Selling Brands by Telling Stories with Paul Smith


“Brands don’t have stories. People have stories.” Paul Smith is an acclaimed speaker and expert trainer. Specifically his work focuses on how stories and storytelling can influence leadership and life. His latest book, Sell with a Story, looks at the impact stories have on the processes of selling. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

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About Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a popular speaker and expert trainer on business storytelling  techniques. A former Procter & Gamble executive, his clients include Hewlett Packard, Bayer Medical, Progressive Insurance, Walmart, and other distinguished companies. As the author of Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story, he has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Time, Forbes, The Washington Post, Success, and Investor’s Business Daily. His latest book Sell with a Story, focuses on how to capture attention, build trust, and close the sale. He lives in Mason, Ohio.

Episode Highlights

From Lead with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and now Sell with a Story, Paul has developed a powerful personal brand through his books. How did this happen? “I wish I could tell you I had a master plan. The first one exceeded expectations so we just kept going.”

What makes stories such powerful tools? “They tap into the emotional center of the mind — the irrational part of our brain. Stories are emotional delivery vehicles.”

How do stories help deliver leadership? “When we look at leadership, we’re talking about change, collaboration, and feedback.” Stories are powerful tools in driving those actions. “Those are leadership tasks. You lead people. They aren’t management tasks.”

What are some examples of stories that all salespeople need? “I outline 25 different stories that salespeople need in Sell with a Story. There’s the ‘value-adding story.'” Paul then shared a fascinating story he was told about a piece of art he ended up buying. The story added the value. He also talked about the “problem story,” which he gave an example of by telling — you guessed it — another story.

What brand has made Paul smile recently? “Backroads is like a combination of a travel agent and sherpa guide.” Paul shared several smiles as he used stories to tell us why this company is one of his favorite vacation resources.

To learn more, you can follow Paul on Twitter and learn more on the Lead with a Story website.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community … Recently Bhupinder Nayyar gave us a shout out all the way from India for our episode featuring Aaron Orendorff. Thanks Bhupinder!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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