This short visual story is the signature story of the company FedEx. The founder and Chairman of Fed Ex, Frederick Wallace “Fred” Smith narrates. Mr. Smith’s narration is delivered with a somber cadence befitting his experiences in wartime Viet Nam.
He describes how when bullets were not flying overhead, he would observe how military logistics, a combination of air and ground transportation could save peoples lives.
When he returned home after his active duty service was complete, he founded Federal Express, using the military logistics protocols he’d observed in Viet Nam.
The story of the founding of FedEx tells the signature story of how Mr. Smith saw something broken in the world and set out to fix it. Although it makes a compelling signature story for FedEx, it is a more powerful story about the founder and his desire to share his story as a tribute to the 58,220 who never returned from the war.
Every brand should have a founding. Do you have a story that describes why and how you came to found your business?
If you do not have a signature story ready to share, and you want to get started working on it, we are here to help.
Storytelling has the power to change the biology in humans, in real time. Yep, that’s right, when you hear a frightening story cortisol is released into your bloodstream. The hormone cortisol is released in response to stress. When you hear a relatable and compelling story oxytocin is released into the bloodstream. Oxytocin has been called the trust molecule.
Approximately two thousand and five hundred years ago Plato said, “Those who tell the stories, rule the world.” Plato and his contemporaries knew that story exerted a special power over humans. Today neuroscience provides us with fact-based proof of the power of story. Science now validates what Plato knew anecdotally, way back in the day.
Today we do the work required to become better storytellers because science has given us proof that humans are called to take action, by great storytelling.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Paul Zak has conducted extensive research on human decision making, Dr. Zak wanted to know what makes people buy. Dr. Zak focuses his research in the area of neuroeconomics. During his research, Dr. Zak discovered he could forecast with great accuracy the percentage of a stipend paid to each participant would be donated to a non-profit at the end of the session.
After all of the research was concluded Dr. Zak authored a couple of fascinating books titled, “The Moral Molecule” where he discusses his decades of research into oxytocin and how it is instrumental in creating a sense of trust among strangers. Dr. Zak’s other book “The Trust Factor” is where he continues to make the case for oxytocin and presents how important it is to understand the connection between HOW we communicate and the levels of trust our communications engenders in business.
The power story wields to drive human actions and emotions is real. We humans have always been wired to communicate.
So, each of us should make the commitment to invest time in being better at telling our brand stories?
What is equally important doing the work to become much better at listening to the thoughtful, insightful and compelling stories/narratives of our colleagues, clients, and those all-important ideal prospects we seek to reach and engage?
Our team here at The Art of Standing Out – Story Lab, is here to help when you are ready to begin.
So, you need to know how to implement an effective social selling business plan? Who are you gonna call? Brynne Tillman! Brynne is Best Selling author of The LinkedIn Sales Playbook and Chief Learning Officer of Vengreso a modern sales and marketing knowledge center.
Our conversation covers a lot of ground.
We talk about the power shift that has taken place, where salespeople no longer wield the power of access to information. In the past, when a consumer wanted to know what a solution provider offered, how to implement it and at what cost, the consumer had to engage a sales representative to acquire that information.
Today’s consumer is now the most empowered consumer ever. The power of the internet and mobile media make acquiring information about virtually anything can be acquired at the frictionless speed of the internet. So, who needs a salesperson, no one does.
80% of consumers have researched the product or service they wish to acquire so well that by the time they contact a salesperson 80% of those consumers know what they want to buy and how much they want to spend.
With salespeople losing control and essentially being relegated to the role of an order taker, salespeople had to change, and fast.
How Social Selling saved the Sales
Social selling enables salespeople to do the work to understand the businesses they serve and the markets those businesses reside within.
Social selling has allowed salespeople to do the work to establish their authority in the field they work within.
Social selling has enabled the salesperson to get out of constant pitch mode to become more adept at collaborating with clients to deliver the best solution.
