The Ambition Project Show - Reach Your Full Potential

Posted by Vince Poscente on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 @ 04:38 PM

You may enjoy this article by Deirdre Sanborn - drawn from an interview we had recently. Enjoy. (video link below)

I sat down with Vince on The Ambition Project Show to talk about five key ideas from his book, The Ant and The Elephant: Leadership For the Self.  The book is a simple, but powerful metaphor of how to reach your full potential in life.  Vince discovered these keys while on his journey from inexperienced athlete to record-breaking champion and Olympian.


  1. Clarity

Vince didn’t realize that he wanted to be an Olympic athlete until he found himself as a spectator, watching his friends and peers competing as he sat in the stands.  Vince had a moment of clarity--an emotional bomb went off and he clearly knew that he had four years to defy the odds and compete in the next winter Olympics.

As ridiculous as it sounded, there was no turning back from his ambitious, albeit unreasonable, goal. And, sure enough, Vince would go on to set multiple national speed skating records and would compete in the next winter Olympics.

The determining factor was not that he was mildly interested in being an athlete--he was so fired up about it, it informed the way he lived his life from that moment on.  If you’re not passionate about your goal, you aren’t passionate enough to see it through. *click to tweet*

What sparks a fire in you each time you think about accomplishing it?  Write it down, set in stone, give yourself a tangible goal so the decisions made after that point are run through the filter of what you want to accomplish.

Remember--vague goals don’t count!  Every business leader and manager wants to “increase sales" and "lower expenses”, so set yourself apart--be specific and instead say “increase sales by 35% by the close of the first quarter, while decreasing expenses by 5%.”

Clarity sets a visual end point, while vagueness muddles the finish line.

  1. Commitment

Anyone who has been married for more than five minutes understands that commitment is more than just good intentions set out on paper.  Commitment to anything is a process and often means a significant change in mindset to see it through, day after day.

If you’re committed to this goal, what are you actively doing right now to reach it?  Vince identified four key areas that when commitment and discipline are applied, guarantee success down the track.

Financial - Research what it takes to meet your goal.  Prepare business plans, target budgets, manage cash flow, seek out investors, and align yourself with financial providers that will improve your chances of meeting your growth objectives.

Physical - Even if you’re not training for the Olympics, exercise, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep are proven methods to help you stay focused and on track with your goals. Even business leaders need to stay in shape physically since physical health correlates strongly with mental sharpness. Stay on your game!

Technical - Become a student--learn more about what it takes to cross that proverbial finish line.  Read books by people who are leaders in their field who are already doing what you’re passionate to accomplish. Listening to podcasts like The Ambition Project Show that are informative and mind-expanding (shameless pitch) help make learning entertaining and fun!

Mental - The toughest of the four, commitment with your mind requires a unique understanding that delayed gratification is your friend.  Saying “no” to anything less than what you are pursuing takes a sound discipline in staying focused on your goal.

  1. Consistency

At some point in your pursuit, you’re going to want to run away from it, if you’ve dreamed big enough. It’s going to be scary and your commitment to seeing it through will be tested.

Setting habits in place early on will be your backbone when your knees start to shake in fear or doubt. The four areas above (financial, physical, technical, and mental) are the easiest areas to stay consistent and focused.  

Setting a budget, being accountable to a gym partner, or even scheduling reading time into your work calendar all give you a solid foundation to keep going, even when you don’t want to.

  1. Confidence

If your goal is to be the market leader in your industry, you need to be performing at your highest level. Since you’ve already been committed to researching what the current market leaders are doing to set themselves apart, you don’t actually need the experience to be confident to know what direction to take.

The quickest way to poor performance is by letting fear pervade your thoughts.  

High Fear + Low Confidence = Low Performance

Low Fear + High Confidence = High Performance

Vince’s advice is to not let fear debilitate you, but instead let it motivate you.  Fear is always going to ask you “what if”, so take that “what if” and learn from it.  

“What if that new contract falls through?”  Understand now, before heading into it, how you can be prepared so that it doesn’t.  Research the client--why are they looking for a new supplier?  What happened with their previous one?  How can you use it to your unique advantage?

