E43. Find A Relatable Perspective through Story with Chris Watson
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Francisco Mahfuz 0:00
Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.
Welcome to the story powers podcast, a show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco first. My guest today is Chris Watson. Chris is a strategic sales and storytelling experts for Dale the breeze the sales rebellion, an organisation dedicated to changing the game in the sales world. He also works directly with individuals and teams building a library of stories to increase their customer and buyer conversations. Chris Hogan has sales skills in the hardest jobs anyone can do. going door to door and selling knives. Luckily for him, he grew up in America, because in Brazil, where I'm from, if you knock on someone's door and show them a sharp knife, you're more likely to get shot in the face than to get a sale. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Watson. Chris, welcome to the show.
Chris Watson 1:51
Thanks for having me, man. It's a truly an honour to be here.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:55
So I had I heard you talk about this selling knives thing. And I was wondering, were you already telling stories back then? Or was this still the Ginsu knife style of say, or were you just show them how quickly you can cut through a tomato or bathroom pipe?
Chris Watson 2:10
Yeah, no, I I've always I've always I say I've had a story journey. You know, when I was a four year old, I think I told stories to earn more attention. And then as I progressed in life, then I started realising Wait a minute, I can, I can tell stories to engage people. So when grandma and grandpa and uncle and teachers when I wanted to engage them, then I found my somebody's telling stories, and then it kind of leapt into teenage years of like, oh, I can educate people, I can tell people about the things I want to tell them through stories, I began to tell stories there. And then I had a few opportunities in my college years where I was on stage. And I was like, Oh, this is a great opener. I didn't have any like formal training that you know, I, I just found that they based on my personality and the combination I started getting these compliments of man, you know, who tells the best stories when you tell the best stories, man, the way you tell stories, and you just see people gravitate. And I was like, Okay, there's something to this. So when I went in sales, it kind of clicked my first job. I'm going door to door, I'm selling knives that you really only make money if you sell a knife set. And so I started asking first active story listening started asking stories about their knives and how important knives were what did they use them for? And I started telling stories about
Francisco Mahfuz 3:27
that. That one could be very tricky. So what you use your knives for awkward silence. Well, in the kitchen in the kitchen? I mean,
Chris Watson 3:36
yeah, sure. I mean, it was the rain. Lorena Bobbitt years. So
Francisco Mahfuz 3:43
customer looks, looks at the shed concerns and that they should back to you.
Chris Watson 3:50
And get invited into the shed. Right. They were gonna come up with the knives they currently had, right.
Francisco Mahfuz 3:54
Oh, there's Lorena Bobbitt. He is there. I'm sure there were some commercial about knives or something. Maybe it was just a Saturday Night Live skit or something? Where they're talking about this super sharp or an above? Yes.
Chris Watson 4:07
I bet it's out there somewhere for sure.
Francisco Mahfuz 4:09
But for people who are too young to know this reference, but what was the story again, she she I think her husband cheated on her. And she just cut his junk off.
Chris Watson 4:19
Yeah, in fact, if you want to know more about the story, I think there's a Netflix like deep dive documentary on it now that you can actually go in and look more detail because yeah, she chopped is number off after he had cheated on her.
Francisco Mahfuz 4:35
Oh, I just remember the best part of that story. afterwards. He managed to I don't know if it was the you know, the original one, but he managed to get that reattached or replaced. And then there was a poor movie called John Bobbitt uncut. Yeah,
Chris Watson 4:52
right. Right. And the thing was, is that the paramedics couldn't find it. She had cut it off and like thrown it out in the yard, I think and so Hey, we're searching the yard to find this member, you know,
Francisco Mahfuz 5:05
I, I do this, I did this communications thing at a at an MBA here in Barcelona. And you know, a lot of the students are from different countries, and there's a lot of Spanish people. And one guy was telling a story. And he said, we went outside looking for wood, and had to explain to him looking for wood can be interpreted in different ways in English, maybe I would suggest, you know, you're looking for firewood. Yeah, there you go. Yeah, less likely to go to go security, if I understand correctly, wasn't one of your influences in the way you started, you know, communications or sales. You're your dad.
Chris Watson 5:43
Yeah, he was my, my dad. My dad taught me the value in engaging people in stories. So what I mean is like, I think one thing that we do sometimes in stories, or I should say, we failed to do is we finish the story for them. We don't give gaps, the right gaps in our story for the listener actually be able to engage, engage, mentally dive in, create cause and effects on their own. And so when I would watch my dad, Coach, when I would watch my dad sell, you know, my dad was a, an ad salesperson. So one of the toughest jobs here in America is to sell ads in a free publication. So I am going and convincing businesses, no one's gonna pay for this publication. But you need to pay money to put an ad in there, because that's going to grow your business. So at eight years old, I remember travelling with my dad, to a couple calls, my mom was a nurse, she had to work like the weekend shift. And I would watch my dad in action. And he would he would tell stories about they come in the paper, and what do they see? First, they see your bright orange logo. And what does that make them feel? Well, you're the only one with a bright orange logo, Tom, and like, just seeing my dad kind of weave those stories. But the biggest thing was he left gaps, and I'll say that that's been a growing time for me is leaving those gaps. Because I think too often the storytellers we like to, we like to start it and finish it the way we see it as being best instead of allowing the the listener the reader to kind of participate and fill in some of those gaps like movies do, right?
