanity back into business and particularly in the sales process to help people to teach lead so and inspire. 
 | 05:39 | If I was writing the book today, I would include sell in that purpose there in the subtitle of the book, because I found that that’s a really important place where storytelling can have a positive impact in business. Yeah, let’s talk about that a little bit. You know, one of the reactions I get from the folks that I train salespeople or business leaders that I train is they think about a story. It’s like, oh, I don’t know if I’m comfortable telling this deep personal story about myself and maybe that’s not appropriate with customers. 
 | 06:07 | And that’s when we get into a discussion really quickly about think broadly about the definition of a story, customer testimonial, an analogy, maybe it’s a quote that you can then lean on. So maybe if you want to take that a little bit further Mark, how should salespeople think about the definition of stories and what’s in play and maybe what’s out of bounds? Is you’re describing that. I was remembering one of the first opportunities I had to teach storytelling to a group of sales professionals. 
 | 06:37 | And their response to me initially was, well, you can’t expect me not to share features and benefits and facts and data. And I said, no, no, no, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is use a story to interpret those things. To show your prospects, the transformation they’re going to make. And maybe that word is helpful sometimes for sales professionals. It’s not so much that you’re telling a story, but you’re telling the transformation. 
 | 07:02 | You’re showing people the transformation that can come from bad to good from good to better from better to best and how your service or your product can help them get there. As a follow-up to that first opportunity that I had to teach a group of sales professionals, a couple of weeks after I got an email from one of them who said, I wanted to share this with you. 
 | 07:25 | I have a client or a prospect that I’ve been working with and trying to turn them into a client for months, and I had a conversation with them recently and remembered what you said about story, and about telling the story of that transformation. And I shared with them an experience that one of my other clients had that was similar to some of the challenges that they were facing. And when I got to the end of the story, I just waited for a second. And the client said, you know, write me up a proposal. 
 | 07:55 | I was just completely floored because that was never the reaction I got from that client. And I use that to illustrate the power of the connectionist story can make. They may not be seeing the connection between the benefits and the features and the facts and the figures that you’re sharing. But if you can tell a story that’s relatable to them, they can connect to that. Now, I’m not suggesting that you get into deeply personal heart wrenching stories necessarily with your clients unless that’s the kind of business you’re in. 
 | 08:27 | And that’s the kind of service or product that you’re selling. But tell the story that shows how other have made it have made a transformation that they are looking to make as well. And that will connect you to them in a completely different way than data facts figures, features, benefits do. Yeah. And I mean, it can be as simple as transitioning like this. The product we have, I’m really excited about this new feature. 
 | 08:53 | Let me tell you about a client who’s used this and what they’ve seen in terms of increased productivity, the transformation I’ll use your word, Mark, that the transformation that they’ve gone through. And, hey, I’m optimistic this can happen for you too, right? You just embed the customer experience, the testimonial, the reference. And it’s just that easy. And then you can marry almost some of the benefits, the features, to the much more, as you say, humanizing element of how the transformation will play out. 
 | 09:26 | People really want to buy from businesses and people that they know trust and like. And so think about that. Buying decisions are typically made not so much on reason as not emotion. We justify with reason. We justify with the data and the features and the facts and the benefits. But the buying decision is typically made on emotion. Well, how do you connect people to the emotional side? 
 | 09:55 | It’s by the story that you tell. I read an email in just a couple of days ago from another great storyteller who talked about one of his sales professionals coming in early in his career with the previous company. And talking about a customer who, when they purchased the product, just threw her arms around him and gave him this big bear hug because she was so excited about that transformation that was about to happen. 
 | 10:23 | Well, that’s the kind of connection you can make and I’m not suggesting you want all of your clients to give you big hugs. But that’s the kind of transformation that you can get from people because of that emotional connection that you’re helping them to overcome some problem. That makes a lot of sense. I was talking to someone recently and we’re talking about business to business sales. And you know the point that this individual made was the customer, the buyer, in a business to business transaction, is putting their career on the line when they say yes to you and your solution. 
 | 10:59 | And you know to your point, these are very emotional decisions that people are making. They are literally literally in many cases putting their career on the line that either the solution that you’re selling, which often has a high price, most likely if it’s a service or a technology, will make the business better. And if it does, they are rewarded. And if it doesn’t, they are questioned. And so these are these decisions have to be made far beyond just facts and data.
