Skip to main content

Hero's Journey

Lesson 13 from: How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

13. Hero's Journey

Lesson Info

Hero's Journey

The hero's journey is a transformation story. It's a story that involves change and this kind of story is more emotional and Shari had mentioned that earlier. They tend to be a little longer cause there's a few more steps involved with the hero's journey story. The hero's journey was originally brought out in a book by Joseph Campbell, a mythologist. He worked with Lucas on the Star Wars films. That was the first time that the hero's journey, following the 12 paths, the 12 steps of the hero's journey was used. And forgive me, Campbell, but I have reduced it to five steps. Shari and I have talked and we've said you can't do 12 steps. They used the 12 pathways when you, all the movies people make have 12 steps of the hero's journey. But for sales, for business, you want to keep it brief. So these are the five key steps of the hero's journey here. So first, you introduce the topic. The exposition it says here, but who are the characters, it's the setting and what happens to set them on th...

eir journey, okay? What is the incident that sets them off? During the rising action, you'll have a couple of action things happening, that happen. That's where that struggle, that adversity takes place, that we so much love to watch in movies. What are they struggling to overcome? And during that time, cortisol, it's a hormone in our body, gets released, it's from the adrenal glands, and we go, it makes us feel tension, a little unnerved. Urgency. Yes, urgency. It creates urgency in your story. You know, you've all watched a movie and been like, "Oh, gigigi!" You know, you know when you're like, so in to a movie and your spouse comes and you're like, "Ah!" You know, like, you're right at that place, right? Or somebody comes and interrupts you, but that's the cortisol, that's the urgency in a story. And I just want to say one thing, a great story has this balance that we've been talking about all day. Between sort of this empathy, right? That you care about the character and sort of an urgency. It's an empathy urgency balance. Then you hit the climax, which is when another hormone gets released. And you release oxytocin, which is a drug, it's not a drug, it's a hormone that makes you feel good. And feel like the person you're talking to is trustworthy. And sets off neuro pathways that are mirroring each other in two people. And then you move towards your resolution, and then you can move towards your message. So, these are definitely, take a little more time to find these. Do you have anything to add here? No, there's all types of ways you can use them, though these, again, are very good as a speaker. It's a little self deprecating, right? If I tell you about a struggle, I'm being a little self deprecating. Some of the best creative lives that I've ever seen have somebody at the beginning being very vulnerable. And talking about this is my struggle. I struggled with anxiety, I struggled with this. In a business situation, you can use the same and that helps you to connect. It's that vulnerability piece when we talk about building trust. So these can be more from the first person point of view. Correct. They could be about you, and especially for people who are artists. For people who have built small businesses, what is your story? What's your story? Which can then become a bottom to what is our story for the small company or for the art, okay? So these are actually really fun to create. In order to do the story, because it's a journey, I decided to make some stepping stones here. And I was lucky enough to go to the art store and find some granite-y stepping stones here. These are the five steps you're gonna take when you make your journey. You're gonna say it all started. So I could say, for my journey, it all started when my husband came to me one day in Los Angeles and said, "I've got this great opportunity up in the Silicon Valley to become part of a startup." and we left Silicon Valley, I left my tenured track teaching position and moved to the Silicon Valley. What happened was, I came here and I looked for a job at a university, I looked for a job in a theater company, in a dance company cause I'm a performing artist. I couldn't find anything and I was stuck up in the Silicon Valley, feeling lost and like my identity was completely gone. And the only thing I was was a mother of a five year old child. Then, I sat down with a friend and she said, "Well you've got to dig deep and find out, like, write down everything that you're good at. What are you good at?" And so I did, I sat down and I wrote what I was good at, and they were all in the field of communication and body language. So what I did was, I translated everything I knew from theater and my dance background, and put it into a formula that I could use and teach to the business world. And that's when I realized I could go out and teach public speaking. I could teach people how to do improv in the business world. And that when I work with clients, here's my punchline cause you still need a message, I'm still doing what I love because what I'm doing is directing one person shows. (audience clapping) Again, Shari and I pulled this out from the 12 steps, but this walks you through the story. So, just for a moment in the audience, at home, think of a journey you've gone through. Now this journey changed me, okay? A hero's journey is something that when you start here, you're a certain person, and something changes in you, so when you end up here, you're not the same person anymore. So it can be the journey of your company, or your artistry, or it can be the journey of something significant that changed in your company, or in you as part of a company. You have a, yes, good. [Arun} Yes, Ma'am. Tell me your name. My name is Arun Kumar, Arun, so you're going to step on these stones and, I don't think they're too slippery, but step directly on top of them. So we'll go through this twice. Okay. And use, these are used as prompts because they take you I understand, but I don't want to focus on this, so I will focus on telling a story. I will try to follow this. Absolutely. But if not, excuse me. Okay, money is in the list, this is what I realized in my life. Who you know, and how detailed you know. This is a real life story happened in my life, which turned me upside down, and gave job opportunity for 200 people. I ran this company from India. I used to visit from India, flew here, met my customers, and then go back. I was very happy entrepreneur, because when you live in India, with employees, you live like a king. Very happy. But I was depending on one customer to own 70% or 80% of my revenue. Until the customer calls me a day, and say that, "Arun, I have a good and bad news to you." I said, "Oh wow, okay, let's start with the bad news." He says, "We may have to close your contract." Oh, okay, then what the good news could be because my major revenue is depending on your one client. Now you are saying you close it. He said, "You have three months." At the time, I was not comfortable in doing sales. I'm good in technology, I'm good in human resource, I'm good in business process, but sales, zero. Maybe minus 10, if I can say. But that situation changed me. Within three months, I have to save a job for