Francisco Mahfuz 7:18
So when you say gaps, are you talking about the pacing of the story? Are you talking about actively asking them questions? Or just, you know, what do you mean exactly when you say gaps, so
Chris Watson 7:32
let's, let's do a fun one. And then we'll do a more businesslike one. So a fun won't be. If I said to you, this comes directly out of the book, The Science of storytelling, and the way our brains work. If I said to you, my son, Carmichael, I went downstairs, I see my son, Carmichael, he's got a banana in his hand, there's vomit on the floor, and he is crying his eyes out. So notice in that story, there's a lot of gaps for you to fill in, in your brain. You're thinking, well, what are you thinking? Let's ask you, what are you thinking when I tell that he's got
Francisco Mahfuz 8:03
a banana in his hand and his vomit on the floor? And he's crying? I'm not sure if this was, if this was my daughter, I would think that she had done away with her younger sister. And but, but, you know, okay, so I get, I can see what you mean, there. It's the story has a lot of unanswered questions, so that the picture you painting is not complete. And now I'm trying to figure out what was going on in the story,
Chris Watson 8:34
right, we allow them to play. So you think about on a business side of things, we cannot always just tell the buyer or tell the audience, this is the best product for you. We've got to tell them a story that allows them to come to that on their own. If you think about some of the greatest companies in the world, and the way they tell stories, and you think about Apple, Apple doesn't say buy our product to think different to be different. No, it says think different. And then you want to align yourself in that story to say, Oh, I'm different. I'm like that, I want to buy that. And so that's that. We didn't answer the question to say, Chris, you're different. So buy this product. No, we said, this is what Apple is. This is the story. We're telling you about Apple, if you align, you will naturally fill in those gaps and say, That's me. That's my company. I like to help salespeople. When when we hear storytelling, unfortunately for a lot of salespeople, they think past that's firstly, you think, oh, stories, that's grandpa around the campfire and still old stories, or they think of bedtime stories, right? So I like to tell them we should be telling our buyers and our customers a future story. A lot more often a future story of what our partnership can feel like and look like to be way more valuable than the past story. And what I mean by that is if you don't mind me taking a moment is when we say hey, I have a Customer just like you, I get weary of that for everyone listening to this I get weary of, we have a customer just like you because in our culture today, everyone thinks that they are and their business is the most unique thing out there. So we run into this danger. We are all we're all unique snowflakes. Yes, exactly. We all we're all unique snowflakes. And if you put us in your pocket, we don't melt. So it's it's one of those things where I think we have a danger of almost telling them, You are like this customer instead of just painting the picture of what some other people have gone through and the way our product has allowed them to grow 5x Without telling them you will grow 5x. So I just think that gap thing, it's tough. But I think if you leave the right gaps, people get to dive in and make their own. And here's the thing, me now knowing what you just did, and filling that gap in, I just learned something about you and your family and your daughter and your kids. So you learn more when they fill in those gaps by either asking a question or making a statement.
Francisco Mahfuz 10:59
Okay, so first of all, what's the banana and the vomit? Because I now need to know this. How does this happen? This is a parenting challenge I have not come across yet. Or did you just threw random stuff at me to see if anything
Chris Watson 11:12
works. So in the science of storytelling, they just say vomit, and banana. And they say our brain thinks and cause and effect of the banana cause of vomit. In my scenario, it was the dog the dog vomited rice and stepped in the vomit. And he's holding the banana and eating and crying because he just stepped in vomit. But the point is, is that when I don't tell you that you fill in the gap yourself based upon your own criteria in your head. So we would do that more often as salespeople to fill in the gaps, or I'm sorry to leave the gap something for our buyer to fill in, then we have a little bit more interaction to be able to listen to their story.
Francisco Mahfuz 11:45
Yes, I would like to point out that 11 minutes and we already covered vomit, and penises being cut off. Yes, I think we might have set the bar too high or too low for the rest of this episode. It's very interesting what you say about the gaps, because in the one hand, it's just a different way of saying this thing that people say all the time, which is show don't tell. So you want to show them that you're dealing with people like them, you don't want to say they are just like you, you want to say oh, and I've got this client, and this is what he or she was struggling with. And you're going to paint a picture that is very similar, you're not going to go Oh, and that's exactly like your situation, isn't it? Because that's just what is poor storytelling to it just too blatant of what you're trying to do. And I think that's, it's gonna take it out of I'm telling you a story, too. I am now trying to manipulate you in this sort of weird way to do 100%. Agree, I think we can do that. But it's also interesting how, although we are trying to leave a whole bunch of space between what we're describing, we still need to describe some things in as much detail as possible. Because of this thing that everyone that does a tiny bit of storytelling realised very quickly. The specific becomes universal. The moment you just say something generic, they don't make a connection between what's in their brain and our brain. The moment you say, Are we know that? I don't know Coco Pops was the cereal at every morning. Now you might have never even Coco Pops. But you ate maybe when a hyena Cheerios, in your thinking of honey nut cheerios. If I say breakfast cereal, your brain I think is less likely to think of the brand new liked.