When you’re prepared and proactive, you harness the power of fear and focus it as a powerful motivator.

  1. Control

Even when you’re confidently practicing the other four points, control over meeting your goal may still not feel natural.  

You may even find yourself in a situation where you feel out of control, but that’s never  100% true.  You always have control of what you bring to the situation and your reaction to it.

Vince offers these practical ways to help set you up to be the most confident, high-performing, in-control person in the room.

  • Get there early - Give yourself time to get settled and your work in order.  Being rushed will only make you feel stressed, provoking a fear response.
  • Breathe - Deep breathing is a proven and effective method for physiologically reducing stress.  You’ll feel more relaxed, think clearer, and speak with confidence.
  • Visualize the outcome - Going back to the first point, having a clear picture of your goal in mind will keep focused and motivated to achieve it.
  • “The Vortex Technique” - This is the idea that if you bring your best energy into your mind it will translate into peak performance.
  • Let go and have fun - As trite as this may sound, the more relaxed and comfortable you are, the more everyone around you will be.  The key to feeling in control is to not let stress cloud your thoughts--having fun is a quick way to bring everyone’s stress levels down.


There was one point in particular that Vince shared that helped get him on to the ice as an Olympic speed skier--he was willing to more than what his competitors were.  

While most were keenly focused on physical training, Vince threw himself into learning every aspect of speed skiing as he could, which meant investing time and money into reading and understanding his financial requirements.

Take time to really think about what your big goals are and clarify them.  Once that’s done, it’s up to you to do everything in your power to understand what your competitors are doing and what they aren’t willing to do--that is where you will find your springboard to success.

If you enjoyed this content, subscribe to The Ambition Project Show and hear more interviews from inspiring, successful guests.

Deirdre Sanborn is a keynote speaker,  business consultant, and executive coach. She is also the host of The Ambition Project Show. Subscribe to her podcast on iTunes or on the web at You can also find her on Twitter at @deirdre_sanborn or on the web at 

Tags: Motivational

Top 5 Most Stressful Jobs? Event Planners Make the List

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Mar 09, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

 For a motivational keynote speaker of 20 years, there is very little stress associated with that one hour on stage. But for event coordinators, the mismanaged stress can be all consuming. Persistent, on-the-job stress can manifest into a cadre physical and mental issues. Event planners, you earned every gray hair on your stress-for-success head.


"What stress? They hired pros." Madison Advisors 2016 CCM Roundtable Event Organizers - Kelly Dittrich & Patricia Kilgore

Each of us can readily empathize how serving in the military, police force, fighting fires or flying a plane can be stressful, but you don't truly know how stressful planning an event can be until you've walked a mile of convention center corridors in their shoes.

How hard could it be? Fourteen years ago, the echoes of the stress organizing a surprise birthday party still linger in the dark shadows of my psyche.

The surprise? A fake funeral as my wife's 40th birthday party. The idea (admittedly, not a great one) involved:

  • Invitations sent out as a replica of an obituary in the newspaper.
  • The guest of honor, Michelle, enters and is immediately ushered down the aisle atop a chaise lounge; carried by 6 pallbearers.
  • The event would be hosted by a Professional MC.
  • The eulogies would be given by friends and relatives based on a specific agenda.
  • Between each eulogy, video messages would play from people who couldn't make the Dallas event.
  • A mixer would conclude the event with food and drink.

After just one event, I swore I would:

  1. Appreciate every single event planner I ever met in my keynote speaking career.
  2. Never, ever plan another event unless I hired professionals.
  3. Did I mention, never plan an event without professionals?

The professional MC, Dale Irvin, did a masterful job. He was funny, on point, did a hysterical opening, moved the eulogists along and rolled with any issue that came up. Outside of that, there were PLENTY of issues. The eight guest presenters did a fine job, but organizing them, covering for those who didn't show up as promised, shifting the schedule around for others who wanted to speak at a different time, nudging the amateur-hour-going-long, adding last minute audio/visual handed to me minutes before they were to speak.... Then there was the technology! Making sure the videos played with the right sound and timing. NEVER AGAIN... without professionals.

