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It's Time to Sell Podcast: Strategies for 21st Century Selling

Oct 3, 2018

It’s not just about telling a great story – it’s about telling the right story.

Today’s guest is Dom Cappuccilli, CEO and Founder of The Clean Sell. Dom combines the power of a trained storyteller with the real-world experience of an elite salesperson. In fact, he became an elite salesperson because he was a trained storyteller. His consulting firm has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs to not only tell a better sales story, but also built many of their sales efforts from the ground up.


In this episode, we talk about

  • his journey from storytelling to sales
  • the myth of the superhero salesperson
  • the story you should be telling, and
  • the right time to scale up.

If you’re a business owner who’s ready to scale your business, I recommend you tune in.


Somebody starts a company because they see a problem in the market that they have a unique ability to solve and they understand the industry. Usually they are technical or a subject matter expert in that. That is their craft, that is their industry, that’s what they have. That craft is not sales.

But when your friend gets to fifteen people and all of a sudden – I don’t know if he has funding or what happened – and he wants to scale, he now is in a really tough predicament. Because that scaling and that sales function and that sales piece falls on his shoulders/her shoulders.

So what do you do?

The Myth of the Superhero Salesperson

Generally, what I see happen are one of three things.

The first one is inhouse outsourcing. They hire a VP of sales who has this relevant experience, they have this big resume that they worked in the industry and they promise this rolodex of people they may reach out to.

It sounds like this great dream and they have this fantasy of the founder who gets to meet with their VP of sales and just see their numbers go up and they don’t have to anything except this weekly meeting where they get a report on the good news.

That is a fallacy, it’s like the myth of the superhero sales person that’s how a colleague of mine calls it. This is a big trouble spot for a lot of companies.

The second thing that they do is they hire too young, hungry people or one young hungry person and they say, “Go do this!” The problem there is those people don’t have the expertise to build a sales process on their own, so they will struggle unless you get a really good person with great potential and can really do it.

But those are executors generally, they’re kind of junior level sales talent at that point. They haven’t been through enough to really build that from the ground up, and they’re going to struggle without structure, and you’re not able to give them structure.

The third one is they do it themselves and I would recommend doing it yourself.

If it’s between that and the other two choices and do it yourself successfully, twenty times before you hire someone else. You need to be, in these early days, be out there talking to customers, you need to understand the product, what’s going on, what their needs are and really build that.

The Story to Tell

We’ve talked about storytelling in the past and how you can leverage your story that so people can connect with you and your business. But Dom has a different take on storytelling.

Let’s start with the story they shouldn’t be telling.

“If I could summarize what I do pretty clearly it’s that I teach companies to tell their client’s story, and the story of the problem they solve – not their own story.

Any story is interesting if you care about it, and like honestly, nobody gives a shit about my story unless it relates to a problem that they have and it’s something that helps them within their lives then my story matters.

So what I teach my clients is the first thing that you have to do even before you tell the story is make sure you’re telling the right one. Tell the story of the problem that you’re going to solve for this client that goes beyond the initial sales conversation – that goes to your marketing, your content marketing.

Be the person to talking about that problem so people will come to you when they need to solve it.


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The Art of Acting by Stella Adler