Selling Through Storytelling: Tips, Strategies, and Actionable Advice with John Livesay – ep 50

Join John Livesay and me and learn more about “Better Selling Through Storytelling”

📢 John Livesay, aka The Pitch Whisperer, is a sales keynote speaker where he shows companies’ sales teams how to turn mundane case studies into compelling case stories so they win more new business.

From John’s award winning career at Conde Nast, he shares the lessons he learned that turn sales teams into revenue rock stars. His TEDx talk: Be The Lifeguard of your own life has over 1,000,000 views.

Clients love working with John because of his ongoing support after his talk which includes implementing the storytelling skills from his best-selling book and online course “Better Selling Through Storytelling.” His book is now required reading for the UTLA (the University of Texas in LA) course on Entertainment and Media studies.


👉 To get Access to John’s Gift, Top Storytelling tips, visit


  • How did John Livesay become the Pitch Whisperer

  • How coaches and consultants can get more clients without feeling pushy

  • What is the biggest mistake people make when they give their elevator pitch

  • Examples of someone telling a story and getting a new client

  • How to get people to work with you


We are pleased to provide these show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who prefer to read.

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors.


Mostafa Hosseini  0:03 

And we’re live Welcome to daily confidence for entrepreneurs. My name is Mostafa Hosseini Your host for the show. At daily confidence we share tips, strategies and actionable advice that you can use on a daily basis when it comes to running your business and boost your confidence in those different areas. Now, during the show, after the show, we do a draw.

 And we give away gifts and for you to enter to draw, if you like the show, if you subscribe to our channel, whichever social channel you’re watching to, if you’re or if you’re in our podcast and you subscribe to our podcast if you comment or ask a question. If you tag a friend on social media who could benefit from the conversation that we’re having in front and topic that we’re which might call it discussing, you will enter your name and their name into the draw.

Also, if you rate and review our podcast on Google, Spotify, Apple, and you know the whichever platform you’re watching or listening through, you also enter your name into our trunk. So today I have an amazing guest, John lover say Welcome, John.


John Livesay  1:05 

Thank you, Mostafa, great to be with you. Great to


Mostafa Hosseini  1:08 

have you. And our topic is better selling through storytelling. And this is such a great topic. And by the way, gang, this is our 50th episode. And in the past six or seven months, we’ve done 50 episodes, so. So thank you and for your support.

And thank you for showing up, and all the amazing guests that we’ve had. And so I’m looking forward to this call to this topic selling through storytelling. Let me do a proper intro for John and then we’re going to dive right into the conversation here. If you’re watching or listening and if you have any questions about sales and storytelling, popping into the chat box and we’re going to do our best to address them and go from there.

So John leather say aka pitch whisper is a sales keynote speaker where he shows company’s sales teams how to turn mundane case studies into compelling case stories so they win more new business. From John’s award winning career at Conde Nast, he shares the lessons he learned that turns sales teams into revenue rockstars his TED Talk, be the lifeguard of your own life has over 1 million views on different channels.

Clients love working with John because of his ongoing support after his talk, which includes implementing the storytelling skills from his best selling book, an online course better selling through storytelling. His book is now required reading for the UCLA University of Texas in LA course on Entertainment and Media Studies. Welcome, John.


John Livesay  2:55 

Thanks again for having me. Great to be again here on a topic I love talking about.


Mostafa Hosseini  3:00 

Yeah, I love this topic too. Because this whole thing about sales, as a lot of people have difficulties with and they’re not very confident. And it’s the one step that is essential. It’s like the life of a business. Yeah, I’m entrepreneurs who start a business and when they realize they have to sell. They are like, Oh, I don’t want to solve. I don’t want to be salesy. So this is really good. So, John, what is your story?


John Livesay  3:31 

Well, my story is I majored in advertising because for me, it was a great combination of showbiz, and business, and entertainment. And I was always interested in what is it that motivates somebody to pay attention, what breaks through the clutter, whether it’s a jingle or a headline on a commercial or an ad. And I was always interested in how our brain work, what made us persuade, some be persuaded by something and what makes us to another things out.

And then I started my career selling multimillion dollar mainframe computers in Silicon Valley, and was competing against IBM at the time. And what I realized was my equipment might be less expensive, more reliable, even faster.

And still people weren’t buying it because IBM would say if something breaks, we’re going to point the finger at the other vendor, and you’ll get fired for hiring. Until I went well, there’s a lot of psychological issues that go into a decision. It’s not just a logical numbers.

And that was great sales training. And then I moved from Silicon Valley down to LA, and worked for an ad agency that turned movies into commercials coming out on home video back in the day when blockbuster was thriving. And it really helped me craft my storytelling techniques.

It was my job to call in the studios Warner Brothers and Disney to convince them to let us do the commercials. But then in the midst of it. I learned that if a movie didn’t do well theatrics, We could reposition it to get people to want to rent or even own it. So that storytelling skills, what you take out of a movie and cut it down to a 32nd commercial is the same thing we do with our elevator stories. And then I had a 15 year career selling advertising and media for Conde Nast.

And realized that you know, Lexis would say, you know, we looked at 50 different magazines, we’ve narrowed it down to 10. Come in and pitch back to back to back. And don’t tell us any numbers, we are done that analysis, cause Whoever tells us a good idea, or a story is going to win. And I’m Oh, and I love that. But a lot of people were deer in headlights.

So in the last seven years, I’ve had my own career as a speaker, training people who maybe love coaching or love what they’re doing. But hate the selling part of it, a lot of it has to do with a huge fear of rejection, which is very tied to our confidence, and also the inability to tell a story.