Chris Watson 13:32
Yeah, 100%. I was working with a guy yesterday. And we were working on his About page on LinkedIn. He just started a new job. He's talking about like, what story should I tell? He works with call centres. And so his story that he was telling me was one was very negative. It was like, Oh, the call centre and there's tonnes of turnover and all these things. And so we started talking about is there a metaphorical story to this idea of call centres? Is there something where people in call centres are scared of AI, because AI is going to replace the job. And so because they're scared of AI, which a majority of people in the world are scared of AI, they don't understand AI. And so to your point, I think we have to do a very good job of whatever specific details and identifiable characters as Kyndra Hall says write a people inside the story itself. My brain has to not work that hard to be like, oh, yeah, I know what that is next, so that they can actually get to the plot of where I might have to think very hard. If the whole story is like I'm talking about some special festival in Barcelona that I've never attended. Oh, what's that? I gotta go look that up. And I missed the whole point of why we're doing the story at all.
Francisco Mahfuz 14:40
Yeah, I think I've heard you say something like that. You want to use details that they cannot hide from and I think you're actually referring to a sensory stuff, you know, smells and taste, the sound of some specific things and the brain just goes to those. Most people will understand than what the smell of rain on concrete on asphalt is, or you know, the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning or, you know, burn to Brad, the brain does the same thing with this type of sensory information that it does with questions. It has to engage. There's no way your brain can disengage if I asked, you know, are you wearing any trousers? Now? Your brain has just answered that question. Or rather, you didn't, but your brain has. And I think with their sensory information, that's one thing that a lot of stories you hear in, there's nothing, they don't put in enough of the specific stuff. And then it just doesn't. I think it just doesn't feel real. It is the impression.
Chris Watson 15:41
Yeah, yeah. And I would say like the thing with salespeople the tough part is, and I think I've heard, you know, Mike Adams talk a little bit about this is like, when you go to tell a story, there has to be purpose behind it. But the purpose should be less about, I'm trying to close the sale and more about what's the emotion I'm trying to elicit? And then what's the what's the prompt? What's the action that I want from them. And it might be the prompt is, I want them to consider buying with our company because of x. But the problem is with salespeople sometimes is that we our job is so aligned with closing a deal, that there's so much urgency, there's almost like desperation, sometimes we're not meeting our quota, that it affects the story, the story feels rushed, it feels urgent, so then they don't talk about and you know, they don't talk about that I was I was eating this hamburger that had blue cheese inside the hamburgers, the first time I've ever eaten in my entire life. No, they just say I was eating a cheeseburger and they move on. So like they don't get into those details, because their mind is guiding them to the end. And the end is I want to close this deal. So I'm only telling the story to close this deal. And I think that's where we have to be conscious of No, I'm telling the story. Because this story is a much easier engagement conversation for them than me saying, Hi, I'm with XYZ company. And I sell ABC and we solve you know, def,
Francisco Mahfuz 17:05
but that pointer just raised opens the door for me to talk about something that is going to be he's going to make it even clearer to anyone who doesn't know that yet. How much of a nerd I am. But you got to ask in other podcasts about what superpower you wanted to have. And if you remember, but you said that it was always between two, you're very clear which one you wanted. But it was always between two, they remember which one they were.
Chris Watson 17:30
It was either teleportation or time travel. Right?
Francisco Mahfuz 17:33
Yeah, exactly. I heard that. And I thought okay, that fellow geek, but but then I thought how how an amazing metaphor for communication and the value of story. Those two things are because what you just described is salespeople thinking they can teleport themselves to the closing of the sale. So I just want to get there. I don't care what happens in the middle, I want to you know, bound fear both my way over there. And whoever heard this knows that it's an X Men reference, I'm sorry. Whereas you could argue or I could at least that when storytelling is done? Well, it is to some degree, the what you describe that you want the time to have time travel for you said you wanted to go back in time and leave different periods in history. But that's what I started us. If you do it well, the customer, whoever you're telling the story to, is going to leave that that period of your life or your customers life that they didn't, they didn't. So it is to some extent, and I would
Chris Watson 18:38
say also that you can if you tell the right story, you can teleport them or you can time travel into the future that they are considering? Do I want to do business with Chris? And what would that partnership feel like and look like? Because they are evaluating that. And so if we do a good job of letting them live some of those stories with us in the micro moments or the micro stories, it's like they're it what salespeople don't get is that we're accelerating them getting to know us because when I tell a story about my son, they're evaluating do I want to do business with somebody that's a family man when I tell them a story about my dad passing away and how that was a you know, either a pebble in my shoe or a torch that I carried and I decided to make it a torch than they think about oh, you know what I my dad's passed away, we've got more in common than I ever knew. But if I don't tell those stories, then and I only just say, Hey, I've got a customer just like you or let me tell you about this customer I have well then they feel like oh, he only cares if we actually close. And I know he makes money off of it. And I think what salespeople forget is our buyer is the most intelligent buyer that we have ever had up to this point in history because of the internet because of what they now know by reading a book or by listening to a podcast or whatever it might be. And so it's not that we are outsmarting them by any means. No, we're actually saying, Listen, I want to open my heart and reveal myself to you in a different way. Because I want you to get to know me, I think also story, it gets us faster to a no, which is okay, because we want to get quickly to a no or get to a yes, this is going to be us between, you know, working together partnering, or this isn't going to be a good fit. And I think story allows us to tell a story and say, which of these buckets Do you fall into? Which one of these things resonate with you? None of them? Oh, I, you know, I don't think it's gonna be a good fit. But that's a good thing. Instead of okay, I'll do the demo. Okay. Yeah. Okay, you know what, we already have this, I just wasted three days and a full demo on this. Like, what was I thinking?