 | 11:28 | It has to also be made on the foundation of belief and trust. I love that point that even a business to business sales, it’s still a person to person. We’re still talking to people as people, and sometimes when we just get the data and the facts and the figures in there, we’re talking more like positions. I am the salesperson, you’re the buyer. But when we tell the story, we are talking about people to people in that situation. So it humanizes us more
 | 11:58 | We need those people to trust us in order to buy from us and storytelling will build trust, partially because of the chemical reaction that you get when you hear a well told story, there’s great research, you can go geek out on this with doctor Paul Zak from Claremont graduate university. He talks about this all the time. But when you listen to a well told story, you get an increase of oxytocin in your brain. 
 | 12:27 | An oxytocin is a hormone that builds trust. It leads me to connect with you because now we’re person to person, I know you trust you and like you better. The oxytocin increases that so that I can feel more comfortable while I’m putting my career on the line by making this purchase from you, I can trust that because I know you better as a person. And so storytelling is a great way to build that trust in those sales relationships. 
 | 12:58 | Is it also fair to say or at least I’m in the ballpark that that chemical reaction that engenders at early trust via storytelling also creates a longer term memory? Because these stories do stay with us over the long term. It’s what we remember in human to human interactions. Absolutely. Absolutely. There’s a lot of other research around the impact of storytelling on memory.
 | 13:25 | One of them that I remember they had three groups of people in this university study, and they gave one group the data that they wanted them to remember just verbally. So they just shared with them the information. The second group, they gave them the data, but they showed them charts and graphs, which is another thing we tend to lean on, right? Here’s some beautiful pictures that just describe this data for you. The third group, they shared the data in the form of a story. 
 | 13:55 | And then they checked in with them a couple of weeks later to see how much they remembered, how accurately they remembered, and how much they trusted that information. The people in the first two groups that got the data just verbally and then got it with charts and graphs. They remembered about the same amount of information with about the same level of accuracy. So there wasn’t significant difference between those two groups. The third group, remembered more, remembered it more accurately and found the information more credible
 | 14:28 | And that was the part that really threw me that surprised me a little bit, but that goes back to that building of the trust that comes from hearing a well told story. So there’s great impact on that memorability, not just of the information, too. But if you as a person, you think about that, when you’ve gone to any kind of business meeting and you hear somebody tell a really impactful story, you remember the story, you remember the information, you remember that person too. And in sales, isn’t that what we want? 
 | 14:56 | We want those prospects to remember us. As well as our company. Completely agree with that. So with that said, we have, I don’t even know the number is probably in the billions when you add up all the corporations out there that have training organizations. And they play an important role. You hire a new salesperson, bring that individual in. And they have to learn the products. They have to learn the technology, the service, the offering, they have to learn the data, the proof points, the objection handling, but I have not come across a training organization within a corporation. 
 | 15:32 | That teaches people how to tell stories and how to create this linkage that you write about in master storytelling and create the space of being memorable and building trust. Why do we have that gap? All these billions of dollars invested just in the data, the science, the information, the facts, but we miss this other part, which is so a part of our DNA. I think there’s a little bias there of well, storytelling seems light. 
 | 16:01 | It seems fluffy. And we don’t see the business connection that you and I have been talking about in our time together here. There are organizations that are starting to see that. We have some clients that they very purposefully teach master storytelling to their sales professionals. With that idea of take all that information, take all that product information that you’ve got, that great product knowledge that you’ve got, all the data that we’re giving you, but then tell the story, what’s the story that’s going to connect your clients and your prospects to that information? 
 | 16:38 | So that they have enough trust that they will buy from us. I think it’s just a bias that is like we just need this information. We start we start treating sales more as a position thing than a person thing. And that’s where we get lost in that and we lose that personal connection. But I think that there are a lot of organizations that are starting to see that light to see the impact that we have in that person to person sales and how storytelling can make that impact. 
 | 17:10 | Well, I’m glad to hear that you and others are out there and there’s investment being made in this, I guess, there’s also investment being made in my group that teaches this as a part of other communication best practices. You know, it’s interesting, when I work with more senior, either sales leaders, marketing leaders, or even business professionals. And we go through storytelling. They say, okay, Andy, when I’m with customers, I get it. I’m more comfortable today than I was yesterday with that. 
