Rarely does a customer tell you a story just for entertainment. In fact, it’s incredibly rare.
Stories are told to tell you the reason or justification why an account is doing something. Or, if that’s not the case, they are asking for something without asking it directly.
Stories about other sales reps screwing up? It’s an opportunity to learn from other’s mistakes.
Stories about the stack of Chateau Ego Trip that has barely sold? It’s an invitation to help find a solution through a new wine and new energy.
Stories about the new liquor store owner being awesome and really changing the culture in the shop? It’s an invitation to sell more wine and get to know a new contact.
Stories about frustrations, about reaching the peak of a job, about the future and not knowing what to do for the next few years? An invitation to help somebody, to mentor them, to take them out for coffee and build a stronger relationship.
Listen carefully. Others tell you stories for deeper reasons than you may think.
There is no such thing as an accidental story, and don’t think your customer tells the same stories to all sales reps.
All stories have a deeper purpose. Ask yourself often “what are they actually trying to tell me?”