Francisco Mahfuz 20:40
One thing that a lot of people don't understand about how stories used in any context, that is not entertainment, that is not you being a storyteller, or art or whatever, is that I think people keep trying to give it a meaning that it doesn't need. The way I tend to think about it and talk about it is that story is the language of the brain. So if you want your brain to realise, okay, hold on, I need to pay attention to this. This is important, there must be there's a lesson in here for me, and this is something I should remember, what you do for your brain to get all of those points is you tell a story, or you tell something in story format, then that's how the brain ticks all those boxes for your brain and your brain is doing all the things you want any buyer or any person you business with, to to do to you know, they will pay attention, they will they will listen attentively, because they realise it will be important, and they will forget it very easily, in that it is nothing more complicated than it trying to get a point across. Now, if you do this, well, this is the best way to get that point across. There's nothing more complicated than that. And I guess that's the way we used to mean, not us. But the way, you know, decades, decades ago, the older people used to teach younger people wish they would just tell them stories, they wouldn't just tell give them orders. A mom wouldn't say oh, don't cross the street, because something happened to you. Because she said that a million times. And I never paid attention. But I know there was a there was a cleaning lady that used to work with my one of my uncles. And like every mother, she was to tell her kid the same thing. In one day, the kid crossed the street, she made him come back, because he hadn't waited to cross with his mother holding her hand in the kid got hit by a car on the way back. Now, I never forgot that story. And there's a chance that you might never because it's horrible. It's a horrible, horrible story. But I knew I understood that a car could hit me and something could happen. But net that never had the effect. That story hadn't in me. And that's it is just you were trying to talk to me in a language I don't understand. Now use the language I do understand. And now what remember, I have
Chris Watson 22:54
had situations as a salesperson where we didn't do business, but they remembered my story. And so when I would see them the next time they're like, hey, it's the guy that went to Machu Picchu. Hey, it's the guy that, hey, it's the guy that got snowed into Denver, when that other airport is, you know, the sales guy. I mean, and then quite honestly, I would love for them to remember my name, but I recognised my story was more powerful. My name, my story was more powerful than the company. I worked for that because that was what was memorable to them. And because to your point, we so effortlessly, think about things in story form that I think we're we're hindering ourselves as leaders, as salespeople as marketing people. We're hindering ourselves by not speaking in story form. I think, like, correct me when I'm wrong, but I feel like the word storytelling is becoming a bit like brand, right? Everyone's like, more storytelling and tell stories and be a storyteller and be it. And I think are you doing story? What's your story? And I think the danger in that is that what we're really just trying to get to is we're trying to get to a relatable perspective. And our story allows us to get to a relatable perspective, if we tell the correct stories.
Francisco Mahfuz 24:09
Yeah, I don't disagree. And what pisses me off to no end is how most people that use the word are not actually telling stories. So this is this is a dead giveaway on social media storytime, in then they don't tell a story. Or they tell the like the shortest version of it. Like oh, I used to do this, this and that. And that's how when I learned this, and then they're just telling you a whole bunch of stuff. It's not not a story, dude.