 | 17:37 | But when the chairman of the board comes and sits in the boardroom and I’m giving a business review, how do I weave storytelling into that? And is it appropriate? So as you become more senior, you’re spending more time managing shareholder customers or board customers or executive customers within the walls of your business. How do you how do you teach or how do you, what best practices would you give to those business leaders on how they can be effective with storytelling in that environment? 
 | 18:09 | It’s really interesting that you bring that up. Just a few months ago, I had a conversation with a sales professional who was saying, oh, I love your book. I love the process that you’re teaching here on storytelling and I use it all the time. And I ask him, how do you use it? Give me some examples. And he said, well, one of the ways that I use it is when I have my monthly meeting with my sales manager. I not only share with them the data and where my clients are, but I tell them the story of why they’re there of what’s holding some people back and what’s helping move some forward. 
 | 18:42 | And I tell them the story of what I’m doing to help move that process forward. It’s interesting because I get less pushback from my manager now that I’ve started to do that. So let’s take that up a level. You talked about presenting to the executive committee or to board members. Well, these are people that have made investments in that organization. And that’s an emotional investment as well. It’s not just a logical investment. 
 | 19:09 | So if you can share with them, some of those stories that are showing the impact that we’re having on people’s lives and on organizations and on their success, that’s going to strike a chord with them. Again, I’m not saying set aside all the data and just tell them stories. But when you present the data, tell them the story of what that means and the impact that that’s having. Maybe even tell them the story of the impact of the investment that they’re making on people’s lives. 
 | 19:39 | Both internally within the organization and with the clients that you’re serving. That can have a great impact on those people being more committed to you and to your organization. Does the phrase or the I don’t even know if it’s a full sentence, but I think it’s a pre sentence almost. Let me tell you a story dot, dot, dot. Is that an almost an automatic attention grab or no matter who you use that line with? 
 | 20:08 | You know, sometimes people hear that and they go, oh, you’re going to tell me a story and they roll their eyes. I think mostly of my kids, when I would say that to them, but at the same time, there is that inherent human reaction within us that says, but this might be interesting. Just think about the history of mankind. How have we communicated important information to each other as a species? It’s through story. Go back to the cave paintings. 
 | 20:39 | We got pictures on the walls that are there telling a story, they’re telling a story to the next generation of what’s going to happen. So there is something inherent within us that is attracted to that concept of a story and what it can mean to me. Storytelling is how we make sense of the world. And so think about you wanting to make sense of your world for somebody else that maybe is not in your world. Telling them that story can bridge that gap and help them make sense of that information that you’re sharing with them. 
 | 21:12 | Makes a lot of sense. And I heard a story recently as I was driving from Wisconsin to Michigan and going around the south part of Lake Michigan, I think is where I heard this anecdote was how much fire and humans finding and being able to control fire changed culture, changed human relationships. 
 | 21:35 | Ultimately, over a long term, our DNA and orientated us to story, because before fire, the sun would go down and within an hour, people would go to sleep. With fire, you could go later into the evening and to fill that time, people shared stories about what they did that day. 
 | 21:57 | They spoke later into the night because of the heat and the light of the fire kept people up later, and that became story time and still to this day, you get home from work, you gather for dinner, you talk about your day, you may turn on the television, you watch your succession or billions or whatever series you’re watching, but you’re seeking story at that time of the day, and that is directly attributed back to the discovery of fire and the evolution of story taking humans later into the dark hours of the day. 
 | 22:32 | I love the connection you’re making between story and light and warmth. That comes from fire. Because I think there’s a great connection that’s there too. Again, it’s how we connect as a species, right? And when you want to make those connections with other people’s story is the best way to get there. Now, I want to take it one step further too, to say, it’s not just sharing a story to share a story. We sit here in the dinner table. We sit around the campfire. We may just share experiences for entertainment purposes. 
 | 23:01 | But when it comes to business, we want to be intentional about why are we telling this story? What are we trying to get to? And that intentionality in our storytelling will keep us focused to leave out extraneous points, but get into the real salient points that help get to that point where we’re going to teach lead seller inspire, which our IC is the big intentions of the purposes that we want to use in business storytelling. That makes a lot of sense. 
