This close is perfect when you have no idea what the prospect’s capacity is. (2:48)
This close is perfect when you have no idea what the prospect’s capacity is. (2:48)
A simple close that you can literally do on the back of a napkin. (2:54)
The ‘discovery close’ is used when you have not been able to qualify the prospect’s interests or capacity. You can simply – ask – using power questions.
You all know the story of the ‘Little Engine that Could.’ Great little blue engine that pulled the big train chanting, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” It’s about the little guy overcoming odds with attitude and proving something for himself.
It’s great. But it’s not your organization’s best story.
The Little Engine story-syndrome for nonprofits looks something like this:
Present a better story. The Little Engine That Could story is a narrative about confidence.
We want a narrative about PURPOSE!
No time for you to tell us you can give yourself a pep talk. With all due respect to the little engine, we’re not pulling a train full of toys; we’re SAVING lives, CHANGING lives and IMPACTING lives!
Inspire like MLK.
Heck, charge forward like Braveheart.
They were driven by a sense of PURPOSE, not self-discovery.
Here’s a really solid article from Rosabeth Moss Kanter at Harvard Business Review: If You Don’t Like Your Future, Re-Write Your Past. (June 11, 2012)
At For Impact and The Suddes Group, we talk an awful lot about the power of story.
This article reinforces the whole idea of changing the narrative … so that it creates a different view/perspective.
Every one of us can take this to heart. “If you don’t like how things are going, tell a different story.”
Here’s a For Impact example of how to ‘tell a different story.’ It’s an excerpt from our On Boards guidebook:
The best way to begin improving the dynamics of your Board relationship is to Change the Story.
OLD STORY: What is the current ‘STORY’ you’re telling yourself about your Board?
They want to micro-manage everything.
They won’t give us names.
They won’t ask their friends for money.
We can’t get new and better Board Members.
We are stuck with ‘Legacy’ Board Members.
We all dread Board Meetings.
This ‘story’ is familiar, but doesn’t have to be true moving forward.
NEW STORY:WHAT IF… you change that ‘STORY’ to one that sounded like this:
Our Collective Board is engaged with us at 30,000’ around our Vision.
Our Individual Board Members help us at 14,000’ around our Strategy.
Our Board truly understands their role when it comes to funding … and they love it.
Successful community leaders who believe in our Cause and our Case are fighting to get on our Board.
We have had great conversations with our entire Board about the ‘BUS’… where it’s going and who needs to be on it. Those who are not in alignment with our direction have gracefully and gratefully accepted either Emeritus status or rotated off the Board.
Our Board Meetings are now Memorable Experiences … exciting opportunities to both see and talk about our Impact! We can’t wait for the next one.
You control the Board ‘Story!’ It can be a negative story or a positive story. Your choice.
Either way, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let me tell you a story … about an amazing man and social entrepreneur named Bill Strickland. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas with him and his team at the Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh.
Bill’s credited as a terrific social entrepreneur and a visionary; he’s both. More importantly, his program to transform the lives of poor youth individuals and the community works. Harvard’s done four case studies exploring the success. (By the way, Apple is the only other ‘organization’ to be the subject of four Harvard Case Studies.)
What I really appreciate about Bill is his ‘persistent story telling.’ I’ll bet he’s shared his slide show 3000+ times. I know for a fact he’s shared his story in front of every audience that will have him … in hundreds of cities … around the world.
I share this with you for two reasons. First, Bill is a great storyteller and you need to hear his story. (Listen to his TED Talk, “Bill Strickland makes change with a slide show.”)
Second, the dude works hard and you can too! Sharing your story 3000 times is hard work. It requires persistence and conviction to your message. Sometimes you end up speaking to a room of five people and sometimes Jeff Skoll is in the audience. Bill’s stories frequently include something like, “And [insert famous/influential name] was in the audience; she came up to me and said, ‘I’d like to help!’
If you tell your story 3000 times I promise these things will happen to you as well. Here’s the thing … you don’t need to share your story 3000 times. You don’t even need to share your story 1000 times. It’s just the idea of committing to MASSIVE ACTION (as Tony Robbins calls it).
What if you told YOUR story 100 times? You WILL raise some funds and change some lives.
What if you told YOUR story 1000 times? You WILL change your sector or city.