so many number of people until my company's upside down. And keep in mind, that was a wholesale service. Not even 10 customers. So I have no customers, no one knows about my company. No one knows about my brand, period. So within three months, we have to establish a brand value, and replace one wholesale customer with at least 50 direct consumer. Within three months. No one should go through that situation. I did. All we faced, I formed a scope team, we tried every possible marketing method we could possibly, we hired a call center, we bought a database. Call center sent thousands of direct mails, and this is sales to a law firm. The law firm never allow stranger easily to the door. That is how they operate. Look at my situation, my money, the working capital is draining down. The three months is closing to the end. Could I step in here, just because we're on a little bit of a time frame. Sure. He has, Arun has a terrific story here. I mean it is really powerful, and what it's doing right now is it's taking too long and it's wandering a little bit, so if you'll humor me. Okay. Humor me. It all started. Yes I started. Ba ba ba da da. When somebody phoned and told me, cause it all started, he had this great company going and it all started when somebody phoned him said I have good news and bad news for you. My client. Your client phoned you. So give that to us tightly there. Okay. So what happened was, what did you, what happened? So you were going to lose this huge client and you were in danger of your whole company falling apart. Correct. And then something happened, and then very quickly, we want to hear, so what I did was, we picked up those 50 companies, we did the call center, we did this, we did that, and that's and then I want to get you realized here. Yes, but unfortunately my story did not go like that. We have to build of a team, to keep it short because of the time, we formed a team exclusively. One guy came in and told me that every law firm listed their email address on their website. Every lawyer lists their email address on their website. So I deployed him along with the 50 people to grab that email addresses. He got a thousand in that day, and we sent an email and we got the first customer. So we just repeated again and again and again. Now we have 40,000 database we custom built, and we have 400 successful clients we are serving. And word of mouth we went to 900. And that gave me an opportunity to not only save the job, also, that is a service we provide. We build databases. When he said, "So what he did was," that's the part we want to pull out. What he did was, he got that database, poked all the lawyers, and then ended up with his success to the problem. Correct. Great, so it still is, however way you use it, you need to just really tighten your story up. So what I hear you saying, Lee, when we do this, this is the hard part. Yeah. You only get like five to 10 sentences. I understand, okay, so five to. And it's hard, no, no, it's very hard. So when you start here, it all started when. You only get what happened was, then, so try it one more time. It's, look, Short. If it was easy, everybody'd do it. I understand, I understand. And, go ahead and try it, and use this exact verbiage. Okay. And once you're done with one or two sentences, Then move to the next. You gotta move on the Candyland board. Okay, now I can easily follow the steps rather than the story. And as always, at some point, you don't have to use these beginnings at some point. They just start pushing you in the right direction. Okay. And I know a lot of you there are thinking can we do this with our boss please because we get too many too long stories, right? And this is a way to really tighten them. Okay, so I am starting again. Yes. And you get one to two sentences per stone. Correct. I was a very happy, I had a very happy successful client. Established a 70% of the market share employing hundreds of employees. Was very good, until then he gave me a call one day, And he said, "Arun, you have bad and good news. Bad news is, we are going to close the contract. Good news is, you have three months." So, we have only three months to figure out what we may have to do. And over three months, form a team, and we started to build our own database. So we did it successfully. And we marketed it, and we won successful many customers. The story is, build your own database, don't buy it. And be specific. (audience cheering) Thank you. Now you can see, I mean, we all do this. We tell stories and they go like this and like this and like this. They wander around like those rivers on the plains. The one place, Arun, you could have given us a little more detail because Shari was tapping you through it. You have to push it from left to right. Is on this so what I did was, cause that detail of how you got that database and you phoned every single person, and people responded. That's the part we want the detail of, so that's your really big detail. Beautiful at the beginning. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. This is what Shari and I always talk about, our story banks. You need a story bank. Write it in your computer, in your phone. But start keeping stories, and you can name your stories, you can put them under categories. Like you can say this is a story how to overcome objections, this is a transformation story, this is a story about what we have in common, this is a story about some of my values. And you start getting them written down, because if you write them down, I can tell you they will be in your back pocket when you need a story in the middle of a client meeting. Exactly. Let's give Lee Eisler a huge round of applause. (audience clapping) And I will tell you, Lee is my speaking coach, and I rarely do any kind of a keynote, or a speech without talking to Lee. I do want to say one more thing that I learned from Lee about story, and then we're going to, sort of, tighten everything up here and leave with link. And that is that when you're telling a story, and I have to do this when I speak all of the time, don't just think about what you wanna say, think about how you want your audience to feel. Somebody asked me the other day, they said, "Do you get nervous when you speak?" I said, "Are you kidding me? I used to throw up before I spoke." And even though again, I've been doing it for 20, 25 years, I don't know that you ever get over the big presentation or the big speech. Not all of the time, but depending on the stakes. And I remember one thing Lee told me, and it keeps me grounded, and it keeps me in my heart, and that is, she always says "Stop thinking about what it is you want to say, now that you know what it is you want to say, and start thinking how you want your audience to feel." And that's huge and it makes a big difference. So thank you, Lee. That was excellent. (audience clapping) So as we wrap up, and as you think about your stories and in the next section, which I'm so excited about, we're gonna be looking at objections. What are the six objections to purchasing anything? We're gonna look at how to isolate objections, because this is all well and good, right? But the problem is, we do encounter resistance. So whenever we're selling, even if we use the call method, we're going to encounter resistance. How do we deal with that resistance? How do we deal with the no? But, I just want to sum up