Event Planners - you have chosen a profession where perfection seems to be your client's minimum expectation. Anything that goes wrong, gets noticed. And in today's world where someone has to take the fall. Tag, you're it. 

If you know, or work with an event coordinator - be kind to them. Give them hugs. Buy them each a massage following the meeting. 

If you are an event planner - be kind to yourself, go get hugs from your adoring fans, get that massage after your event. You picked a rewarding profession with the prospect of a thorny path. 

Oh, and as for organizing a funeral for your wife (in place of a real birthday party...), let's just say, Michelle has a sense of humor but I'll never do that again either.  

Tags: Business Leadership

Do You Like Adventure?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

These words, first heard 23 years ago on a remote trek, are now for your ears. 

"Do you like adventure?"

If so, you may be interested in one of three available spots for an expedition to summit and name a mountain in the Himalayas. If "adventure" doesn't only involve remote expeditions, you are correct. If "the hammock" is the adventure you'd rather have, you might want to keep reading.


I first heard, "Do you like adventure?" in 1992 when a expedition leader, Frank, needed support along the infamous Adrenaline Surge route of the West Coast Trail. Adventure can be a healthy addiction. Years later I joined teams for the first ever ascent of Chakri Peak (16,000 feet), up the jagged, rocky teeth in Sikkim and to the summit of Shrikhand Mahadev (17,195 ft with my son Max). I also lead an expedition over the 17,000 foot Pin Parvati Pass. Our plan to name a peak near the pass never materialized but one thought never went away. "How cool would it be to name a mountain?" Put that on your bucket list and smoke it. (If you're going to mix a metaphor, at least make it mysterious.)

What adventure is on your horizon?

By their nature, adventures are always easier in retrospect, but also, by their nature, adventure beckons curious souls wanting to squeeze more out of life. Getting comfortable with life is like climbing into a hammock. It can envelop you and won't let you readily escape. On the flip side, adventure can have moments of profound discomfort but laced with supreme bliss, enlightenment and wonder. 

Where is the next adventure you will set out on?

If joining a June 26 to July 9th, 2016 expedition into the Himalayas is of interest to you, click here.

Expedition 2016 Details

Having been on six expeditions, four of which in the Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim regions of the Himalayas, I'm now gathering adventure seekers interested in the experience of a lifetime. On June 26th 2016 we will be setting out for a trek to the top of the world. It will be a non-technical climb in the most remote parts of the Great Himalayan National Park. Waiting for us are certain mountains which touch the sky, yet have no name... yet.

If climbing to the unnamed summits is not your cup of chai, then what adventure awaits you?

Enough entropic comfort already. Climb out of that hammock and explore.

Do you like adventure?



PS Do you know someone who should see this invitation? If so, please share this blog link.

Tags: Team Building

3 Motivational Steps on Making More Money

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 04:41 PM

Want more money? Fear of something is holding you back.

Less fear = More money

Less fear equals More money photo and quote by Vince Poscente

What fears do you associate with money and what can you do to change your mind regarding money?

Step 1. CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS. If you believe: money is the root of all evil or wealthy people are greedy or you're always broke or you don't have enough money or you can never get ahead OR 1000's of other negative beliefs YOUR BELIEFS will be the number one reason you don't have enough money.

  • Sit down and list off the dozens (if not hundreds) of moments in your life where you took a negative financial turn in your life. For example, you didn't join a group for a fun activity because you lacked finances. 
  • For each "negative money moment" identify the decision(s) you made at that time. For example, you decided you didn't deserve to join the fun activity. 
  • Now identify the belief(s) you associate with each decision. For example, by thinking you didn't deserve to enjoy that experience with friends your belief is a general lack of deservability around happiness. 
  • Now picture in your mind's-eye that decision is a poisonous cocktail of fears, negativity, poor decisions and caustic beliefs. Be specific with what you see.  
  • Close your eyes. Picture that poisonous cocktail. In your fertile imagination, pour that crap into a chemical septic toilet. Flush it away.
  • Next, visualize spraying your empty glass with clean, refreshing, loving water.  
  • Finally, fill the glass with a positive mixture of empowering and loving money beliefs.
  • Rinse and Repeat! 

