The Story Behind The Story Ep 224

Summary Notes


In the Gym Secrets podcast, the host discusses the power of storytelling in sales, emphasizing the importance of conviction and congruency throughout the customer experience. He shares an anecdote about transforming a lackluster gym into a perceived exclusive, private workout space for high-profile clients, illustrating how a compelling narrative can elevate a business's appeal and lead to successful sales. By aligning every aspect of the sales process with a world-class brand image, from the initial contact to the service delivery, businesses can create a persuasive story that not only attracts customers but also instills conviction in their sales team.

Summary Notes

Transformation of Business Narrative

  • Speaker A discusses changing the narrative of a gym from a basic setup to an exclusive, high-end facility.
  • The transformation aims to attract celebrities and politicians by offering discretion and a sense of exclusivity.

"I flipped the narrative of the story from, like, some, some hood upstairs, you know, five individual rooms, right, which literally had barbells in the middle of them, to this swanky secret, almost like mini secret society like transformation center that only celebrities and politicians would go to, purposely off the beaten so that they could maintain their discretion."

This quote explains the shift in positioning of the gym from a standard, rough space to an elite and secretive center. It highlights the strategic move to cater to a niche market that values privacy and exclusivity.

Gym Secrets Podcast Introduction

  • Speaker B introduces the podcast's main objectives: acquiring customers, increasing customer value, and retention.
  • The podcast also aims to share failures and lessons learned in the fitness industry.

"Welcome to the Gym Secrets podcast, where we talk about how to get more customers, how to make more per customer, and how to keep them longer, and the many failures and lessons that we have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy and subscribe."

The quote serves as an introduction to the podcast, outlining its focus on business growth strategies and sharing insights from past experiences within the gym industry.

Conviction in Sales

  • Speaker A emphasizes the importance of conviction in separating successful salespeople from the rest.
  • The challenge is to instill a high level of conviction not only in oneself but also in others consistently.

"And so one of the things that I think has been really powerful, maybe even one of the most powerful things that separates really good salesmen from everyone else, is their level of conviction."

This quote underlines the significance of conviction in the sales process, suggesting it's a key factor in the success of salespeople.

Congruency in Sales Process

  • Speaker A discusses the concept of congruency throughout a sales process as learned from Dan Kennedy's book.
  • The customer experience should align with the business's desired perception and communication.

"But the most valuable thing that I can say that I got from the book was the concept of congruency throughout a sales process. And so the choreography of the customer experience, that their experience should match the expectation of the perception of what the business wanted to communicate."

The quote highlights the idea of congruency in sales, meaning every aspect of the customer experience should reflect the business's branding and messaging consistently.

Choreography of Customer Experience

  • Speaker A describes the meticulous attention to detail in a New York brothel's customer service to maintain a high-end image.
  • The use of British accents on the phone was part of the strategy to convey a sense of luxury and class.

"And so they took a ton of care in this. It was like a New York brothel to make it feel like this call service was truly top notch. The women on the phone were british. They had this so they could sound like rich butlers, all that kind of stuff, and whatever the term is for a female butler, but you get my point."

This quote illustrates the use of specific tactics, such as employing women with British accents, to enhance the perceived value and class of the service offered by the brothel, demonstrating the application of congruency in customer experience.

Theme: The Importance of Aligning Prospect Expectations with Reality

  • Understanding the prospect's perspective is crucial in any sales or service experience.
  • The alignment between what is promised and what is delivered must be consistent to maintain credibility.
  • Discrepancies in the expected experience versus the actual experience can have negative consequences.
  • A mismatch can lead to a loss of trust and can drastically change the prospect's perception of the service or product.

perspective, understanding how they greeted people, how they had the experience, how they did the follow up, all of that fit within the prospect's mind.

This quote emphasizes the importance of considering the prospect's point of view in every aspect of the interaction, from the initial greeting to the follow-up.