 | 23:29 | And so let me take you through a scenario, Mark, and how to sort of flex this muscle of storytelling. If I’m cold calling or cold emailing a prospect where trust has not been established, I don’t know that individual yet. Do I need to be thinking about trying to transmit a story in that cold call in the first 7 or 8 seconds that I’m engaging with a new prospect in that email? Or is there a storytelling in terms of inspiring and teaching and leading and selling? 
 | 24:01 | Is that come a little bit later as trust starts to build and grow? I think there’s a form of story in that initial contact. And it really comes, I’ll even go back to our free podcast conversation that we had before. We started talking about where are you from? What’s it like there? What are things? And Andy immediately was able to make this connection of, oh, yeah, I’ve been skiing out into the Salt Lake City area. I always get surprised about how close the mountains are. 
 | 24:31 | And we had this conversation and immediately we’re connected. We have this common ground. So it’s finding that common ground as a first step, that’s a form of a story. It’s not a real formal story, but that at least leads us in. Now, think about the first things that you talk about with a new prospect. You talk about their needs. You talk about their challenges. Well, this is going to get you to the point where, okay, what’s the story that I can tell where I’ve talked to people who’ve had those similar challenges. 
 | 25:01 | And so it does very naturally lead you into, well, let me share it with you an experience that a client of mine had that was in the same situation that you’re in, or at least a very similar situation. And then that relatability starts coming in where they’re seeing you getting into their world. And it makes that trust connection that you understand their world you understand what they’re dealing with. And that’s where you can introduce one of those client stories. 
 | 25:32 | Sometimes we think of those as case studies, and we send people the case study, but case studies the way they’re written are typically very, very formal and formulaic. And they don’t have the same structure as a story can that really builds that suspense and that the danger of a goal not being met with a good resolution at the end. And so just verbally being able to tell a two to three minute story can make those kind of connections. Even early in this sales process. 
 | 26:02 | Absolutely. And you know I think there’s another word in there to paraphrase a little bit of your description on that early storytelling is empathy. And if someone’s telling you about their challenges, you can show empathy through a story. It’s like, oh, I really understand what you’re going through. Let me tell you another client of mine was facing the same issues. You link then, there’s that commonality, that connection through empathy. And then, oh, by the way, there’s likely a solution that you provided for that other client that has helped them through a similar challenge. 
 | 26:33 | And, oh, that may be enough of a spark to say, yeah, why don’t we go have coffee a week from now, or why don’t you give me a call and we’ll talk about this a little bit more. Perfect. And that’s really all salesperson needs from that first interaction. Right on. And I’ll put another potential place to use story out there that we don’t often think of in sales relationships. But it’s where that empathy is really important. And that’s where you’re dealing with objections. So think about some of the common objections that you hear from your clients. 
 | 27:03 | Maybe you get them to a point where they’re interested, but they’re like, oh, we can’t. We don’t have budget this quarter. Or, well, I’m just not sure it’s the right time, and again, you’re going to probe and ask, okay, why? What are the why are those objections really there? That also gives you a great opportunity to bring in a story that says, I had a client that had exactly that same challenge. They had that exact same objection. In fact, this client that I’m thinking of, they decided not to buy in the moment. 
 | 27:32 | And they came back to me the next quarter, the very beginning of the quarter, and they said, hey, we’ve got to buy this right now because we’ve had so many problems with this. I wish we’d just spent the money earlier. And you can share with them a story that says to them, okay, I am not alone in this challenge that I’m facing. But it also made me prompt something in them to say, yeah, is that challenge really valid or am I just using that as an excuse right now? And should we really do this? 
 | 27:59 | It just keeps that door open so that the objection is not a hard stop for you in that relationship. That’s a really elegant way to avoid the hard stop objections or to keep the conversation and the emotions going in a way that allows you as a salesperson to stay engaged and hopefully get that follow-up opportunity. So very you know, we’ve been talking a lot, Mark about broad definitions of stories about the connections to customers you know. 
 | 28:34 | I’ve heard people tell stories and they’re great storytellers, and I’ve heard others who maybe not the best storytellers. So what makes you a good storyteller and how can salespeople practice this art? I’ll go back to a word that I used earlier, intentionality. I think that’s the first thing is to tell the story with an intent. No upfront, what is my purpose in telling this story? A lot of times you’ll hear people who are really good storytellers. 