Step 2. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE. If you say things like "filthy rich, an ungodly amount of money, unbelievable wealth, stinking rich," etc., you are programming a negative association with money. At a profound level you block money from coming to you by attaching negative association with money. Rejuvinate your money language with "amazingly rich, a Godly amount of money, wonderful wealth, deliciously rich."  

Step 3. CHANGE YOUR REALITY. Here are some tips and tricks.

  • Keep a $100 bill in your pocket at all times.
  • Feel good about doing something creative towards making or saving money. 
  • Exchange your expertise for money.
  • Surround yourself with people who have a winning mindset.
  • Wake up and go to bed with "grateful thoughts."   

Think back to high school. Remember that teacher who said, "no two things can occupy the same space at the same time." Replace the mental space your fears occupy with the above steps.

You will have more money when you have less fear.

What are ways you have CHANGED your beliefs, language and/or reality around money?

Tags: Goals, Self Development, Motivational, Money

Soar High Over the Wall of Uncertainty

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

IMG_2143.jpgBreath deep when facing uncertainty and you will soar to new heights.

It is simple physiology... when you oxygenate your mind/body you perform at a higher level. 

Thank you for sharing this quote and image with your friends. It may be the boost they need.


#fullspeedahead #FriendsShareWithFriends 

Tags: Motivational

Is Technology Messing with Your Integrity?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Are you having to endure an increase in canceled phone calls, lunch meetings and appointments? Is society's level of integrity (keeping one's word) devolving into a quagmire of "Something came up and it's more important than you," or is there a mechanism triggering an unsettling trend of cancellations and rescheduling?

It is happening multiple times a week. Clients, suppliers, prospects, friends and colleagues are canceling our set 'appointment' at a disturbing rate. Regarding appointments, there is distinct shift from, "My word is my bond" to "My word is a approximation of a bond I may or may not honor due to unforeseen circumstances."

Excuses are on the uptick as well. These excuses have no set pattern. Our morning meeting ran long. My client called with an emergency and we had to address that first. There was a last minute trip to Chicago to meet a prospect. I didn't expect the vehicle inspection to take two hours.

To understand Cancelmageddon, let's start at the end and work backwards.

4th - When a person cancels or asks to reschedule he basically sends the clear, yet unspoken, message, "Something more important than you came up."

3rd - That person was forced to choose between his appointment and something unexpected.

2nd - The unexpected is often precipitated by either:

  • An overly optimistic sequence of appointments
  • A lack of contingency
  • Unfettered access to each of us through mobile technology

1st - That person plugged appointments in a calendar turning a blind-eye' to the fallout from 2nd, 3rd or 4th above.

How is this happening more today, than ever before? Technology has allowed us to fit more into a day. Efficacy has run amok.

To spell this out in the simplest yet broadest terms, let's use the following Before & After Surge in Technological Innovation scenario as an example:

Get more done in a day, at a cost.

What took an hour to do in the past, now takes minutes. Instead of enjoying all the discretionary time, we fit more in. Why, because we each LOVE to get more done. Instead of one thing accomplished in an hour, let's say we have six things we can now accomplish. In days gone by, one task had a chance of unexpected consequences. Now, we have six tasks with unforeseen results. The shift from 1x to 6x raises the odds of an unpredicted choice by 600%. We are only human. Plans change. Odds are, with technology doing what it is supposed to do, each of us is facing an unfortunate message we are receiving and sending, 

"Something came up and it is more important than you."

Is technology messing with your integrity? Yes... but... don't blame technology, use it.

Start at the end and work your way backwards. Use technology and your intention to:

  1. Send a Clear Message - "You are the most important person" (Especially at 2 pm on Wednesday.)
  2. Eliminate the Chance of Choice - Communicate early and often about the commitments you have made. You always have a choice. People will respect you more when you keep your word.
  3. Always Build-In Contingencies - As a guideline, put a half an hour buffer between calls. One hour on either side of meetings and at least two hours surrounding uncertain activities. Put non-appointment activities (emails, tasks, flexible activities) in the buffer zones.
  4. Direct Your Attention to Possible Fall-Out. For each appointment, quickly imagine three scenarios which could mess with your plans. In turn, plan accordingly for fall-out.