Chris Watson 24:39
Right? Yeah, yeah, I agree. i What's frustrates me is when it's when someone tells me Hey, look, I want to tell you a story. Knowing that your story, strategic story guy, let me tell you a story. And they tell me the story. And I'm like, is that what you think a story is? I'm always kind is that we think the story is Yeah, well I didn't I didn't get transported anywhere. There. I don't even really know who we were talking about, oh, we were talking about me, you didn't tell me that. They just miss. I think it's this. It's no different than salespeople. Let's say I sell this pin, right? The problem is sometimes I sell this pin with so much knowledge of this pin that I sell it to you making an assumption that you have all that knowledge as well. Well, that's sometimes how we tell our stories, we tell them being like, well, you know, I'm from Texas, because I live in Texas now. And we leave out that detail, or you know, the stories about me. So I just tell it as if you know that because in our minds, we're so familiar with the story. So familiar with the pin, that we leave out these details that actually be really transformative and impactful, because we just subconsciously know them. And I think that's honestly that is the like, the the tiniest secret sauce for people that are engaging, but they don't really tell good stories is I tell them, you didn't tell me this, this or this. They add that in, it's a full transformation of the story that they've been trying to tell what I find
Francisco Mahfuz 26:06
the biggest difference between someone who's been trained to do it, or who's a natural edit, and everyone else is the is the moment is the difference that it makes to tell that, you know, don't tell me how, how your whole sales career went, just pick one encounter that represents that and give me that one with as much detail as you can. That is a story you telling me? I've been sales for 10 years, and I started here and then I did this. And then I did that. That's a timeline. It's not a story. A and the story could be as I've there was a there's a storyteller called Matthew Dex, who talks at the math. And I think he won the math, Grand Slam 40 times or something, which is kind of ridiculous. In his I've heard him say that a story is five seconds. It's that moment of change. Everything else is important. But what if that is not there, then is not a story worth telling. And I think we're now when anyone, we're trying to talk to people about his history in business, it's just like, Okay, what do you want? You want them to trust you? Fine. Share a time in your life where you've done something that shows you're trustworthy? That's it. There's nothing other than that. But for some reason, this has become a very alien concept for us. You know, it's all opinions. Yeah. Statements.
Chris Watson 27:29
Yeah. Well, and I think and I would ask you this is that I, I almost feel like the the tough part is the awareness piece, I find when I'm working with somebody one on one, and I'm asking them a series of 10 questions, let's say, I like when I'm working with people one on one to ask them questions like, you know, tell me a moment when you were counted out and you came out on top, or tell me a moment when you squandered a really big opportunity. And they start going through all these moments. And what they don't understand sometimes is that there actually is a macro kind of a macro story through all of it, of maybe like you're a survivor, look at all these different moments where you survived and there's almost a macro line of their life, but they don't recognise the macro theme. And they sometimes don't even recognise the micro and so I think I think it comes down to awareness is what I would say I think like they don't think that they're in this may be a company out there somewhere, but they don't think that their story worthy. They don't think that that moment,
Francisco Mahfuz 28:28
coincidentally, Matthew, the x were just talked about oh, god story worth it. Okay, cool. Cool. Yeah, I'm gonna write that down. So sorry, I think that there's there's very different levels to the, to the work we're talking about. So I think there's obviously tremendous value in this. What do you call it in America? Is the 30,000 foot view 50,000 of you? Yeah. So where were you genuinely trying to look at a life or a career and then extract a theme out of it to say I'm a survivor, and I'm someone who adapts or whatever. But I think for a lot of people that are that we're telling that they should be using stories in business per se, for leadership for for employee engagement, just for better communication. All we're trying to do is move people from talking about you know, data and facts and opinions into talking examples. So right you love working for the sales rebellion. Okay, tell me a moment in the net last year that made you feel proud to be a part of that organisation or a moment you felt you made a difference that's it whatever little story you come up with whatever you come up with will be a story and will probably tell me a lot more than you telling me a whole bunch of stuff about how this company works like this and they always like that and when you know what made you think that I don't know do the pre is as impressive and individuals everybody thinks he's just give you one time and you will. Yeah,
Chris Watson 29:57
yeah, like that. I like that because I think Think comparing that to somebody that's watched a movie or read a book, you get those single moments from your, let's call it the hero or the character, that main character, you get those single moments that actually that single moment firms up their identity as a character more than almost the entire story. It's that it's that one that one moment that that really firms up, oh, they're this Oh, they experienced this in the in the grander theme of the entire story. I'd like to ask you a question. So what fascinates you about X Men and comics? I hear you talking about that a lot. What what did those stories do for you? That, that it I guess embodies like, Yes, I keep coming back to them. And I keep engaging in them. And I love them.
Francisco Mahfuz 30:50
There's the risk of metaphorical time travel when we talk about these things, which is that I'm going to go back in time and change the meaning of things. When I read them, they were just cool. You know, you had Wolverine with his you know, adamantium claws. And you had all these, you know, guy who teleports and a guy was made of organic steel, or whatever it was. So it was just, they were just cool. And this is how I felt then X man, Spider Man, the Batman, the ones I've really liked, I just felt they were really cool. When I analyse now, what probably attracted me to them is that, particularly if you think of x man or spider man or spider man is so obvious when you when you look at it from with the grown ups eyes. He's some nerd, he's not popular in school, there's a whole bunch of things in his personal life that are not great. And then something happens and he becomes amazing. But he can't tell anyone. I mean, like, what kid did not we should like you know, you go on holiday, you come back, you have a different haircut, this is the one that's going to do it. Or you change your looks, you change your looks like in a silly way, I still get this because my family and most of my childhood friends live in Brazil. So they see me once a year. So there's always this like, is this the year that I come back looking a lot better, and I've improved version of myself. So I think with comics, a lot of the stuff that attracted me was the really fallible people, you know, the ones that were trying to fit in. And I think that's what attracts a lot of people to those types of comics. And that's why Batman is significantly more interesting than Superman. Because I mean, what is a Superman? Great problem. Which is boring as hell, you know, he has to pretend that he is normal when he's actually amazing. Whereas most of the other ones are not, you know, Batman, Batman, just a normal guy. I mean, like, seriously problematic, but a normal guy. Yeah. So I think that that's, that's what he was then. Now, I mean, I don't know to what extent that has translated to the movies and to everything else. I think it was just nostalgia, more than more than anything else. But this is another thing about story, which is, its transportation, like a word you use earlier. And I read all sorts of things. And I read fairly obsessively. And I read a lot of fantasy, and I was trying to figure out, what is it about it that that attracts me so much. And then I realised, while I'm on holiday, I'm trying to sort of distress and the load and whatever in this are like three, four or five, sometimes 10 books in a row where I'm just sucked into this different universe. And it's not that the universe itself is that appealing is that I am transported in a minute and I'm I care about the characters. It doesn't matter what the story is, it could be a story about a corrupt cop in New York. And it could be a story about Lord of the Rings type of stuff. It's just, it's a good story.