And she talked about how if for some reason any one part of that story was not aligned with the true imagination of what they had created and depicted in the prospect's mind, they would pop and then all of a sudden they would just be a whorehouse.

This quote illustrates the potential negative impact of not meeting the expectations set in the prospect's mind, which can lead to a complete shift in perception of the business.

Theme: The Power of Storytelling in Overcoming Misaligned Expectations

  • Storytelling can be a powerful tool to reshape perceptions and overcome initial disappointment.
  • Crafting a new narrative that positively spins the situation can help align the prospect's experience with their expectations.
  • The ability to adapt and reframe the narrative is essential in sales, especially when faced with unforeseen challenges.

And so the challenge was how am I going to overcome the story that people are seeing with their eyes and tell them a new narrative?

This quote highlights the challenge faced when the actual experience does not match what was promised, necessitating a new story to bridge the gap.

And so the narrative that I came up with, and it was in DC, is, I would say, okay, because things aren't that far apart. So I told people, I was like, oh, yeah, these individual rooms. I was like, have you ever been to whenever start working out, you want that privacy, right?

This quote demonstrates how the speaker created a new story, focusing on the benefits of privacy to counteract the initial negative impression of the gym's facilities.

Theme: Adapting Sales Techniques to the Environment

  • Sales strategies must be flexible to adapt to the environment and the reality of the product or service.
  • Understanding the local context and leveraging it in the sales pitch can be effective.
  • It's important to find unique selling points that resonate with the prospects, especially when the product or service is not as initially described.

It was literally five individual rooms in two different apartments. And there was bars on the windows and creaky, really dirty steps. There's like the corner market right down the street.

This quote describes the actual environment the speaker encountered, which was starkly different from what was promised, showing the need for a flexible sales approach.

And I'm like, right. And so a lot of our clients really appreciate the privacy that we offer them because we have a lot of people who prefer to keep their identity secret.

Here, the speaker uses the unique aspect of privacy as a selling point to adapt to the unexpected situation and make the product appealing to the prospects.

Engagement with Audience on LinkedIn

  • The hosts are seeking to connect with their audience on LinkedIn.
  • They encourage listeners to send connection requests and notes to indicate they are listeners of the show.
  • The hosts are open to suggestions for new connections and appreciate audience engagement.

Just to let you know that we've been starting to post on LinkedIn and want to connect with you. All right? So send me a connection request, a note letting me know that you listen to the show, and I will accept it. There's anyone you think that we should be connected with, tag them in one of my or Layla's posts, and I will give you all the love in the world.

The quote indicates the hosts' desire to build a community on LinkedIn and engage with listeners by accepting connection requests and interacting with their posts.

Storytelling in Business

  • The speaker discusses the power of storytelling in attracting clients to a business.
  • They emphasize the importance of flipping the narrative to highlight exclusivity and privacy as key selling points of a service.
  • The story transformed the perception of a fitness center from a basic setup to an elite, discreet location for high-profile transformations.

And I would tell that story just like I just did. And all of a sudden, people were attracted to wanting to be part of this new thing that was off the beaten path that was upstairs in this building. I was like, we're purposely discreet. That's part of how we do things. We don't want to be out there and in the public. We are the place that people go to that they don't want other people to know that they're coming and doing those big transformations.

This quote exemplifies how the speaker used storytelling to rebrand a fitness center, emphasizing its discreet nature and exclusivity, which appealed to a certain clientele.

The Importance of Conviction in Your Company's Story

  • Conviction in one's business story is crucial for success.
  • The speaker stresses the need to believe in the excellence of one's company and its mission.
  • The narrative should be internalized and confidently conveyed to close sales and achieve business goals.

Right. And so that is the story behind the story. Right. Obviously, you have to do your sales process the same way you normally would. But the thing is that, because it was useful for me, he told me that's what was going to happen. And so I incorporated that into my belief system. And I was convicted when I was explaining this story about what we were trying to do. And by doing that, we were able to close away higher percentage, et cetera. And, I mean, we crushed it.