Because the great news is when you tell a story you pull people in, as opposed to having to feel pushy and push information out. And because of the way our brain is wired, we love storytelling, we relax, it accesses a different part of our brain. So people love to know that they don’t have to become salespeople to be successful. But they do need to learn how to become a black belt in storytelling.


Mostafa Hosseini  6:27 

Love it. So what is your elevator pitch?


John Livesay  6:30 

Well, you know how coaches and consultants and even entrepreneurs struggle, not to be seen as a commodity. And they feel pushy, and they hate it. I’m the pitch whisperer. And I show people through my talks and my trainings, how to make a compelling case story.

Because whoever tells the best story gets sale or hired. And after working with me, people become revenue. rockstars.


Mostafa Hosseini  6:56 

Love it. Love it. So how did you Rosemary says perfect timing. And I’m trying to I’m tying up a story that is due today for a book. It’s just a conversation.

So good timing there. Perfect. And guys, if you have any questions about sales and stories and how to connect them and how to sell through stories, pop, pop them in the chat box, and we’re going to answer them. So how did you actually become the pitch whisperer?


John Livesay  7:23 

Well, I was being interviewed competing, even as a speaker, I don’t think everybody realizes this, no matter what you do, you’re always selling yourself. And I had to sell myself and convince an event planner for anthem insurance to hire me versus some other speakers.

And I asked a question that starts with two magic words that I highly recommend people start using, which is what if, when you start a question with what if you tap into the right side of our brain, where imagination and storytelling and listening and empathy all live?

And I said, Well, what if I stayed after my talk, since you’re going to have an improvisation session, and would help people if they got stuck, I could whisper something in their ear from my talk. And they love that and picked me.

And I told that story to Ink Magazine, and they said, Wow, you’re the pitch whisperer. Literally, you’re helping people. And at the workshop, people said, can you be in my ear all the time when I’m in the field, a great use of how that story of origin came about.

And that’s so important that we have a story of origin for not only ourselves, but our company, even if it’s a one person company, and then of course telling a story about what we do that helps people


Mostafa Hosseini  8:37 

love it. So what’s the formula with what if What do you follow? What if with,


John Livesay  8:42 

then you start to paint a picture. So here’s another example, when I was calling on speedo, they were coming out with a line of sportswear. And I said, Oh, would you like to advertise that in my fashion magazine?

And they said, No, we’re going to be in fitness magazines. So I used that question. And I said, What if we treated your sportswear like it was high fashion, and had a fashion show about a Hotel Swimming pool, and you could invite Michael Phelps since he’s on your payroll of the Olympics, and we get all kinds of publicity.

And I painted enough of a picture that they were intrigued enough, if you want to know more what that would look like and eventually gave me the advertising and I got to meet Michael Phelps.

And as a former lifeguard, I can assure you that was a big thrill. And I got to ask him some questions. I’m happy to share about what makes him so successful.


Mostafa Hosseini  9:28 

Hmm, love it. So gang, if you’re watching or listening, you want to start with what F? And John, is this something you respond to an objection?


John Livesay  9:40 

Yes, sometimes, and even during a presentation. You It’s definitely what if can be used in multiple ways. Anytime you want to tap into someone’s imagination, and get them to map a different future with you or your idea of being used, as opposed to pushing out a bunch of numbers or facts, then that That’s a great phrase to start.


Mostafa Hosseini  10:02 

Love it. Love it. What are some mistakes that coaches or consultants make about sales in general?


John Livesay  10:12 

Well, I think the biggest mistake they make is thinking that people buy logically. And then if they have enough information, if I push out enough data about me and what I do and how many module modules or whatever it is, that they and then they don’t understand why nobody’s buying I don’t you have enough information yet, let me send you some more.

And so when you realize that people buy emotionally, and then back it up with logic, so if you go buy a sports car, or a really expensive handbag, they’re not talking about how many miles per gallon that sports car gets, they’re gonna talk about how sexy you’re gonna feel and how much fun it’s gonna be to drive. Or for women buying an expensive purses.

Oh, you’re gonna feel so confident. Wearing carrying that purse around is the latest fashion, you’ll be making a statement. So people are always appealing to our emotion even from a house. It for most people, it’s an emotional by backed up with logic. So when you avoid that mistake of pushing out information, but instead, tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings, then people open the purse strings.


Mostafa Hosseini  11:20 

Love it. So how do we then connect with their emotions? What do you figure? What’s the process to figure out? All right here are the emotions that are attached to this particular product or service? Yes, how do we go about that?


John Livesay  11:37 

Well, let’s zoom out and talk about the four steps to what make a great story. And within that is where the emotion comes perfect.

 A great story has to be three things. First off, it has to be clear, concise, and it has to be compelling. And the compelling part is where the emotions live. So if you have the exposition, where you paint that picture, either with what if or you tell a story, imagine and give the dates of the people feel like they’re in the story with you.

Yeah, describe the problem with emotion, the more you show empathy for the problem you’re solving, if you’ve been in the shoes of the people, or you describe how overwhelmed or frustrated or scared they are, the more people think you have their solution. And then comes the resolution. And this is the part most people forget what is life like, after they bought something from you or hired you? And that’s what is the feeling they have?

 Do they go from waking up in the middle of the night panic, to having peace of mind and not being so stressed out? Those feelings are the key to a really great story. So the emotion goes throughout the story, but especially when you’re describing your problem, and the resolution of life after.