Chris Watson 33:45
So for me, I'm a movie guy. So I have moments where the movie ends, and I felt like because I transported and identify where the character was in the movie, I almost need a moment to like, come back to reality. It's like, you know, when, when inception. You know, I really, I really loved the movie Inception. I really loved the movie gladiator and I think about Braveheart when I think about these movies that are so emotionally engaging. I mean, my wife, she gives me a pretty hard time about it. She's like, it's just a movie and I'm like, like, I was there. I was there like I had blinders on and I felt like I was there and so I think like for us, or for really anybody I think everyone has an escape escape that they need. I think it is what does that escape do and so for you maybe the fantasy it gives you some juice to give you some creativity at a rejuvenate you are not having to focus on your own thing for me movies, I look for the the micro stories in movies and say, Well, what he's really struggling. It's that gap thing. They didn't tell me that. You know that certain storylines were very explicit about Oh, his dad wasn't around or his mom was this. They may have just lightly inferred that and so or I inferred that from lightly, you know different character growth. That's what I love is that when I come out, I find when I'm talking to people about movies, and I say, we just recently watched a tenant, which was mind boggling. But I remember at the end, my wife's like, so what happened? And I'm like, well, don't you know, like he this? I didn't get that. And I find that a lot of times, and I bet when people talk to you about X Men or talk to you about comics that well, don't you know that, you know, Peter Parker, this and it's like, no, I just know that he shoots webs and like, gets bad guys. And I think that that is why we have to tell many stories throughout because we don't know if that one story is going to be the one that hooks we don't know. And so for salespeople, we're talking 15, to 20 touches sometimes before somebody is actually willing to engage with us. And so I think for a lot of salespeople we want, and I do teach this, that we have a we have our one story, our multifaceted story, that can work in any moment. But I also think we've got to be equipped with many different stories and know what is the emotion? What is the prompt? What is the emotion? What is the prompt? Because some people walk out of a movie or some people read those books, and they're not engaged? They're like, yeah, then that didn't transport me. You know, that didn't move me. Yeah, I
Francisco Mahfuz 36:17
think the word that's become very popular in recent years is resonate. And I think that's what happens with children naturally with comics or anything else is, you know, I didn't read Spider Man and think, Oh, I'm a nerd. That's why I like him. But he resonated because I could I could relate to his issues, is that the book The movie was the was the name, one name of that one was Ricci reach or something? Yeah, we reach a reach is like a super rich kid that other has super rich kid problems. You know, I was I grew up in Brazil. I didn't I look at churches like that, that that doesn't seem
Chris Watson 36:54
I don't know that some people that was an aspirational like, Oh, I wish,
Francisco Mahfuz 36:58
perhaps so. So you know, you take different things from different stories, but I don't think we're over analysing them as they happen. But that's, you know, if you're using stories for business, it's the job, the job is being intentional about the stories because you believe they will be relatable, and they will resonate with the people you're telling the stories to. But, you know, you're not going to go into the customer isn't listening to that and going, Oh, he just told me a story about someone who sounds just like me. And now. I mean, if it's that transparent, then you've not done it. Well. So what do you call the story equation? Yeah.
Chris Watson 37:34
So I think for a lot of salespeople, they don't really want to take the time to learn storytelling. And so the story equation is, what is their story? What is my story? What's the right story? Because too often, because let's just think about that as an equation. Do I know mine? Great. You know, your story, you can tell a great story. Do you know there's I think, Okay, well, what's the right story to tell? I believe, and I use this metaphor a lot. I think stories for salespeople is imagine a home and and salespeople have to tell micro stories, sometimes because of the amount of time that they have it goes back to what you said about about about Matt of like, you got five seconds. So I believe I'm a heavy believer in early on micro stories, because micro stories are like if you came into my home, and I cracked all the doors in my home, and I told you just a quick, oh, that's my room where I do that. Oh, that's the rumour, that good happens. Oh, that's the great media room with the big TV. And those are all just micros, but you're painting a picture of what it could look like. Now, if I said that to you pick one, you would go choose the story that resonate, like, oh, I want to go see the media room well for salespeople, because business owners and and buyers are getting called by 1000s of salespeople, we have to tell a micro story that entices them to say I want to know more, or I'm ready to engage. And so the equation is what's your story? I know it perfect. I know my story. I know the story. I'm gonna tell what's their story. Fantastic. Well, what that equals is now what's the right story? What's the correct story? Too often we tell our own or we tell them we know there's but we don't tell a combination of one of those two looking like, the phrase I use is we must know thyself before we can know thy buyer. And we must know by by your story before we can be a great storyteller. And I think people get lost in a Chris, you're a storyteller. Yeah, well, that doesn't mean I always just tell stories. I've been encouraging the people I trained with to read this because it's only it's active listening. It's only 25 pages by Carl Rogers. And he dives into this idea of like, how do I be an active listener? If we can ask for stories and be an active listener in the story, we can quickly tell the right story. And I think too often we're just telling our story and hoping it resonates telling our story hoping it resonates telling our story hoping it resonates instead of really considering what theirs is. Does that make sense?