What if you told YOUR story 3000 times? You WILL change the world.
In 2011, Bill was awarded the 2011 Goi Peace Award. This is Japan’s equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Let me tell you a story …”
The exact same story can be told very differently by different people … or in different ways.
The STORYTELLER as a lot to do with it. To most effectively ‘share the story’ of your For Impact organization, you want a storyteller who is authentic … filled with passion for your organization … and a great communicator.
To help you tell your story the very best way possible, here are the 7 SECRETS OF THE WORLD’S BEST STORYTELLERS*:
At For Impact, we’re all about training, coaching … PRACTICING! PRACTICE your STORY! ‘Practice’ with everybody and anybody. The better the storyteller … the more powerful the story!
*I cannot remember (senility) where I found these 7 secrets. If you know the SOURCE, please let me know.
Try this tool for building your story.
STORYBOARDING: It’s a Walt Disney animation term … but it works perfectly for us. Actually laying out the ‘STORY’ is a way to Prepare and Practice your Presentation!
Storyboarding works for helping you design your ORAL STORIES … WRITTEN STORIES … or VISUAL STORIES. Or any way you combine them.
P.S. The story doesn’t always start with “In 1842, Father Sorin and six brothers came to a snowy lake which was actually two lakes…” (Notre Dame).
I once spent a day at Disney World with an amazing group of Junior Achievement CHAMPIONS (aka Board Members and Staff). It was a six-hour ‘RETREAT’ and my role was to facilitate/coach to help Junior Achievement Board Members become more ENGAGED and more PASSIONATE ADVOCATES for Youth Development, Economic Development and Workforce Development.
We (60 Board and Staff Members from Junior Achievement of Central Florida and West Coast) spent the day talking about IMPACT and INCOME and their ROLE. I was totally energized by the commitment of these CHAMPIONS … and of their serious desire to figure out how to help.
As part of my ‘prep,’ I re-read one of my favorite ‘books’ called Walt Disney Imagineering, by the Disney Imagineers. It’s full of all kinds of the SKETCHES (VISUALS) that were eventually turned into reality.
Following are some tweet-like quotes from Walt Disney Imagineering that reinforce the entire idea of STORIES and VISUALS.
In a blurb that came out from Notre Dame News, the president, Father John Jenkins, was talking about his vice president of university relations, Lou Nanni.
In a very complimentary way, Father Jenkins indicated that, in the time that he has served, Lou has been involved in “shaping Notre Dame’s messaging and helping tell our story to various constituencies.”
I’ve gotten a lot of comments over the years about how ‘easy’ it would be to raise money for Notre Dame … how you don’t have to worry about doing ‘this stuff’ at Notre Dame, etc.
Father Jenkins quote seems like a gentle reminder that, even at Notre Dame, it is very important to shape the message and tell the story.
Here’s a summarized version of the STORY for The Abbey Theatre in Ireland.
They’re an amazing organization, with an incredibly rich history, a glitch five years ago that has been dramatically reversed, a terrific Senior Team and more.
I believe The Abby would tell you that one of the most important things we’ve done as their COACH has been to help them tell their story! Obviously, as a theatre/artistic/performance group … The Abbey and its leadership understand the whole idea of ‘STORY.’ The challenge was that the story they were telling (and not telling) wasn’t working.
Hope the following helps you better understand the whole idea of STORY and its power:
THE ABBEY’S STORYLINES:
Jim Loehr is one of my favorite authors. He began his career working with high-profile athletes in tennis and moved to other sports. He now runs the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, where he now focuses on executives and leaders.
His book, The Power of Full Engagement is required reading in our little organization. The entire message is on the cover: Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time.
His more recent, groundbreaking book, The Power of Story, talks about the way we tell STORIES about ourselves, to ourselves – and how we can change those STORIES to transform our business and our personal lives.
“Your story is your life.” Jim Loehr makes this point early and often. While much of the book is geared towards our personal stories … every idea, nugget and point has amazing relevance to all of our organizations as well.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It can change the way you think, operate and even fund.
This could be one of the most impactful books you can read for your own PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, your ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOMENT and your INCOME DEVELOPMENT!
Order this book fast. Download it on your Kindle. Do whatever you’ve got to do to understand The Power of Story.