Mostafa Hosseini  12:51 

Love it. So you said three things has to be clean, concise, and compelling. We’re


John Livesay  12:57 

sorry, not clean, clear.


Mostafa Hosseini  12:59 

Clear. I’m sorry.


John Livesay  13:00 

That’s okay. Because the confused mind won’t tell you they’re confused. They’ll just say no, I don’t know. So don’t use acronyms. You know, don’t confuse people. Oh, what I do so complicated.

I have to No, no, no, no. That’s my niche is helping people with technical challenges or a very complex process. boil it down. Einstein said, If you can’t explain something simply you don’t understand it well enough.


Mostafa Hosseini  13:22 

Exactly. Love it so clear, concise, and compelling, and all the emotions and stuff and come into the compelling part where you tell them the emotions of the problems and show empathy for the problem that they’re having. Love it. Love it. And so what are some of the mistakes that people make with their elevator pitch?


John Livesay  13:45 

Well, the first one is they think it’s an invitation for a 10 minute monologue. And it’s not


Mostafa Hosseini  13:49 

Yes, that’s what I was gonna say.


John Livesay  13:53 

Also, are they become very robotic, and suddenly, they’re like reading a brochure or something. So the way we fix that is literally starting with, you know how. And then you describe who you help, and what problem they’re struggling with.

So the first steps have nothing to do with you. So you notice how I did you know how salespeople and coaches and consultants struggle with being seen as a commodity. That’s the opening three steps to my elevator story. And then you go into the solution and most people forget what life is like after. So adding that little resolution to your elevator story which most people leave off, or they think it’s your whole goal should be to get it people intrigued enough to say, Well, my stuff that’s interesting.

Tell me more. And have a conversation not Do you want to buy so tell an elevator story that somebody is intrigued enough to want to know more? And more importantly, that they can remember? So that even if they don’t need what you have, they could remember it enough to refer you.


Mostafa Hosseini  14:59 

Hmm, What’s your opinion about? So there are things that there are multiple schools, schools of thought on sales. Here’s another idea that I’ve heard. That is a more of a direct kind of sales approach.

And that is, I will walk up to 100 people and ask 100 people if they want to buy and talk to the people that do want to buy versus school, and the other side would be the storytelling and the nurturing part. What’s your opinion on that? What’s your experience with that?


John Livesay  15:32 

Well, my experience is nobody wants to be sold to you, even if they’re buying in the case of Lexus, his ad agency, calling in all the sales reps, they still don’t want to be sold to they want to hear a story. And if you’re interviewing for a job, they’re gonna say, bring your resume to life, tell me about yourself. They don’t need you to sell them.

They want you to tell them a story. And so again, I worked with a healthcare tech company. And I said, they said, We want to learn how to become storytellers, because pushing out facts and figures is not causing us to win against our competitors.

I said, Well, what are you saying now? They said, Oh, our equipment makes the surgeries go 30%? Faster? Do you want one? Like, yeah, I can see where there’s no story there.

And so I paint that picture with the exposition. Imagine now Dr. Higgins down at Long Beach Memorial six months ago, how happy he was going out to the patient’s family in the waiting room an hour earlier than expected.

And he put them out of there waiting mystery. And if you’ve ever waited for somebody you love to come out of surgery, you know, every minute feels like an hour. And he came out and said, Could do scope shows they don’t have cancer, then turn to the rep and said you know, that’s why I became a doctor for moments like this.

So now that rep tells that case story instead of a case study with numbers to another doctor at another hospital, who sees himself in the story and says, You know what, that’s why I became a doctor, I want your equipment to. So the client said to me, Wow, not only are we not telling stories that never occurred to us to make the patient’s family in the waiting room, a character in our story, but it really gives us chills.

And that’s an A memorable story. And that’s a great example of tugging at heartstrings to make that doctor want to open their purse strings. And remember, the doctor is the hero. Your client is the hero of the story, not you or your product. You’re the Sherpa, helping that person be the hero.


Mostafa Hosseini  17:31 

Very interesting. I like that the point about how the customer is the hero of the story. Mm hmm. Tell us more about that. What do you mean by that? Well, can you give us an example?


John Livesay  17:42 

Well, there’s that’s one example. Then I was working with a woman named Rose. And she works with women who struggle with emotional eating issues. So we first worked together on her elevators story, which is you know how you throw your jeans in the dryer and you take them out, they don’t fit and you want to blame the dryer for shrinking.

And you probably ate too much during COVID. So people laugh and they can see themselves in that little elevator stories you as well, my company’s button those jeans, and I help women find other ways to deal with stress besides food, boom, we know who she helps, what problems he solves, often running, she gets people interact with her want to hear about her program or coaching.

And we walk that person through the case story of somebody who was struggling with their self esteem, depending on what the scale said. And you know, diets weren’t working. And she explains how she helped her get off that roller coaster.

And now she’s that woman is happy and free all that stress. And she’s doing other things besides eating when she gets stressed. Journaling, whatever it is. And so people see themselves in that story and hire rows as their coach. Because they can relate to the person. The person in that story is her client. And roses, the Sherpa.


Mostafa Hosseini  18:56 

Love it. Love it. I think I’m about to sneeze. Okay. But it’s not coming up anyway. So But so then what I realized is the pitch should be about the customer not about me and how awesome I am. Correct, right?

So it should be touching on their pain and the problem and the frustration and the issues that they’re having, and how we can maybe help them with their solution. Yes, they’d be like, You know what, that’s me. Didn’t like John just paint painted a perfect picture of where I am because I’ve done that a million times where I wash my jeans and it’s tight now I’m like, Oh, what happened here?


