Apr 3, 2018
Storytelling, Entrepreneurship, and Lessons Learned
from Working with Steve Jobs - Guest Anne Wolf
Anne is the President & Founder of Wolf
Communications. She is a Chief Marketing Officer by trade,
she has carried a bag, starting her career in sales. Today,
she works with entrepreneurs, many times in a Chief Strategy
We met Anne through the TLDC18 conference. This week we cover a
lot of ground, from the transition between sales and marketing, to
Anne's time at Apple, to helping new entrepreneurs. We hope
you enjoy the discussion, and look forward to your feedback.
- What is the difference between
Brand Story & Authentic Story?
- What are some of the things a
sales rep can do when trying to understand their story, or their
- What was it like working with Steve Jobs?
- What are some common
misperceptions among your students about
- What are some common challenges
that you see when working with founders?
- What are some of the things
that people do well when it comes to the exit? Where do they
- Brand Story - sometimes this is
confusing - entrepreneurs tend to focus on feature functionality vs
why they are doing this.
- Authentic story - why they
decided to focus on this issue, focus on this challenge. This
helps to convey your
passion, helps with onboarding, and helps with keeping customers
- Mistakes happen when you think of the pitch as a focus on
- Investors want to hear the
"why" behind it
- Your Authentic Story takes a
lot of transparency, some people fear this. Your customers
- SHaring the good, the bad, the
ugly is better than painting the picture that everything is perfect)
- Reps tend to focus on
presentation of the information, they should focus more on
- Listen to solve problems.
Anne's success in sales was a function of understanding her
- Think of brands we admire - you
usually can tell a great story - this is what makes them
- Start with the Why
- Go Where they Live? -
Problems, Location, Put yourself in the customer's
- If you can't be on site - you
can bridge the gap by using vocabulary, showing empathy, help the
client see you as an extension of their team.
- Be Brutally
Honest. When in Doubt, Tell the Truth. Be
- Changing human behavior is very difficult.
- Your brand is your promise. When the thing breaks - is
the company there, or do you regret the promise? - Follow the
customer through the lifecycle
- In Steve's mind, Apple was breaking their promise, they were
not delivering great technology.
- Working with Steve helped Anne recognize the value in "doing
- Decisive Leadership - It is just as important to know what you
are not going to do, as it is to know what you are going to
- This led to the "Think Different" Campaign
- The sales team was focused on product, the business was focused
on changing behavior, changing mindset.
- This was about releasing something new, something different,
which ultimately was the iMac.
- As reps, sometimes we have a tendency to color inside the
lines, embrace the rebellious spirit, use your own story as a
- Entrepreneurship - it's not as easy as you think.
- Know who the customer is.
- Know why will they buy.
- Know how will you fund it.
- One common challenge is when
you have a CEO/Founder who is so married to their technology, that
they can't see around the product. (i.e. the product does not do xyz). The
leadership "DOES NOT
SEE THE REALITY"
- There is such a lack of communication across
functions. CEO can be surrounded by people who just tell them
what they want to hear.
- Do you feel awkwardly
uncomfortable with what you are communicating? If
so, that is a good
- Over-communication can help
with commitment. Staff
may feel awkwardly uncomfortable, communication can help overcome
- Great leaders do not create followers, they create other great
- Common theme - students, others, executives - you need to build
a level of trust, the foundation of trust is based on
- Exits are taking longer than in the past.
- ~70% of startups will fail, Crossing the Chasm takes
longer than you think it will take, and many organizations will not
- The ones who exit manage the
- Don't count their "coin" too
- Maintain a maniacal
- Keep the exit as a closely
- When everyone is talking about
the IPO, it takes people off task
- Failure is an
- Leverage mentors
- Build your personal
Call to Action
Anne shared her LA County Unified School District story - How
can you apply this in your role? We'd like to hear how you
can apply "being there" in the context of your customers.
Please share your stories with us @catalystsale on twitter or
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