Use technology to your advantage. Turn the tides of (perceived) disintegrating integrity.

Your word is your reputation. 

Tags: Self Development, Motivational, Business Leadership

What if Uber and Walmart had a Baby?

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

"What if Uber and Walmart had a baby?"

Now that's a subject line that would entice you to read an email (see below for the answer).

But what if your subject line reads like this:

"Follow up to our conversation"

eeechhh, blahhh, grrrrgh, bleeeesch.

What does it take to write a good subject line? Simple. Your noggin.

By putting some of your creative brain-power into your subject lines, you will have more impact and influence. Here are 5 Must Do's for Email Subject Lines:

1st. STOP putting Features before Benefits. If you send a regular/weekly email - stop making the first few words the feature "Weekly Report," for example. Start with the benefit:

  • ie. 3 Mistakes New Moms Make (then insert the feature): Weekly Report.
  • If you are sending a 'one-off' email. The same rule applies. Put a benefit into the subject line.
  • Instead of "Next meeting," consider putting, "You're going to love our next meeting." 

2nd. START with a Domino. You want the subject line to domino into the next domino (being the body of the email).

  • The first line of the body should 'domino' into the next line. And so on. 

3rd SUMMARIZE your Message (when possible). If you're emailing to set up a meeting, then put the summary in the subject line.

  • "Leaders meet 10.01.16 @ 3 pm Boardroom" is more efficient and effective than...
  • "meeting conversation"
  • Be a hero and save your recipients time.

4th CHANGE the Forwarded Subject Lines. You can be the light in the dark abyss of the emails. Use discretion for work flow purposes, of course. BUT, the fearless subject-line-changer is to be revered.  

  • "Meeting is 01.25.16 @ 9 am Starbucks on Alpha" = good.
  • "Fwd. Fwd. idea" = bad.

5th HAVE FUN with your Subject Line. Inspiration can come from:

  • A play on words. eg. Announcement in our Bored Room.  
  • A counter intuitive statement. eg. If at first you don't fail...
  • A exaggerated benefit eg. Even Martians like our product launch

What does the subject line of this 70 Second eBrief mean in this email?

What if Uber and Walmart had a baby? Put it this way:

Uber is, "We're there when your friends aren't"  


Walmart is, "People-Watch while you Save money. Live better."

For you, this is what our weekly, motivational 70 second eBrief is meant to be:

  • Save money (and time).
  • Live better (feel better, have more fun, think better).
  • Be a friend to get you where you want to go. (People watching optional)

Tags: Sales, Motivational, Business Leadership

First - Have the Last Laugh

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

The art of reinvention is NOT about starting with a market need. The path to reinvention starts with what YOU need. More specifically, that 'juice' that gives you energy - is what the market is looking for.

Think back to the television phenomenon, Seinfeld. With loyal viewers and a record setting finale, "What are you going to do to top this?" was Jerry Seinfeld's oft heard question. Immediately he knew he could not possibly supersede the success of his show. He felt lost. How do you reinvent when you have reached extraordinary heights?

Jerry Seinfeld instinctively knew to follow his passion, not to follow the whims of a fickle market. The Jim Rohn belief, "You will suffer one of two pains - the pain of discipline or the pain of regret," was not lost on Seinfeld. He eats no meat, meditates twice a day and exercises religiously. In a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview he described his reinvention as going back to what he loved, "Making people laugh." It didn't have to be a new sitcom. All he asked of himself was to explore what gave him energy, the world of making people laugh.

It's revealing to see what drives Jerry Seinfeld in his 2002 documentary, Comedian. He searched for the answer to one question, "Where does comedy come from?" If there is one quality the finest comedians have in common, it's fearlessness. Seinfeld fearlessly chased this question coming up with an entirely new stand-up routine while crossing paths with comic colleagues. The gravity of this undertaking is underscored in Raymond Barone's reaction when he finds out Seinfeld isn't using any old (read "dependably safe") material. 