John Livesay  19:37 

Nothing. Me. Yes. All right.


Mostafa Hosseini  19:39 

Love it. Love it. That’s amazing. Um, give an example of someone that has told a story and they got business. That just because they shared a story,


John Livesay  19:53 

huh? Yes. Well, I was working with an architect extra firm. And they were up for renovating an airport. And they were competing against two other firms, they each had an hour to come in and tell a story of why they should be the ones fit. And they had some beautiful before and after pictures of other airports, they’d renovated but really hadn’t put it together in a story.

So we crafted a story, which described how, two years ago at JFK at JetBlue, they had renovated that terminal. And one of the problems during that three year project was they had to rip off all the tiles in the middle of the night. And rewire everything but get it done between nine and nine and nine in the morning.

So the stores can open and not lose money. And so they had all their vendors on call in case something went wrong. And sure enough at two in the morning, a fuse blew, but they had somebody there and 20 minutes to fix it. And at 859 The last tile went down, and all the stores opened on time. And now a year later after that design sales are up 15% Because they’ve designed a airport location that pulls people in and makes them spend more time shopping.

That story helped them win that presentation. Because the other airport said that’s what we want. And you know, the old way of doing that would be to say, Oh, we use critical thinking to anticipate problems. I showed it in the story by having all the vendors on call anticipating any problems.


Mostafa Hosseini  21:22 

Wow. Yeah, that just story tells a lot of gives away a lot information about how they’re committed. They have their backups, they work within timelines, they understand that the vendors need to do business, they don’t want to lose sales.

And they’re willing to open, you know, at night. So there was a lot of a lot of things communicating that story. Beautiful. And I think the other side of it would be standing up in front of the vendor and say, I’m awesome. We’re so good.


John Livesay  21:50 

Yeah, we’ve done 100 airports and we’ve been in business forever and La La La and every like, I do I


Mostafa Hosseini  21:57 

Google in our customer, and Microsoft is our customer and the guys looking like I don’t care.


John Livesay  22:03 

You know, the irony on this particular situation was they were told they were going to hire the firm that they liked the most because it was a six year project. And a lot of people get really shaky on their confidence around that. Like me, so I worked with them again on the stories they told on the team slide instead of the boring normal. Hi, I’ve been here 10 years, this is what I do. I pulled out individual stories of those people. i What made you become an architect?

Oh, when I was 11. I played with Legos. Now I have a son. That’s 11. I still play with Legos. Okay, great. Where were you before? Oh, I was in the Israeli army. Okay, since you’re in charge of making sure this thing comes on time and under budget, you’ve got a great background for that little stories made them memorable and likeable, in addition to the case story, and all of that together, can make you a winner.

Because again, those stories may eliminate the problem of if they hear three pitches, and no one’s telling a story and pushing out facts. They just look at each other and go well, they all sound the same. I guess we should go with the lowest bid. But if one has a story that they relate to, and want to go on that journey, they like oh, let’s go with them.


Mostafa Hosseini  23:17 

Love it. Yeah, stories. I think when I hear a story, it helps me connect with the storyteller on a human level and on an emotional level. Yes. I mean, you could tell a one minute or two minutes story, and that will probably replace an hour pitch.


John Livesay  23:38 

It’s true, right. And there’s a technique in storytelling called an open loop, which I sort of did a little bit when I said I met Michael Phelps. And I’ll get back to what he told me that other people can use. So let me give that little story so we can close the loop for our viewers and listeners.


Mostafa Hosseini  23:55 

Tell us about first an open loop what it is, and then give us the story. Yeah,


John Livesay  23:59 

an open loop is literally what I did earlier in the show. I mentioned getting speeder to advertise with me by having Michael Phelps show up. And I said I got to talk to him. And I will tell you what he taught me about why he’s so successful, that will surprise you.

That’s an open loop, kind of like when they say next week on and they give you a little snippet of what’s to come in. And then Netflix people binge watch, because they can’t wait. They got to watch the next episode, open loops make. And our brain keeps that in our head going.

 I’m going to hear a story of something from Michael Phelps that maybe will help me. And so that keeps them leaning into wanna hear me close that loop. So it makes sense. Absolutely. So when I met Michael, I went up to him and I said, you know, everyone says you’re such a successful swimmer because your feet are like fins and your lung capacity is bigger than most people but I’m guessing there’s something else. He said, Oh, yeah.

When I was younger, my coach said to be Michael, are you willing to work out on Sundays? Yes, coach. Great. We just got 52 more workouts In a year than the competition? And I thought, well, there it is. And so all of us as entrepreneurs get to ask ourselves if we want to be at the Olympic level, what are we willing to do that others aren’t? So that’s an example of a story that has a takeaway, and that pulls the audience into that. And that’s actually something they can use. Hmm.


Mostafa Hosseini  25:23 

I think you could set the stage with your future. presentation about what needs to happen to make things work. Like you need to work extra if you want this kind of result. Right. You’re setting the stage for them. Yeah. Okay.


John Livesay  25:40 

Notice that story and present tense. That’s another big secret. I didn’t tell you the story. You know, when I met Michael Phelps, I asked him this. He said this to me. I gave it to you, as if you were eavesdropping in on the conversation.

And I even changed my voice a little bit. When I was saying the dialogue that Michael said, back to his coach and what his coach said to him. And interesting, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or memorable, if I just said, Michaels coach to ask him to work out on Sundays. And that’s why he’s more successful.


