How do sales people sell to other sales guys? You might think they get very technical, preening themselves with demonstrations of their intellect. You might think they brag about past achievements and future opportunities.
In each case you'd be right, but mostly they sell using stories. Sometimes those stories are true and others they're fiction. They're always direct and simple. Mostly about wins, but also be about failures. And they are always counter intuitive, illustrating a point the audience wouldn't expect.
Sales pros selling to other sales pro's are like stand up comedians. They have to be funny, to engage the audience in the bar. They have to be insightful, to add value. At least one side has to ring true. There's always a hero, and a villain. No story makes sense without the opposing forces.
They call these narratives War Stories - reports back from the front line about what works and what doesn't.
Why is this? Why can't a simple explanation of fact do the trick? Why aren't sales people like accountants, or lawyers, or HR professionals, or administrators?
Because sales people are a cynical bunch. They have to be. Nobody gets told the truth less often than the sales guy.
Those War Stories tell the truth, even when they're fiction.
Sales Managers, more than anybody else, tell War Stories. Often that's the only way to get their point across, to CEOs, and accountants, and the guys they're supposed to manage.
What are War Stories like? How do they entertain, and inform, and coach? How do they make the point, without lecturing?