In 2007 he co-writes and lends his chops to the Dreamworks production of, The Bee Movie. Again, he explores 'what makes people laugh?' 

Most recently, the 61 year old comic, while relentlessly delivering stand-up routines at set dates around the US and surprise visits to comedy clubs in New York, he dove into a concept his wife came up with: an American version of the BBC hit, Top Gear. At this point you would think it was a layup for a mega-celebrity on the threshold of being a billionaire. Not so.

His idea, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was a tough sell. "The hard part was finding anyone who wanted to do it.... They didn't get it." Seinfeld could not convince any Internet powerhouse to host it. The concept? A show where comedians talk about comedy. He pitched every Internet outlet he could. None wanted it. "I thought, 'What kind of track record do you have to have?'"

Over 100 million views and six seasons later, Sony's website, Crackle, is having the last laugh. 

To each of us, the lesson is clear. Reinvention is not about starting with a kitschy angle. It is not about pointing towards a hidden need in the market (like becoming the next Uber or The pursuit that should be in your cross hairs is what feeds every cell of your body.

Who you are. NOT what you do. 'Your being' must lead 'your doing.'

Start there and you'll also have the last laugh. 

Tags: Self Development

From Self Doubt to Greatness - Fast

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

No matter how much we invest in ourselves, we always have some measure of self-doubt. How does one say goodbye to the negative voice sitting on our right shoulder? Well, we couldn’t think of anyone better to guide us, than Vince Poscente, the internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, founder of The Goal Acceleration Institute, and author of two of our favorite books: The Ant and the Elephant and The Age of Speed. His specialty? Helping people achieve big goals in less time.

We would like to share with you an interview between getAbstract and Vince Poscente.

gA: How would you describe the two books of yours that we’ve created summaries of for getAbstract?

VP: Well, The Ant and the Elephant is a personal development book, told in parable format; the ant being the metaphor for the conscious mind, and the elephant for the subconscious. The theory is that when you align your ant and your elephant then things get easier and more fun; in other words, it's less arduous to get to where you want to go. And then The Age of Speed is more of a concept book about the world we live in, and how we can thrive in a fast-paced world without feeling like we're overwhelmed.

gA: Thanks! OK, so tell us, how do we conquer that little voice of doubt? The naysayer that sits on our shoulder?

VP: First off, give him or her an identity – for me he's short and green – and then accept that the voice of doubt is completely natural and there must be a reason why the subconscious mind serves it to us. Simply acknowledge that the voice of doubt is there, and to talk back to it. Say “Thank you for your opinion but that's not part of my vision. My vision is [insert your elephant (i.e. emotional) buzz here] because that’s what will get me to the endpoint I desire.”

Want to help your employees move past self-doubt and on to greatness? Please let me know and I will customize the flyer below containing Vince’s titles in addition to a selection our getAbstract’s most popular motivational summaries.

(Above was value add sent by getAbstract to their individual clients. Should you wish to save time and stay current on the latest business books, check out




Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Business Leadership

Story Time is Sticks

Posted by Vince Poscente on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

Want something? A sale? Somebody's help? You may be leading with the wrong strategies and tactics. Fine tuning objection handling techniques. Product comparative analysis. Ensuring your SEO target words are driving inbound leads. A clever way to argue your point. Sure, all that’s important but masterful stories are critical as an upfront approach. Tell great stories or, better yet, create 'viral' stories and look what happens next...

Every one has a trip tradition. Buy a spoon or a mug. Drink a local brand of beer or keep the coaster. Hold onto a piece of currency or make sure you get “that stamp” on your passport. What has been our trip-tradition? Buy a piece of art. Over the years, we have aquired works from Ireland, Cuba, India, New Zealand and Russia. Closer to home, Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Chicago and New York. It wasn’t until Paris in January, 2002 did we realize how important ‘story time’ is in our buying decision. So important that it crucial in the corporate landscape as well.

Paris in the winter will drive you indoors. The denture jangling, bone twisting, don’t stick your tongue on that bronze gargoyle COLD - gets you running for heat behind welcoming doors. Once inside you are compelled to buy something. By design, you go to the district in Paris where art galleries are waiting for appreciative buyers.