Mostafa Hosseini  26:11 

Not nearly you, you said this during the past, I guess?


John Livesay  26:15 

No, I set this I set the story, that while I talked to him in the past, I made that conversation seem like you’re ease dropping in the present moment by saying Michael said to me, my coach asked me, Michael, are you willing to work out on Sundays? Yes, coach. Great. We just got 52 more workouts as opposed to just saying, Michael’s coach had him workout on Sunday. So that’s,


Mostafa Hosseini  26:37 

I love how you’re pausing the conversation in there as well, like you looking up and down? Yes, you’re giving them a lot of clues there.


John Livesay  26:43 

Yeah, Michael is in the pool, looking back up at his coach. And the voice is deeper as the coach than it is young Michael, and all that pulls us in to the story.


Mostafa Hosseini  26:52 

Love it. So you said you start the story. And then you kind of I guess cut it up. At some point you say I’ll tell you the rest later.


John Livesay  27:00 

Well, the open loop part of it is just a hint of the story. But you don’t typically start a story and stop it, you just give a teaser that it’s coming.


Mostafa Hosseini  27:09 

Love it. That’s amazing. And then that’s one way to keep people engaged and keep them having wanting to stay around and stick around to learn about this multiple, maybe open loops that we have opened up. And now throughout your presentation, you’re going to close them up. And there’s going to be probably a couple of important ones that you’re going to open up or close up later. Right?


John Livesay  27:30 

Yep, it’s an ongoing loop. Because when I tell people, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what it’s like to work with me. And so you want to have a conversation with me to explore how I can help you. Whatever it is you’re offering.


Mostafa Hosseini  27:44 

Love it. Now for those entrepreneurs and coaches consultants who are watching and listening, what actionable strategies and advice and tips do you have for them to practice something or do something and become more confident in the next week or so?


John Livesay  27:59 

Yeah, I have a technique called stacking your moments of certainty. Your traffic controller stack up airplanes, decide which ones get to land and all that stuff. Is there all circling? Yeah, get we get in our head, we get so nervous about something. We get a lot of butterflies in our stomach. The first tip is get those butterflies in your stomach to fly in formation.

Get the nervous energy out of your stomach and into the room, make a gesture get out of your head worrying about whether people like you or not, and get focused on being of service. And when you do that, your confidence goes up. And also when the butterflies in your stomach come in. Don’t resent it. Just go oh, it’s game time. It’s my Super Bowl of meetings. Because the difference between being scared and excited, our body feels very similar.

So we get to relabel it. Oh, I’m excited. I’m not nervous. I’m excited. Okay, good. And then stacking your moments of certainty write down two or three times you knew you nailed something. You asked your future wife on a date she said yes, you’ve got a job you got hired, selling it online coaching program, whatever it is you do. And remember how good that felt when someone said yes. And the feelings that so when you stack those moments up instead of the negative self talk. Your confidence definitely goes up.


Mostafa Hosseini  29:18 

Love it so you bring in I think I think changing your association with you defining some people say I’m nervous but you will you could turn it into I’m excited. Yes. Right. And then go back to a wind moment in the past to be like this is where I got a yes this is when things were working and then put yourself in that state of mind. So you could go in and own that interaction with the prospects or whatnot. Love it right. Mm hmm. Love it, love it, love it. So that was called stacking.


John Livesay  29:55 

Moments of certainty,


Mostafa Hosseini  29:57 

moments of certainty. Stack Certainly, so that’s gang, if you’re watching, listening, that was a really important point about being nervous, versus being excited, because they’re very close, right. And you can you can interpret either or either very


John Livesay  30:13 

racing, your palms are sweaty, you know, when you’re about to go bungee jumping, or jump out of an airplane with a parachute, or whatever it is, you know, usually we’ve chosen those situations, but we’re scared and nervous, or, but we’re also excited, and we want the thrill of it.

You know, walking down the aisle to get married all these big moments. We are scared and nervous at the same time. So it’s up to us to decide, starting a new job, whatever it is, getting out of your comfort zone, practicing learning how to be a better storyteller.

The first time you do anything, it’s a little new. So just go, You know what, I don’t have to be perfect.

 And I think this is the other big tip I have for everybody. Let go of being a perfectionist, because we’re not wired to be perfect. And if we put that pressure on ourselves, our confidence goes down. But if instead if we think of ourselves as progression this people who celebrate progress, our brain is wired for it. Think about Fitbit. That’s why it’s so popular, right? Oh, you made some progress video games, you hit to the new level, our brain craves progress.

And when we celebrate the progress we’re making, instead of needing it to be perfect towards a disaster. We get rid of that black and white all or nothing thinking, just go you know what I got? I was better today than I was yesterday. Still a long way to go. And that’s okay. Like you’re climbing Mount Everest, you’re halfway up. You look down you go look how far we’ve come.

 Or, My God, look how much further we have to go. Same thing with our goals for revenue or whatever. So let’s let go of being perfectionist and watch our confidence go up be progression. Just


Mostafa Hosseini  31:59 

love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Hmm. How can people work with you? Where can people find you?


John Livesay  32:11 

Sure. The easiest way to find me is to go to John If you can’t remember that just Google the pitch whisperer, and my content comes up. I work with certain clients that are at a certain level, you know how Disneyland you have to be this tall to ride the ride.

I tell people, the clients that I choose to work with already are charging a certain amount of money, usually, you know, in the six figures, to get clients to work with them. And I help them grow that by telling better stories.