what we've done today. We started out and we talked about how much the customer has changed. And, we've seen more change in the last five years than in all of humankind. I mentioned the statistics. We've created more content as a nation, as a world, in the last five years than in all of humankind. So we have all of this information coming at us. So in order to get ahead, in order to break through to the new customer, we have to do everything Alexa can't. Only human beings can connect at the heart level. Okay, only a human being can do that. Only a human being can ask skin, bone, and heart questions. Alexa's great at skin questions. I'm sure one day they'll have an Alexa that can ask heart questions, but right now we don't have it. Only a human being can listen to the emotion behind the words. And only a human being can let their customer see a brighter future. Only human beings use their prefrontal cortex. So only a human can help you imagine a better future. One thing I want you to think about when you're linking is when you're linking, there's three ways you can do it. We've talked about two of them. Number one way is you can use, the earlier you were telling me that, the linking formula. Earlier you were telling me that, a feature of our product or program is, the benefit to you is. So just remember that phrase, earlier you were telling me that, and again you wanna hit one of the big four. The second way, we were just delighted with Lee showing us some ways to tell stories. You want to link what you learn about your customer in discovery by using a story. Stories change our emotional state, so stories need to serve a purpose. They either need to hit the customer's emotional motivator, solve a problem, or overcome an objection. The other thing we need to remember with stories is that when you tell a story, or when you're talking about a benefit to a customer when you're linking, you want to make sure you're not linking the facts, but you're linking the emotional benefits. Too many people just link facts, but since emotions sell and facts tell, you want to link emotional benefits. One of the biggest mistakes any salesperson makes is once they've got all that discovery information, they tell the customer how their product works, instead of sharing with them, as Jared did, how they'll feel when they implement it. Will they have more time with family? Somebody said earlier that they'll get to move to the place that they want to move. Think in terms of linking benefits to their seven key emotional motivators. When I first started my training company, this was several years ago, I had my first big client, and I worked very hard, I worked two weeks in a row without a day off. And I remember towards then end, I thought, see, I'm giving context, I'm doing a story, Lee. I remember, I thought, I'm really sore, my neck hurts, and I'm gonna get myself a massage. So I walked upstairs, and there was a very conservative woman behind the counter, and I asked her, I said, "How much are your massages?" She looked at me, she said, "They're $75. You must book them at least two weeks in advance. We don't take Visa or Mastercard, only American Express with a 4% additional fee. If you'd like a massage, there's eight pages of paperwork you must fill out. Now then, would you like your massage?" I'm thinking, no, these facts are not very interesting to me. I would not. So I decided not to get the massage. I thought, I'll have a little tequila with taquitos or something, that'll make me feel better. So I start walking down the streets of Cancun, and about an hour later, I come by this little building, and on it is a sign. It says Garden of Eden Massages. I'm thinkin hm, maybe I'll go in there. I walk in, I smell the smell of lavender, I hear sort of running waterfalls in the background, and there's this cute, sort of Eastern European gal behind the counter. And I said, "Can you tell me about your massages?" She says, "Tonight, we have Eduardo." (audience laughing) She says, "Eduardo, he hasa the magic hands. He take the oil and rub it all over your body and make you tingle." She says, "Have you had Eduardo?" I said, "No!" She says, "Huh, I don't believe. Eduardo usually book up several weeks in advance, has opening in 10 minutes, you want?" "Yes!" I had Eduardo. (audience laughing) He traveled with me for the next several years until I got married. Here's the point. The first woman told me how it worked. She told me the skin information, the facts. The second woman, told me how I'd feel. When you're selling your products or services, whether it's software, whether it's PR, whether it's art or photography. Are you telling your customers all about how it works? Or are you looking to the future and telling them how they'll feel? The emotional, third level, heart benefits of using or owning your product. Because I can assure you, that makes all the difference. We're gonna wrap up today, and I'm gonna ask each one of you in this class, and each one watching at home to write down something for me. I'd like for you to write down, in order, the three most important things in your life. So would anybody like to share, top three? So I chunked the first three together, because family includes kids and hubby, so I put family, and then health, and then career. Family, health, and career. Thank you, Lisa. Appreciate that. Alright, anybody else? For myself, I put family, culture, and career. And culture is just travel and understanding other cultures. Excellent, excellent. I think family's first after seeing that cute little one. Oh yes, it's definitely. Absolutely, alright, Mario. I'm a big believer in separating wife and kids from family, because at the end of the day, when the kids are gone all you have is your wife, so it's wife, then kids, and then the extended family, which is everybody else that makes, may made you who you were. That's beautiful, what a nice group. Alright, let me ask you a question. I've done this exercise all over the world, I've done it in India, I've done it in South America, I've done it in Hawaii, I've done it in New York, I've done it in LA. And one thing I've learned is that people are people. We're more alike than we are different. And I'm gonna prove that to you right now. How many of you, in your top three, wrote something down about family? Can I see a show of hands? Everybody, that's amazing. Give yourselves a hand, that's amazing. Good people. (audience clapping) How many of you wrote down something about health, wellness, something about being healthy and being well? Can I see a show of hands? Absolutely. And how many of you wrote down something about sense of purpose, job, creativity? Can I see a show of hands? Great. And how many of you wrote down your software, your art, or the service that you are selling? None of you. None of you wrote down your software product? (audience laughing) Here's what I want to leave you with. We can't change someone's life priorities in a sales conversation. But what we can do, is we can connect, ask, and listen. Find out what their life priorities are. What the business outcomes are they want to achieve. And we can link our product or service to it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Heart of Purchase Decisions Infographic
Get Out of Sales Hell Handout
Commitment Cards
10 Truths
7 Benefits of Asking More Questions - Infographic
Bonus Videos Links