Here is a list of a few of the subjects we discuss:
Huthwaite Sales Model S.P.I.N
Challenger Selling Model by CEB
Miller Heiman Blue Sheet
LinkedIn as Brand Strategy vs. Resume
Using Advanced LinkedIn Features
Pre Call Planning
The Importance of Market Research
Defining the Buyers Journey
Establishing Thought Leadership
I enjoyed this conversation with Brynne. I hope you find the ideas and concepts shared in this podcast help you accomplish more sales.
Sit back, grab a notepad and your favorite beverage and listen in. When you have any question about data we discuss, leave us a message in the comments and we will get our response back to you pronto.
The cost of your success is found in your answer to the following question.
How are you willing to suffer?
This is post is my reading of a HuffPost article written by Mark Manson Entrepreneur and author and world traveler. He writes on how people can improve their lives, as well as social commentary and various life experiences at MarkManson.net.
This audio file requires 14 minutes from beginning to the end.
If you are a reader and prefer consuming this article in that way, I’ve attached a link to the article here: http://bit.ly/2iEfsll
However, you decide to engage with Mark Manson’s ideas about success and struggle, before you begin to find a comfortable space, grab your favorite beverage and maybe a close friend or colleague who might enjoy the topic too.
So, what is the cost of success? Mark answers the question by asking us another. What are you willing to suffer?
I enjoyed reading Mark’s insightful and thought-provoking answer to this question, I hope you do too.
I truly enjoyed my conversation with my favorite executive coach, Blair Glaser. Why, because she has always willed solutions into the world that make meaning in the lives of others.
The template for our conversation was borrowed from a passage in a book BIG MAGIC written by Elizabeth Gilbert. In Big Magic. She wrote this book to address what she believes about the notion of finding ones passion in life.
Ms. Gilbert says she believes there are two paths people travel when finding their passion. She says some people are like jackhammers, it’s as if they are born knowing what they will do with their life. Those jackhammer people are very clear, they decide what they will become, a doctor, teacher, fireman, or astronaut. Next and perhaps most importantly they do the work to bring their aspiration into reality. Jackhammer people focus in the way an arrow focus it’s energy on it’s flight to the target. Those jack hammer people travel swift and far arriving exactly where they had planned, on target.
Then there are those people whose life is lived like a bumble bee or butterfly They travel from one flower, then another, gathering knowledge, learning and growing with each and every flight. Their journey does not flow like the flight of the arrow, quite the contrary their journey zigs and zags. Their journey travels over different fields seeking flowers rich in nourishing pollen nectar. Collecting nectar for bees is like collecting ideas, experiences, and skills for us humans. Some of us travel on life’s paths, collecting experiences until one day we take the sum total of our journey, on that day, is when we know we have found our passion.
Ms. Gilbert suggests we shouldn’t value the jackhammers journey over the bumblebees and butterflies. The route of the journey takes is not important. So what may take the butterfly and bumblebee longer to discover their lives passion. We should honor both the jackhammer and bumblebee.
Big Magic offers deeper insights into finding your passion and so much more, Be sure to grab a copy then find a comfortable chair, because you won’t be able to put it down.
This conversation tells the story of Executive Coach – Blair Glaser’s journey. Listen in, as we discover together if the trajectory of her journey, was more like the flight of the butterfly, or the bumblebee.
During our chat, Blair & I talk about:
Studying acting as a pre-teen in NYC
Studying Theatre Arts at Northwestern University
The Collective Dance
Overcoming Blocks and Obstacles
Love of Teaching
Being a Clinician
Executive Coach Role & Responsibilities
Workshops in the Woods – Nature as Teacher
Finding you power by embracing you story
Now it’s time to go prepare your favorite cup of coffee, tea. If it’s later in the day perhaps it’s the perfect time for a glass of red wine and tray meats and cheeses. Next, you’ll want to find your favorite comfy sofa or chair and settle in.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to chat with my favorite Executive Coach, Blair Glaser. During our chat, she offers insights into her journey. When you listen closely you may hear an idea, two or more for how to optimize your journey.
My goal in our chat was to illustrate for everyone listening live and on replay that finding your passion may not happen when you want it to, because it’s a journey. So, be sure to remember to take copious notes at every milestone on your journey. One day the experiences you had and the notes you took, will serve you well. Embrace the ride.