Francisco Mahfuz 39:57
Yeah, it does. When it comes to active listening one thing that We need to train ourselves to do and I, as guilty as that as the next person is, we also need to get better at asking for people's experiences and their stories. Specifically, say for example, you're working on financial sales or whatever, typically would ask, so what experience have you had with financial advisors in the past, and you're going to get some explanation, it's a lot better if you say, tell me about the best experience you've had with a financial advisor or the worst. And they will tell you something a lot more specific, with a lot more relevant detail about what they liked what they didn't like, then if you ask openly, and if you pay attention to that, then, you know, perhaps you don't even need to tell a story or just again, you could tell a story to be better at communicate anyway. But if you're just going to teach them, then you know what to emphasise and what not, but, but it's asking the right question, actually paying attention. And it's not something a lot of people do, particularly we who are to some degree or another in the speaking business, then to find that we want to spend most of our time doing the speaking
Chris Watson 41:05
to you. But what I will tell you is that the amazing thing about your podcast, the thing that I appreciate most, that I don't think gets talked about enough is the amount of research the amount of deep dive that you do on people. Now, because you're a natural reader, it probably doesn't feel like work sometimes. So it's an incredible amount of research. And that is where I say thank you, Lord, for being in the time that we're in. Because that same company you're talking about, I can go and actually find things out about them about their employees about the exact problem that someone may write about, ask about comment on, I could do a deep dive on them. So then when I asked him for a story, I can actually say, your financial advisor advisors work with Fortune 500 company business owners tell me what was the best moment where someone left a competitor and came to you all? Oh, well, yeah. But I'm asking that specifically based on the research I've done, if I'm really good, I can know their exact title, because maybe it's not financial advisor. Maybe it's like professional financial representative. So your professional financial representatives at XYZ company, the more that we can say something very specific to them. I know. Gary Vee, you know, a couple years back, I remember him, he was he was filming a video, he had a video that he was going to put out, this is the core video. Then they said, Okay, let's record all your audiences. And he says men in Detroit over the age of 40 teenagers in Dallas, Texas, moms in Pensacola, Florida, because when he called them out directly, they tuned in to the story that he was about to tell. And so I think in sales, if we can do that more often to say, you know, a Francisco X Men reminds me a lot of the powers that we have in our organisation. It's like, okay, I may not believe you yet, but tell me more. And that micro story brought you in, because it's like, he did his research. He knows I like X Men. So I think to your point, the that is what that's what makes it great podcasts. That's what makes you and then your guests coming on. When I I learned so much when I hear the guest almost. Here's what I'll say. guests that come on here. And you tell the nice story about me, that almost puts me in a relaxed, teetering moment, because it's like, okay, I'm talking to someone that knows me, even though we really don't. But we've interacted a lot on on LinkedIn. That's what you want out of your buyer. You want them to feel like, oh, Chris actually knows my world. Okay, I can lower my shield, I can lower my shield and listen a little bit more.