And it’s an online experience where they get to take a course and then they work with me in a private Facebook group and practice those stories. And all of that the outcomes are great, you know, you start seeing people like Rose, getting to clients in a week just by telling better stories.

And I’ve helped people who want to do a TEDx talk, learn how to tell us a story for that. I’ve helped people who want to give PR, you know, I’ve been interviewed by Larry King, and then vary by Fortune, and Inc, and it all comes down to telling a story that the media wants to hear.

So this storytelling skill works in your personal life and your career. I had one student who’s an orthopedic surgeon that wanted to help me to help him tell stories to launch a product he has. But he also had a seven year old girl at home, he said Daddy told me a story.

Don’t read one. And he was like, ah, but now he knows how to tell stories. So that’s the easiest way to work with is to integrate if you’re at that level where you’re already selling a program, and having some revenue come in that it makes sense for me to help you scale that with storytelling.


Mostafa Hosseini  33:49 

Absolutely. The thing about this stories and kids my kid my kid loves it when I tell him stories. And what we do is I kind of review what we did in the past day or week or month or maybe a past thing that we did together.

He loves that. It’s like I think it’s like hardwired in our brains that love stories. And that’s how we connect maybe, maybe and this just coming to my mind by our ancestors. Oh yeah. When we lived in caves, yes. We’re living in caves. They were all sitting around fire and telling stories about how they wouldn’t their day went. Maybe it’s just got, you know, hardwired in our brain. And now we love stories and we’re attracted to it.


John Livesay  34:29 

I have another tip for parents. When your child comes home from school. Instead of saying how was school you get one word answers. Okay, fine. reframe the question. Tell me a story about what was your best part of your day and can decide what it was like on the way to school what happened in school or on the way home?

And then you can start to teach them how to tell better stories. Like was this today or was that last month? You know, you need to you can coach them, but then you can tell them a story about the best part of your day. And then everybody’s storytelling skills go up at the same time. And it’s a conversation, not a one word answer.


Mostafa Hosseini  35:08 

Interesting. Love it. Love it. So tell me a story about your day I can, you can even probably try it out with people too. You know, you talk like I get that my brother, especially with men, when you ask them what’s up, they’re like, not much, not


John Livesay  35:22 

telling you a story about the best part of your day, not even your day, they have to analyze something. You know, I got to pick a best part of what happened today. Well, I got a parking place, whatever, I don’t care, pick something that’s the best part. Somebody was nice to me.

And let me in. You know, it doesn’t have to be this monumental thing. But an unexpected act of kindness sometimes put you in a good mood, whatever it is.


Mostafa Hosseini  35:47 

Absolutely. Very, very, very informative. I like that tip too. Wow, this this episode has been a lot of value, a lot of good, actionable stuff we could use. And so we’re talking about your gift. Tell us about your gift, top storytelling tips.


John Livesay  36:01 

Yes, I’ve crafted this into a very digestible, easy to read, PDF, ebook, if you will, of exactly how to go from invisible to irresistible how to tell great stories. And it’ll be a great little roadmap for you to become a better storyteller. And you just go to John, forward slash daily confidence. And it’ll pop right


Mostafa Hosseini  36:25 

  1. Again, if you want to become a good storyteller, and have some irresistible stories, and go from blah to amazing, and you know, have good stories that connect with people go download John’s gift here top storytelling tips that the website is John liver John, forward slash, daily confidence.

Okay, download it, and you should be on your way to building better stories and become irresistible, right. And I’ve seen this firsthand, all in just a good story over a pitch wins all day long. All day, let me rephrase that. A pitch that doesn’t have a story in it is going to have a hard time converting or it will convert a lot less compared to a pitch that does have a very well crafted story in it.


John Livesay  37:26 

And my way of doing it is Whoever tells the best story gets the sale. Because the sale in the tail t a l e.


Mostafa Hosseini  37:36 

All that good stuff. Yeah. John, um, let’s get into some personal questions. Sure. What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?


John Livesay  37:49 

I’m an amateur photographer. So I love taking pictures of nature and people and events. I’m the kind of person that you know, I get invited to somebody’s birthday party. I’m usually the one taking all the pictures and putting it all together for somebody.


Mostafa Hosseini  38:03 



John Livesay  38:05 

Because that’s very telling photography, storytelling, it’s visual storytelling.


Mostafa Hosseini  38:09 

And then so you do it with people. Do you do nature? Do you do everything or what type of photography


John Livesay  38:16 

I love people. And then second is nature. I live here in Austin across from an aquifer, which is a 300 acre park. And literally, there’s turtles on the trees and it’s just quite spectacular. Nature like


Mostafa Hosseini  38:29 

that. Tell us about your favorite books, books that have made a massive difference maybe in your life or in your or in your business.


John Livesay  38:38 

Tim Sanders wrote a book called deal storming instead of brainstorming. And it’s all about the importance of collaboration in order to make any big sale happen. I’ve really enjoyed that book. And then yeah, Victoria Laval wrote a book called Risk forward. And it’s not about thinking you have to have everything perfect before you take a risk.


Mostafa Hosseini  39:06 

Love it. race forward and deal storming. These are different I like how, Cuz usually when asked this question, I hear a lot of titles that I’ve heard before but these are actually I’ve never heard of it. Real storming. What was who was the author for deal


John Livesay  39:23 

storming Jin Sanders,


Mostafa Hosseini  39:25 

Team Sanders, and then Victorian love bomb wrote, risk forward. Love it. Any other books that you’d like to mention?


