In his career as a high school Japanese language teacher, a successful sales person, and a sales coach, Andrew realized that people who could communicate through a great story (and listen, too) were usually among the most successful in their professions.
As a rookie salesperson, Andrew’s six month sales results were looking mediocre at best, despite long hours of hard work. And he couldn’t understand why. He was intelligent and enthusiastic about sharing his products’ facts and figures with clients. He dutifully followed his company’s structured “sales model.” He shared the features and benefits of his clearly superior product, answered any questions, and attempted to close the sale. One or two clients liked this approach. The rest seemed to be disengaged or actually hate it. This didn’t make sense. Didn’t everyone make buying decisions rationally, based on data?
Fortunately, two wise sales veterans liked Andrew and came to his aid. “Don’t just tell facts and figures – connect the dots,” said one. “Weave in emotion, and listen!” said the other. But Andrew postponed and wavered, keeping to the path of numbers and data. Sales didn’t budge up. Did he really have a future in sales?
With nothing to lose, he began connecting with clients with a sense of purpose. It was a rocky start at times, but surprisingly, it worked. He shared stories about the products, asked questions and listened closely. Clients began opening up with their own stories, which just made the job fun! Andrew eventually did get to talk about the numbers; just now in a way that resonated emotionally with the client. Connections were made, and sales rose year after year.
In time, Andrew became one of the successful sales veterans himself. He dove into the scientific research which explained exactly why stories have been so effective in influential communication. (And why data alone is rarely inspirational). Along the way, he coached hundreds of salespeople to listen and engage through story for better results.
In 2010, he started Seven Story Learning, LLC to help individuals and organizations communicate through story in order to learn, lead, and sell more effectively.
Through group workshops, organization-wide initiatives, and individual coaching, Andrew teaches the simple CHAPTERTM method of finding, refining, and delivering great stories.
Andrew has a B.A. in East Asian Studies with a minor in Economics from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
He has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, which he attended on a two year Austin Scholarship.
In his free time Andrew enjoys live music and Ultimate (Frisbee).
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Seven Story Learning, LLC
436 Central Avenue
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
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