 | 29:02 | You get to the end of the story and you’re like, okay, but what was the point of that? Why did they spend this three to 5 minutes leaving listening to you about this story? So there’s the first point is to be really intentional about how you’re telling stories. The second thing I would say is learn the structure because there is a structure of how to tell an effective story that has the impact that you want it to have. A lot of people, as we research the book, they have these 8 step processes or 12 step process or 7 step process that you go through. 
 | 29:35 | That’s too complex for my simple mind. So we boiled it down really to a three step process that gets you thinking about, what do I need to include in each of those steps to have the impact that I need at the end of this story? And then the third thing I say is just practice. Just do it. It’s like any skill we were talking earlier about skiing. The first time you went skiing, how good were you at that? Not good enough, especially on the icy slopes of the Montreal mountains.
 | 30:07 | Yes. There you go. So for me, the first time I went skiing, it was more falling down the mountain than it was skiing. It takes that practice. It takes intentionality. It takes somebody giving you some coaching and advice on it too. And giving you some direction on what went well and what didn’t. Sometimes you can do that for yourself just by recording your story and listening to it. You’ll pick out the parts. It’s like, oh, that doesn’t work. That phrase right there didn’t really convey what I was trying to convey. 
 | 30:36 | I think another great point of feedback is just looking into the eyes of the people that you’re telling the story too. And seeing what resonates with them, seeing what they react to. Know that you’re not going to be perfect at this as you first use it. Just keep trying, keep learning from those moments, and you’ll get better at it and have more impact with your storytelling. 
 | 30:59 | I think that’s a wonderfully strong sales skill is to communicate and then also be an observer at the same time so you can process the body language, the reactions that you’re getting and then make adjustments, or inventory that memory, and then as you practice your storytelling, incorporate the non verbal and or verbal feedback that you got back while you were telling it. And you know sometimes even go so far as if you ran on a little bit with your story or it just didn’t land the way you want. 
 | 31:32 | It’s like, you know what? I could have shared this better with you. Here’s the main takeaway and then just be vulnerable, be open and people are going to, people rally for one another, especially if they’ve given you that time in that space. And so just be very self aware and continue to work on storytelling. And I think you know being intentional about it is Mark a great word that you’ve given us. And your description there brings out that really important point again about being human. 
 | 32:02 | And when you’re human with other people, even when you make mistakes, when you admit that mistake and you admit that humanity that you have, they’re pretty forgiving of that, because they’re a human too, and they’ve had those same kind of problems. They’ve probably had experiences where they tried to tell a story to convey a point and stumbled through it and it didn’t make the point that they wanted. So when I say, you know what? That didn’t land the way that I wanted to, but here’s the main thing I want you to take away from it. They’ll be empathetic to that because they’ve probably been in that situation too. 
 | 32:34 | Absolutely. And it also, you know, a couple of words that you’ve used, be intentional, and also humanize yourself as a salesperson, you know, we could share stories about the lines and the, you know, the bad stereotypes of salespeople from movies, be it Alec Baldwin’s character in glengarry Glen Ross, always be closing. You know, what do I have to do to put you in this car today type lines? 
 | 33:00 | That turns people off, a story is probably 95% of the time, I’m gonna pull someone in. And it reminds me, actually, some of the best storytellers that I’ve come across who are just really conversational storytellers and they infuse story into almost how they just talk, sentence by sentence, and it’s so relatable, our professional athletes. And I work with the National Hockey League and when they work with guys who are transitioning from their playing days to their next 50 years of their life and career off the ice. 
 | 33:33 | And the storytelling from the locker rooms to going to the ice rink at 5 in the morning, being the rink rat, the interviews that they’ve done on what radio stations, the amount of detail and color that’s given one that they remember all this is unbelievable, but two, it is so endearing to the listener to go right into that level of detail. You know, really colorful detail and very specific things enhance the storytelling experience. 
 | 34:06 | It enhances it in a wonderful, wonderful way, because you’re painting a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when you can paint a picture in somebody else’s head, their own picture is actually even more powerful. Because you’ve given them really a vicarious experience. Maybe they didn’t live your same experience, but they lived something close enough that they’re living their own experience within your story. 