John Livesay  39:33 

Um, J Salman has a great book out called Future Proof you about you know, making sure that no matter what happens, you’re ready for it.


Mostafa Hosseini  39:43 

Love it. Now, John, if you had an ad on the internet, maybe on Facebook and Google where everybody could see a message from you? What would your message be for the people of Earth?


John Livesay  40:01 

Make sure that the story you tell yourself is one of compassion and kindness.


Mostafa Hosseini  40:08 

I mean more about that.


John Livesay  40:10 

Well, the self talk is so negative. You know, when I was in sales, the old way of selling in corporate America was always be closing ABC, push, push, push. And I’ve changed it to a BK, which stands for always be kind.

And of course, we can’t give away anything, we don’t give it to ourselves. So I’m all about helping people put a BK on a post it note by your computer, in your car, wherever. So that we start being kinder to ourselves and not saying mean thoughts and judging ourselves so harshly. So we can give that to others?


Mostafa Hosseini  40:41 

I love it always be kind. Mm. Instead of always be closing? Yes. Love it. What advice do you have for people that are always kind, but they’re not closing?


John Livesay  41:00 

Oh, don’t let kindness come across or as someone who’s not prepared, or is not a good storyteller. Arthur Ashe, the famous tennis pro said the key to success is confidence. And the key to confidence is preparation. Which is my big focus. So you just because you’re kind doesn’t mean you’re not prepared, doesn’t mean you don’t have good stories. And you can be kind, confident prepared and a great storyteller. And all that combined will make you successful.


Mostafa Hosseini  41:31 

Is there anything? What am I trying to say here? So do people want to be kind and heart centered? Yeah. And you want to be out there and help people? Is there anything that is against closing? Or is there any any area in there that doesn’t match? You know what I’m trying to say?


John Livesay  41:55 

Yeah, I think so. So if you’re not going to be, you know, our Maslow psychologist said, you know, the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then you go around looking for nails to hit. And that’s the old way of selling, I got it you want to buy you want to buy, you want to push, push, push hammer for someone to buy. We’re doing this in a whole new way now. Because nobody wants to be sold to.

So when you tell a story, you have a new tool in your toolbox. And so after you tell that case story of someone you’ve helped, instead of saying Do you want to buy the question is simply because that’s unlike the kind of journey you’d like to go on.

And if you told the story well enough, and people see themselves in the story. It’s like landing a plane. It’s natural. Well, yes, it is. Yes, I want that experience. I want that feeling.


Mostafa Hosseini  42:50 

I’m gonna write that down. Great kind of journey you like to go on?


John Livesay  43:02 

And it really works when you’ve told a great story.


Mostafa Hosseini  43:06 

Absolutely, yeah. If you haven’t told the story, you can’t ask him this question. Right? Here’s the great thing. It’s amazing. It’s 5000 miles per hour. Would you like to go on a journey? Like that? No. All right. So what is one piece of advice that you received? That made a massive difference for you?


John Livesay  43:26 

I would say that piece of advice I got was from Allison Levine, who climbed Mount Everest and is a big speaker. And she said, you know, as a speaker, we need to treat every opportunity that we’re given to speak as if it’s our big break, because it just might be


Mostafa Hosseini  43:46 

take every opportunity as a big break.


John Livesay  43:53 

Right. So you treat everything as if this is your big break, and you bring your A game to it.


Mostafa Hosseini  44:02 

I think once you have that attitude, eventually you have to get there again. Exactly. Right. Hmm. Very interesting. Very interesting. Good advice. What advice would you give your 20 year old self?


John Livesay  44:17  

Haha. Well, that was so long ago, I would say and it’s funny because I have friends now who have kids in their 20s that, remember that you’re enough. You don’t have to prove yourself to other people or to even yourself, who you are is enough right now and come from that place.

The behavior might look the same. You’re still taking action to learn and grow and produce and but you’re doing it from a completely different mindset. Like you already feel enough and confident in who you are. That this is just an expression of that as opposed to I need to accomplish all these things. Before I maybe start to feel enough?


Mostafa Hosseini  45:02 

Very interesting. And I think this whole question of sales and not wanting to sale has enough a lot to do with this being enough component. Some people don’t feel good about themselves, and they don’t feel good about what they offer. They don’t feel enough. Yep. Next thing you know, they have a hard time selling.


John Livesay  45:25 

Yeah. And if you feel enough about who you are, whether you make a sale or not, you’re not attached to the outcome. And guess what? You don’t take rejection personally. I used to take rejection personally, when I was selling ads, they go over going Vanity Fair or another, Oh, I bet another salesperson could have gotten a yes. Or maybe they’re right. Maybe my magazine isn’t as good as those. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t reject yourself. Don’t reject what you’re selling just because you got to know, know, now just means, you know, not know forever? And certainly don’t take it so personally, and don’t agree with the rejection.


Mostafa Hosseini  46:04 

Hmm. So some people that are hearing or will be hearing that might say, That’s easy to say, how do I actually do this? Because you put yourself in the shoes of someone that has low self esteem data and think they’re enough, they don’t feel that they’re significant? And now you’re telling them alright, just be enough.

Just you’re enough? Is there a process? Do you have a story on that, that maybe, or a process that could help them show for not enough to be like, you know, what, I’m actually feeling good about myself?