At the closest art-shop you see, you stumble through the door. The tiny brass bell designed to flip a latch and ding decides to ring into non-existence. The entire latch and bell blast off the hinge and ding, klang, bang its way across the worn wood floor. You turn to your spouse and say, “It’s so cold, the doors are freezing their bells off.” Your spouse would laugh but it was so frosty her lips aren’t ready for action just yet. Things heat up when she scans the room for a piece of art waiting to be the next in the acquisition tradition.

The art is appealing and has potential. You envision what pieces could go on which walls. A cherished memory from this trip is waiting for your Amex card.

“Could you tell us about this piece?”

The gallery attendant has her head buried in something on her screen. Her wood desk has nothing but a lamp and a computer on it. It is a tired desk ready for some paperwork. She looked up with a confident gaze and said, “It is one sousand Euros.”

Expecting more of a description we realized the attendant, the resident pro, the sales goddess was clearly not enthused about the first attractive piece.

“Could you tell us about zat one?” you accidentally ask in a French accent.

“Zees is seecks ‘undered Euros,” the ‘sales person’ says with more interest.

“Yes. Thank you. What can you tell us about it?” asks your spouse, giving the ideal person the room the chance to put the “sell” into sales.

“It is oil. It is possible to ship. It is elegant – oui?”

You try to like what you see but nothing is connecting. Could we rationalize the purchase anyway? It is, after all, our tradition. But, a half an hour later you leave the store empty handed. Unable to contain her annoyance, your spouse says under her breath, “Why buy something without a story?”

Immediately upon going back outside the temperature froze any further inclination to spend money or time on a piece of art. The moment was gone and the French GDP would have to do without our contribution.

Now, let’s talk about your sales strategy?

What are the tactics and strategies you use to close a sale? Do you sell products, services or both? Or, are you selling a specific initiative at work? Are you attempting to convince an external client or a colleague of a certain direction? Chances are, if your lips are moving you are trying to sell something. If that is the case, what will help your cause? Story Time.

Story Time in Sales has three key elements in common:

  1. Story Time is Personal. The purveyor of the story needs to connect with the story. In the case of the art work, the attendant should have said something about how she enjoyed meeting the artist. If it was a widget, the seller would say how he uses it at home.
  2. Story Time Paints a Picture. When telling the stories, bring the listener into the experience. For example, the art gallery dud of a saleswoman could have said, the art was painted on the cold spring day where the artist had to warm her oils in her pants pockets. The widget seller could say the invention was an accidental result of trying to design a motion sensitive light and the widget became a better item.
  3. Story Time is Experiential. Bring your purchaser into an experience rather than just being an observer. That means the art gallery lady could have engaged more. She could have asked about the design of our home. Mentioned how the artist was the same age as we were and how he always wants to keep every piece he paints.

If you want your stories to travel, make them compelling.

If you want to add rocket fuel to the sale, turn the sale into its own unique story that is a personal, picture painting experience. Do this and your product or service comes with an echo effect.

Case in point: I was test driving a Tesla. The copilot said, “At this straight away, step on it. Don’t worry. You won’t scare me.” I had no idea what he was talking about until the accelerator touched the carpet. With a zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, head pinned back, wheel gripping ride, the ‘copilot’ created a story I’ve told over and over. It was personal! The car painted the picture! It was tantalizingly, spine-buzzing experiential!

When a product, service, direction or idea captivates someone’s imagination it gets told repeatedly at the “purchaser’s” home or office. Like an objet d’art, the story about what you sell ripples across time and distance.

When others come through your door looking for the same thing, this means more sales.

Want to make your intentions sticky. Use story time and the improvement in your results will amaze.

Promotional Capstone about the Author: Vince Poscente has been described as an invigorating and masterful story teller. He is an in-demand motivational keynote speaker on the topic of Full Speed Ahead and inductee into the Speaker Hall of Fame. Vince is a New York Times bestselling author and Olympic competitor. Encounter his story about going from recreational skier to the Olympic Games in just four years, and you’ll have your own personal experience of Full Speed Ahead painted in your imagination. He can be reached through


Tags: Self Development, Motivational, Inspirational