Ratings and Reviews

Karen Kennedy

Sheri had me at HELLO! Her content kept me engaged for the entire class. This class does not have nuggets of information, it has BOULDERS. Even an "old sales pro" like me found so many helpful hints and tips in Sheri's methodology. If you are a newbie to sales, search no more -- just take this course and you will have everything you need to be successful. Trust the process, follow the steps. It will work for you. I especially loved the subject matter guests who covered the topics of Digital Seling and Storytelling. Do not put off buying and viewing this class. Do it now! NOW! Sales are how people and companies get revenue. Get going on your pipeline of opportunities, connect with your Heart and SELL in a genuine way. Kudos to Sheri for this amazing class. I loved every minute.

Lisa Bournoutian

By sheer luck, I came across Shari's book, Heart and Sell, about a year ago and instantly recognized that her process was one that would align nicely with my B2C sales team. Having read her book, I knew I was in for a real treat coming to Creative Live and watching her deliver her content in person. Shari seamlessly weaved invaluable examples that creative artists, B2B and B2C entrepreneurs could all relate to, and in a way that was fun, engaging, and easy to understand. She has absolutely mastered the science of selling and the heart of connecting. If you haven't read the book, you're missing out, and if you've never seen Shari in action, it is an experience you'll never forget. This course is a perfect opportunity to not only dive right in and learn how to sell the way your customer buys, but to make the right CALL (Connect, Ask, Listen & Link) in your personal sales journey and watch your business grow.

a Creativelive Student

If you are an executive, business professional, or a salesperson who wants to improve your communications, negotiation, and sales skills --- acquire Shari Levitin’s course. Shari will show you how to better connect with customers, prospects, team members, and people from an authentic perspective. Shari Levitin’s class is filled with excellent frameworks, content, actionable exercises, insights, and knowledge that will help anyone to be better a salesperson in your professional and personal lives. I loved how Shari included other experts, such as Mario Martinez (digital sales evangelist), Lee Eisler (store telling framework and presentation skills), and Deb Calvert (how to stop selling and start leading to make extraordinary sales happen with results from her B2B research study).

Student Work