John Livesay  46:38 

When I was speaking to Land Rover and Jaguar sales team, and I brought this concept up. And you think, Oh, they’re selling luxury cars? How much rejection? Could they get? Well, a lot. And I said, and I asked them, and they go, Yeah, this is a big challenge for us car sales, even like, luxury car sales, people just assume it’s used car sales, that have rejection problems, no, no new luxury, you’re getting rejected a lot.

And I said, so when you get to know, instead of rejecting yourself and making yourself feel even worse, beating yourself up, you’re not good enough to whatever, call somebody you sold a car to, in the last six months, not to sell them anything else, just to remind yourself, of how happy people are when they do buy from you.

And you could substitute car for house product software, whatever it is you’re selling, call up somebody who bought something from you. It’s like a sorbet. It cleanses your palate, before the next phone call or next person walks in, so that you’re not in that negative mindset and start fresh.


Mostafa Hosseini  47:47 

Love it. So the idea was to go back to someone that you have had success with? And then check in with them say,


John Livesay  47:54 

How’s it going? What’s your favorite part about this house, this car, whatever it is, you sold them? And they’re like, Oh, I love this. And I’m so happy here. And I love that my car and you know, and then you know, who knows, you might even get a referral. But your point is for you just to remind yourself of what a happy customer sounds like and feels like.


Mostafa Hosseini  48:13 

What if someone doesn’t have that?


John Livesay  48:16 

Well, then you’re really starting out at the beginning of your career, because most people have some success under their belt, then you would go back to stacking your moments of certainty. Alright, your first day at the job, you haven’t made a sale yet.

You don’t know if this is gonna happen. Let’s go back to when you did do something successful. I don’t care if it’s you passed your driver’s license on the first time. Think about something you did well, and nailed it because you practiced that in your head. Or


Mostafa Hosseini  48:42 

maybe if you persuaded someone or so sold someone an eye on an idea without an exchange of money. Exactly. We’ve all done that. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Someone out on a date. Maybe you convince someone pretty much trapped or do something for you or for them or together pick


John Livesay  48:58 

up on that you wanted to try? Nobody had been to and it worked out? Yeah, exactly.


Mostafa Hosseini  49:03 

So I haven’t I haven’t had a question. I know we’re towards the end. John, why do you think people hate to sell?


John Livesay  49:11 

I think they hate to sell because they’ve been taught that people sell are manipulative and controlling, and pushy. And nobody wakes up in the morning saying that’s the kind of person I want to be. So it’s about reframing. You know the difference between being scared and excited. We reframe what sales is.

I’m proud to be a salesperson because I know I’m helping someone who has to make a big decision. Make the right decision, or I have something that solves a big problem for people, in my case, coaches and consultants and entrepreneurs who hate selling or don’t really know how to do it.

And they have a great product but no one’s buying it because they don’t know how to tell the story. Hmm, that got back to your Why are you doing it, I’m helping people.

So I’m not a doctor, I can’t literally save your life. But I might be able to help you save your business, and your dream of being successful. Or your dream of doing whatever you want for your family, because you’ve got more money coming in because you become a better storyteller. Now, I’ve reframed what sales is, for me, that’s my purpose. And for me, it’s not just that, but it’s also helping people get off this self esteem rollercoaster, where we only feel good if things are going well and bad about ourselves if they’re not, because I was on that, too. And that’s exhausting.

And so when we zoom out, and I can help people, you know, people hire me typically be like, they want to win more clients, and then I work with them on, let’s also look at your identity. So that the rejection doesn’t knock you off your confidence is who you are, is bigger than any one thing you’re doing.

Whether it’s your own company or a job you’ve got, so that no matter what’s happening, you’re not going to let something on the outside devastates you. You’re more resilient than that. And so that’s part of reframing what sales can be for people


Mostafa Hosseini  51:09 

love it. That was a great, great, great response. And I’m not going to add anything that that was That was perfect. at John, is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t talked about?


John Livesay  51:22 

I would just say that, you know, sometimes people say, Oh, well, I’m not a natural born storyteller, or I don’t have any stories. The good news is everyone can learn to become a storyteller, and you don’t have to learn to become a concert pianist. But no matter where you are, in the storytelling level, I can help you get better.

If you’re already a good storyteller, I can get you the black belt level. If you don’t feel comfortable telling stories I can get you to where you feel comfortable. And when that happens, it does make your life better, because everyone always has time for a good story.


Mostafa Hosseini  51:54 

Absolutely. And this is such a great skill. And like you said, if gang if you’re not if you’re not good at it, just reach out to John, go to John LiveSafe comm forward slash daily confidence and download his PDF.

He’s laying out what needs to be done and then reach out to him. Like Hey, John, I feel like my conversations with my prospects is pretty dry. I don’t have stories. I’m just like, and I’m even scared of starting to ask people for sale.

 But gang believe me once you to have a story to tell people exactly. And I’ve tried this both ways. The one with the story as a lot easier, right? When you share a story about your own path, your customers, some case studies and the rest of it. Like John has been talking about all for the past hour or so.

 It is a lot easier to connect with people. So do reach out to live a say go to John lovers calm and then reach out and have a conversation.

So John, thank you very much. Thank you for joining us. Really, really great conversation helping people boost their confidence when it comes to sales and tongue stories.

Gang if you’re listening and if you’re watching this now or later, we do a draw and for you to enter to draw if you like subscribe, comment, ask a question tag a friend who could benefit and or if you write a review and subscribe to our channels on Apple podcast, Google, Spotify and other channels.

You enter your name for the draw to win prizes. Thank you for joining us. My name is Mostafa Hosseini. And you’re listening to daily confidence for entrepreneurs see you in our next episode. Bye


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