Francisco Mahfuz 43:38
I wanted to ask you, before we done, I wanted to ask you about something that I've never heard you talk about. But I have a feeling you might have some opinions on the greatest sport on this earth, which you people call soccer, which is actually called football. And, and I was thinking about this thing about this because well, I realise that you have used to be either became professional, or you almost became professional, and you still run soccer clinics, from what I understand. Great. And so we recently we the world has recently lost Maradona. And then all this conversations about who's the greatest player of all time, come back up. And I you know, I live in Barcelona, so I watch Leona Massey on a regular basis. And I find incredible how the difference of a player that has stories told about Him and who when who makes people talk when people project their own lives and their own stories on them. The difference between that and someone who, who feels at times, like created in a lab by robots to be the perfect football player like they are no Massey but they seem to have forgot to input the personality bit. And I don't know if you've ever thought about how much the way we consume football as or soccer as special taters in even within the teams like how much the narrative makes a massive difference
Chris Watson 45:06
100% I saw I attended the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa. And prior to that, I attended, you know, MLS games and I had even attended, you know, like qualifiers where teens came, but to go to another country and experience those, those games, the narrative, in fact, I would say this, like, the narrative is almost all you have some times when you're when you're watching the game, and that narratives created by a lot of things for young people, it's created by video games, right? They play with that player, they play with Messi, or they play with dibala, or they play with, you know, Imbaba they play with them on a video game. And because they play with them on a video game, and he's so good, and he helps them when they in real life, that guy becomes their hero, right? It's really, really interesting. But I would agree that it's like, I think people and and athletes in sports, and especially football, it's like a bottle of wine. It's just so much more exciting to drink a bottle of wine, if it has this major backstory of how it was created. So when I watch a player and I hear about messy and growth hormones, and you know, being short and little and counted out and then making a name for himself, or I think about Ronaldo, and you see kind of his before and after and who he was and where he came from, or you think about like Carlos Tevez, or whoever these players are that that literally soccer for them wasn't just soccer, like it was for us. It was their way out of their situation of their life. Right. And so yeah, I mean, I and here's the other shift. I will say, I don't know if this is globally, but I can say for sure, in the United States, we are seeing more and more young people that they like players over teams, okay. But what I will say that doesn't translate into soccer is like they will like a whole team and soccer and football because of a single player. Whereas here like we may like LeBron James or we may like Russell Westbrook. It doesn't mean we really root for that team, but we're rooting for the player. And I think in soccer, there's still something to say like Messi is my guy. So I wrote for Barcelona or for me growing up, because I played with these players. This is funny. I was I was eventus guy. I loved Pavel Medved, Pizarro played for them for a moment. And I know that's all crazy. But really, for me, the intro being a Midwest kid was I was playing a video game and seeing these players play and I was like, all that's my team, they always win. And you got to remember, we weren't broadcasting games in the United States. At that point, you couldn't get a game. I mean, you had to literally be outside of the country. In fact, I remember the first international game I ever saw. I was in Jamaica on a mission trip with my church, and I see this game played. So I agree. And here's the other thing I'll say about soccer, unlike any other sport, is because it's so rooted in the city and in the country. There's just so many more storylines, right? Don't you find it interesting that Messi had like these IRS and tax issues? And yet it's still been tarnished people being like, one of the greatest football players of all time.
Francisco Mahfuz 48:24
Yeah, that doesn't fit with the story. And people just discard it. But also he's not the thing with Massey is as amazing as he is known cares much because because he's kind of a machine and he keeps to himself. There's not much personality to him to what he says and whatever as Maradona, there was too much. No Maradona is the was the embodiment of a lot of things. Argentineans loved and hated about themselves and about their country. And, and his story is tragic and amazing. That weighs a lot. In in you mentioned you Venters. And you Ventus is one of the teams that is now you could argue suffering from the power of storytelling, because Because Pep Guardiola, who was the best manager Barcelona perhaps has ever had. He was a guy who had played football for them very well. And then he barely trained their reserves for six months. And then he went on to become one of the most successful managers of all time. So that story of the player that played for you that it's now going to lead you to glory. A whole bunch of other teams have just decided to give the most important job in their club. Is is like you making the CEO the guy who was a good salesperson 10 years ago, in in I was saying now run this company. You know, that's the case with Andrea Pirillo at Juventus now. So Shire and men united, Miguel our technical data in arsenal, never had never trained anyone. He was a pep supporting culture, whatever you call it. In it, these guys are giving multimillion dollar jobs. Because the story that a node player that's going to lead you to glory that's such a powerful one in football. that just overrides experience overrides logic overrides anything else. And you talked about video games, so I'm going to bring this up too close. Are you familiar with with the Burger King Stevenage challenge
Chris Watson 50:12
what is it the Burger King? What's challenged
Francisco Mahfuz 50:14
Stevenage? I don't think so. Right. There's got to be one of the greatest advertising stories of all time. Stevenage is this team in the second division of English football. So Burger King realised that although they were like a crap team in the second division, they still made it into FIFA soccer. So you could still pick Stevenage. So they went in sponsored Stevenage because they know that if they're sponsoring them in real life, they will be sponsoring them in the game. So then this this club in the second division has a big burger king symbol on the shirt. So then they started the online campaign to encourage people and reward people if they played with Stevenage. And with like, all these new games, you get to hire players. And it says, you know, if you score a goal, put it on social media, you get some rewards. So people started using that club to play the campaign version of the game. So now you have all these videos online of like Stevenage winning the Champions League with a team that has Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and whoever else in they have a massive Burger King on their shirt. So burger he got all this advertisement. Just last week I did. One of the weirdest jobs I've ever done, which is I did voiceover for an award ceremony. It's like, and the gold goes to, and this guy's won an award for online advertising. It is just beautiful, right? The evil genius said, I know. We're gonna sponsor a team in the second division. Hear me out. And we're gonna get Messi and Ronaldo to air Burger King shirts. Right, Chris? If, if people want to find out more about the stuff you do, where should they? Where should they go? Yeah,
Chris Watson 51:53
so you can go to the website, www dot d Chris watson.com. You can find me on LinkedIn. You can also find me with the sales rebellion. Same thing WW dot d sales rebellion calm.
Francisco Mahfuz 52:04
Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time.
I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find this show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars tap. I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find us. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story powers.com