 | 34:33 | And so painting those detailed pictures makes a difference. Now, you don’t want to get so detailed that it turns into a novel. But you want to paint enough of the picture that they can feel it. I was telling a story to another podcaster who’s a big baseball fan. And so the story I chose was a story about when I was coaching my son’s tee ball team. And I gave what I thought was a clear instruction, and it just went totally over these 5 year olds heads.
 | 35:03 | And I related that back to, do we do that in business? Do we do that as leaders? Do we do that as sales professionals? We say something about our product, but maybe as an internal buzzword, but it goes over the other person’s head. But as I’m telling that story, the listener because he’s a baseball guy, said, oh, I felt like I was standing on the grass right next to you during that story. That’s what you want with your listeners because think about that. He’s standing right next to me. 
 | 35:31 | If he’s standing next to me, he trusts me enough to be there. And again, that’s really our focus is building that trust through the humanizing of storytelling. That’s great. Maybe the last question on storytelling for you, Mark, is that do you find that stories also want to be reciprocated? So as a salesperson, may open up with story that the gift of sharing that story of connecting that you often find with customers or just in human relationships that someone wants to share a common or similar experience back. 
 | 36:05 | It goes back to that connecting, but do you see this almost tennis volley back and forth of a great story is reciprocated with another great story in return? We love stories because we live stories. That’s our lives. It’s those little moments of our lives. So think about this again back into asking prospects or customers questions about the challenges they’re trying to overcome or the objections that they have. What if you ask them, well, give me an example of that. 
 | 36:33 | You know, somebody says, we’re just not hitting our numbers as well as we should. Well, give me an example of what you mean by not hitting the numbers as well as you should. Well, give me an example of a person who really struggled with that. And what were the struggles that they were coming up? They will tell you a story. And it’s interesting how that will connect you back and forth as well. You will get into their personal world a little better that way. And you’re right. 
 | 37:00 | The reciprocation of that story will bind you together as people. It’s sitting around the campfire again. Where we’re sharing those stories that connect us as a species. Very true. That’s great. So Mark Carpenter, the author of master’s storytelling how to turn your experiences into stories that teach lead and inspire, we’d also add cell to that list as well. Mark, the sales warriors can find you at and it looks like there is also a free book out there if folks go out and get to your website. 
| 37:34 | Is that right? There is, but you have to know exactly where to go. So it’s  and then with the forward slash podcast gift, so podcast gift. And if you’ll put that in for the high price of your name and email address, I will send you a copy of the ebook and you can get into a little more of the structure we use and where and how you can use storytelling to help to reach your goals. That’s great. 
| 38:03 | And I will put all of mark’s contact information and all these links into the show notes. Also connect with Mark on LinkedIn as well. And you know it’s just, it’s great that there are folks out there like you who have really gone into the research into the science into the structure of how to tell storytelling that there is a structure, it’s easy to follow, great, three steps, fantastic. We can remember that we can do that. 
| 38:32 | And I’m also really inspired that more and more organizations are hiring you and your team, Mark, to bring and train salespeople on the art and really the gift of storytelling. And that is an explosive sales opportunity out there. So really, really optimistic, really bullish about where your ventures are going and where storytelling is going as well for salespeople. Thanks so much, Andy. And really, it goes back to what we’ve mentioned over and over again. 
| 39:01 | It’s the humanizing part of doing business. You talked about some of the stereotypical salespeople that show up in movies. Gone are the days when that is actually even viable. It just doesn’t work anymore. We live in a world where the relationships we have with people are so, so important and particularly in business. And so that’s my goal is to help us to lead and sell more like people than processes or positions. 
| 39:30 | And storytelling, I think, is an impactful way to help us to do that. Mark Carpenter, thank you so much for a great conversation and joining the Sales Warrior Within podcast today. Great to be with you, Andy. Thanks. Thank you again to Mark Carpenter for joining the Sales Warrior Within podcast and sharing his expertise and passion. And reminding us of the importance of storytelling. You can find Mark at 
| 40:01 | And again, please check out his great book, master storytelling how to turn your experiences into stories that teach, lead, and inspire. You’ve been listening to the Sales Warrior Within podcast. My name is Andy Olen, and as always, good selling. good leading, and good living.