Tracy Goodwin is an Executive Coach – Voice & Presentation Expert, Keynote Speaker, Workshop facilitator and Founder of Captivate the Room.
Tracy brings 30 years of experience as an educator, trainer, entrepreneur, facilitator, and speaker.
I enjoyed interviewing Tracy because I’m truly fascinated with the work she does, and I am sure you will enjoy listening and learning from Tracy too. I have a blast each time I speak with Tracy because I learn great techniques and tips about how to maximize my voice in order to truly captivate the room. I’ll be working on all of the tips and techniques Tracy shares during our interview. So get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage and now that you are all set, let’s jump right into the conversation.
The Art of Standing Out – How our brand name became our Northstar.
Spending time working with my executive coaches helped me find the Northstar in my brand name that was hiding in plain sight. My executive coach simply pointed to what was already there in the acronym for The Art of Standing Out ~TAOSO.
This post is a story of serendipity.
The Art of Standing OutRead the text to understand what was hiding in our business name and how once accepted it became our Northstar. Watch the video podcast to hear our thoughts on the power of Storytelling and why you should learn to harness your story powers.
In 2009 I launched my social media marketing agency and named it The Art of Inbound Marketing. I was very pleased with myself when I selected that name because I had always wanted a business with my name on the masthead. Utilizing the Art of, satisfied that itch and yes, I thought I was clever using the play on words – The Art of. However, unbeknownst to me, serendipity had intervened on my behalf and bestowed “The Art of” moniker onto me and my business for a reason.
In 2014, in order to provide a more end to end suite of solutions to the customers I serve, I added a second line of business to my practice. The new line of business became The Art of Standing Out focuses on using human-centered design and brand storytelling to create compelling brand strategies. With a solid brand strategy, our clients are able to optimize their marketing which allows them to maximize sales performance.
In 2015 something almost magical happened. One day while working on a proposal and looking at the acronym TAOSO, which represents the brand name The Art of Standing Out, I realized the first three characters make the word TAO. Taoism also spelled Daoismhas shaped Chinese life for more than 2,000 years. The central principle of the TAO philosophy is everything is better when it works in harmony with everything else in the world. Merriam Webster says the TAO is the art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing.
What struck me about my discovery was the intention of the word TAO was, in fact, consistent with my intention for my business. My business practices are focused on helping my clients establish alignment and harmony between the following:
What they do
Why they do it
Who they do it for
How their clients are changed after they acquire their products or service.
Initially, I thought, well that’s nice but you can not inject Chinese philosophy into your brand story. I asked myself who aside from me, a person with experience practicing Tai Chi (which is intrinsically connected to Taoist/Daoist philosophy). I was certain people would not get it, the whole idea would be a bridge too far for my clients to cross, the brand would be rejected as being too frou-frou.
This is where my executive coach enters to help me realize I had a blind spot when looking at my brand name. My executive coach shined a light on the opportunity my brand name had delivered to me, the challenge she presented was would I embrace the guiding light that shone brightly from the name #TAOSO?
Then, one day soon thereafter, I sat down with a perfect cup of coffee to read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert titled Big Magic. In her book, she wrote, and I paraphrase – As an artist, there are times when you have a great idea, perhaps it’s a great treatment for a book. You work on the book and then one day you set it aside and begin work on something else. Elizabeth says that the Muse is always watching the artist at work. When the work is going well the job of the muse is to provide a constant flow of inspiration. However, when the artist falters and falls into inactivity for far too long, the muse becomes anxious, believing the idea will not come into existence. So as guardian of great ideas and provider of inspiration the Muse moves to take your idea from you and find someone else who is ready to embrace the idea. The Muse begins looking for someone else, someone truly ready to use the idea and take persistent action. The muse moves to find someone committed to breathe life into that great idea.
So, after reading that passage in that book. I knew I was faced with a choice. Embrace the serendipity and embrace the true nature of the work I do, why I do it. My mission is to encourage businesses and business pros to work toward establishing strategic alignment between every element of their internal operations with the intent to bring the business into alignment with their external business partners, the community of fans and of course their clients.
