#41: Listen as Rajiv Nathan, the founder of Startup Hype Man, talks about his groundbreaking approach to sales through thinking like an entertainer. We discuss how emotional connections win prospects, a better approach to the “elevator” pitch, and the benefit of narrative-driven story stacks.
Listen to the episode by clicking play below OR search “the sales lift” wherever you get podcasts.
Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:
Think Like an Entertainer (0:22)
B2B companies communicate in very technical, dry ways, and it fails to make a really impactful connection with their audience. It’s why so many just blend in with similar companies.
Thinking like an entertainer is all about putting your audience. Entertainers have one question in mind: how do I make an emotional connection with this crowd?
Tyler points out that the missing ingredient seems to come down to emotion- why it matters and how you’re able to bring it out of your audience.
What you’re trying to do when you give someone information is anchor them the right way, and you need an emotional anchor for them to truly care about whatever rational information you toss at them.
Rethinking Your Approach (4:17)
So, this idea of the elevator pitch is the foundational communication for your entire brand. That shift is thinking beyond the product and more about the brand and how that brand is represented.
Rajiv shares his formula for a great pitch: problem, approach, solution, action. Most companies jump straight to a solution, saying, “we do these things, and we’re really good at these things.”
When you lead with the problem, you’re doing three things: providing a frame of reference, providing context, and, most importantly, leading with empathy.
The better you can articulate the problem, the less you need to say about your solution. The more you focus on the mind of your buyer and target audience, the more you’re able to identify that problem for them.
What makes this even more powerful is that it feels like it’s coming from them and not from you telling them.
Isolating the Problem (11:26)
Tyler poses the question of whether it’s better to approach one big problem or look at multiple problems at once.
The best practice is to group by the problem and not the actual target audience.
You might have a few different verticals you’re targeting but seeing which have problems in common allows you to turn one large group of many problems into a few common ones.
Build a Story Stack (15:31)
Rajiv explains having a well-known tech stack doesn’t mean much when you don’t know how to execute it the right way. The sales marketing tech doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right messaging.
If you have those stacks, you should also have a story stack. This stack is comprised of different layers of messages that are needed to develop a scalable sales narrative. This allows you to easily align with marketing.
If you think your buyers don’t like a deck or it doesn’t help, you’re right. When you have a really good narrative-driven sales deck and/or pitch deck, you get emotional buy-in from your audience.
It’s critical to understand a prospective client’s personal brands and personal lie and how it connects to the company’s larger mission, which is all articulated through that story stack.
Targeting the Framework (22:41)
The framework is all about building up to the closing point, which Rajiv parallels to the story structure of Hamilton.
Set the world’s terms as your customers know it and introduce the market forces that are shifting things in that world. Then show the impact of doing and not doing something right.
Then the inevitable ending is, “oh, by the way, our company has a product that perfectly fits in with doing something right. Let’s talk about it.”
In that model, we’ve built some really interesting stories about it. Rajiv has had a lot of success in convincing customers and getting big enterprise accounts when something is more easily circulated internally.
Rajiv Nathan’s Bio:
Known as the Heavyweight Champion of Story, Rajiv ‘RajNATION’ Nathan is Founder of Startup Hypeman, helping growing companies not suck at telling their story so they stand out to their audience, stand apart from competitors, and break through in their category.
Startup Hypeman portfolio clients become masters of their story, driving revenues, alignment, and breakthroughs in their category. He was named an “Agent of Change” by Huffington Post, has given a TED Talk, and been featured in Inc, Forbes, and more. He’s also a hip hop artist, yoga instructor, and host of the popular show Startup Hypeman: The Podcast.
Talk to him about Hamilton, WWE, or Seinfeld and you’ll have a friend for life.