The speaker describes how integrating the narrative into their belief system and delivering it with conviction significantly improved their sales process and business outcomes.

Self-Reflection and Authenticity in Business Messaging

  • The speaker encourages self-reflection to identify the core identity and values of one's company.
  • Authenticity and true conviction in the company's mission are crucial for persuasive storytelling.
  • The problem highlighted is that many people lack genuine conviction, which weakens their business messaging.

And so what you can do from that is, first ask yourself the story behind the story. What type of company are you? Right. And if you can be convicted in saying that we are world class. And the big problem here is that many people aren't convicted. They think, they say, I want to help 10,000 people. I want to change people's lives, but they're not really convicted about being the best.

This quote encourages individuals to introspect and find the authentic 'story behind the story' of their company to communicate with conviction and truly resonate with their audience.

Importance of Storytelling in Sales

  • Storytelling in sales is a powerful tool for conveying a business's essence and value proposition.
  • A compelling narrative can help overcome objections and negative perceptions.
  • The story a company tells becomes its brand identity, which can influence customer and employee belief in the product or service.

"And I think it's incredibly powerful in a sales setting, especially because we're always just telling stories."

This quote emphasizes the centrality of storytelling in sales, suggesting that narratives are the primary method through which sales messages are communicated.

"And if you can create a story of the type of business that you are, then it will be hopefully something that the person that you're talking to wants to associate with."

This highlights the importance of crafting a story that aligns with the values and desires of the target audience, fostering a connection that can lead to a sale.

"And so anything that you have that could be perceived as negative, you have a story that you can flip to use in reverse of that story to explain it away and even position yourself in a better way as a result of that."

The quote suggests that a well-crafted story can reframe potential negatives into positives, enhancing the company's position in the eyes of customers and prospects.

The Power of Conviction and Brand Identity

  • Conviction in a company's story can be a decisive factor in closing sales.
  • New salespeople must be indoctrinated with the company's narrative to effectively communicate its values.
  • The prestige of a brand's story can empower salespeople, influencing how they interact with potential customers.

"That story that you anchor yourself with is going to be the thing that gives you the conviction that can close so many sales for you."

This quote underscores the role of a company's story in providing the confidence needed to persuade customers and close deals.

"And if you can get that conviction, they will speak with a different air to prospects."

The quote implies that belief in the brand story affects the demeanor and effectiveness of salespeople when engaging with prospects.

"Think about how the salesman at Gucci or Prada or Chanel or any of these really top tier brands talks to a prospect."

By referencing luxury brands, the speaker illustrates the impact of a strong brand identity on the sales process and customer perception.

The Importance of Brand Exclusivity and Target Audience

  • High-end brands often use exclusivity as part of their narrative to attract a specific clientele.
  • The language and behavior of salespeople reflect the brand's story and the type of customers they aim to attract.
  • Companies should be aware of the image they project, as it can either deter or attract their desired customer base.

"They're trying to attract people who want that, right?"

The quote indicates that brands intentionally craft stories to appeal to customers who value exclusivity and a sense of elite status.

Choreographing the Sales Process to Reinforce the Brand Story

  • The entire sales process should be designed to consistently reinforce the brand's narrative.
  • Knowing and aligning with the brand story ensures that all actions by salespeople are coherent and contribute to the overall sales strategy.

"So that's the story behind the story. If you don't know what your story is, it's being made for you and it's probably not the one you want told."

This quote warns that without a deliberate brand story, an undesirable narrative may take hold, potentially harming the brand's image and sales efforts.

"I highly recommend getting that straight, making sure the sales guys and girls and yourself included, know what that story is, so that everything they do is in alignment with that's."

The speaker advises that a clear understanding of the brand story among all team members is crucial for maintaining a unified and effective sales approach.

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