For me, this became a big part of my evolution. Ii went from a business with the intention to make money and transformed into a business unabashedly committed to and proud of liberating this idea of The Art of was more than a clever play on my name but an integral piece of the why I do what I do and how we do it. With this realization, my brand became more complete. The intention puzzle was now clearly in focus. I now proudly allow the idea of TAO to drive our focus on helping our clients achieve alignment and harmony in all things related to their business. TAO has become central to our philosophy, our brand strategy and serves as a constant great reminder of what the work we do is all about.
And so the story goes, once upon a time, I was happy because I’d found a clever way to incorporate my name into my brand. Adding my name to my brand name, was my ego talking seeking ego gratification.
Today my perspective is completely different. These three letters, TAO when coupled with our embrace of Human Centered Design function as our twin NorthStars, guiding our business intention and interactions with the people and businesses we’ve built The Art of Standing Out to serve.
I came close to changing my business names to more something more vanilla. Now I am very glad I didn’t. The acronym TAO remains an integral part of our brand name and holds an esteemed position in our brand lore.
Now about the video of my conversation with interviewer Jonathan Tripp (attached above).
About 12 months ago, I enjoyed the pleasure of talking with the host of Jonathan Tripp Live, Jonathan Tripp. During our conversation, we talked about many things yet we always seemed to circle back to, how storytelling empowers Leaders to LEAD.
Jonathan is a great interviewer and asked thoughtful questions. There is a point during the interview where you will hear a long pause as I stop to process how to answer one of his questions. Great questions are a signature of what makes a great interviewer and Jonathan is a great interviewer.
Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed the conversation.
So, it’s time to go get your favorite beverage, and head over to that comfortable chair to tune into our video podcast. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed the thought-provoking conversation.
Our story illustrates how each of us has blind spots preventing us from seeing, and engaging with awesome opportunities. Executive coaching works like an x-ray machine, illuminating things that are there yet you can neither see nor sense.
We are here to serve as your executive coach when we will be ready when you are. Give us a call, we would love to hear from you.
Welcome back to The Art of Standing Out for another podcast episode.
In this episode Tracy Goodwin Founder of Captivate The Room, interviews me. We discuss my business practice, what I do, who I do it for and how they are changed after acquiring my products and/or services.
I am always a bit intimidated when speaking with Tracy because after all, she is an expert voice and presentation coach/trainer. However I’ve got a thick skin and know everytime I speak with Tracy even when she is interviewing me, I learn something. that is the true benefit of always surrounding yourself with brilliant people.
So now it’s almost time for us to begin. Go and get your favorite beverage, find a comfortable chair and settle in for my conversation with Tracy as we discuss The Art of Standing Out.
I read an article this morning with this title “Do sales people need to be thought leaders? I say that the sales representative of today needs to be a leader and so much more. This rebuttal addresses what happens when you do not encourage your sales rep to do the work to establish herself as a leader within the industry and line of business she serves.
Today’s sales landscape is very different than it was in the last century. In the 1900’s prospecting, following up, closing deals, objection handling and closing again was what was done because it worked. Back then salespeople had the upper hand, they had most of the information. During much of the last century salespeople were indispensable (I’m referring to those well trained salespeople from notable companies like Xerox and IBM).
Today’s buyer is the most empowered buyer ever, because now they have easy access to information due largely to the ubiquitous nature of social and mobile media. This HBR article excerpt says: “your customers including the ones you haven’t met—already know all about your offerings. On average, prospective buyers in business-to-business settings have completed 57 percent of their due diligence work before they engage a sales representative.” Where does this leave salespeople?
Well without having something thought provoking, insightful or compelling to share with the customer team doing the due diligence it’s difficult to insert yourself into the buying cycle. Here’s what the average sales representative is relegated to when the sales manager says (1) Keep prospecting and the DM says, We have already selected our best 3 solution providers, (2) Keep following up with the DM! DM says stop with the spam, it’s not wanted, (3) Keep closing, refer to items #1 and #2, their nothing to close.
When you do not encourage today’s sales representatives to do the hard work to establish their LEADERSHIP within the industry they serve you set them up to be consistently left out meetings with the economic buyer #LeadersOpenDoors.
Please join the conversation and share what you believe.