The Recipe for Telling Your Beautiful Business Story

The Impact of Digital

We care more about ourselves now than we ever did before. It’s just a function of the modern world we live in. Social media is all about bragging about ourselves, and as it becomes more of a part of our lives, so the same mentality seeps through to the way we live our lives. 

Even for those that aren’t big on social media, they are exposed to it through their friends and loved ones, and adapt accordingly. It’s all about me… me… me… me.

So, when it comes to sales and marketing, the challenge we face first and foremost is to acknowledge the fact that prospects only care about themselves.

It seems logical, and everyone seems to know this in principle. And yet, I see and hear the same business stories (sales pitches) over and over again. We can… We do… We’re so amazing because… We’re unique in that… We’re… We’re. See the problem? 

We’re stuck in the same social media buzz of me, me, me, and our prospects are completely desensitised to it!

Time To Turn

As salespeople and marketers, we need to turn this around.

We need to play into the me, me, me filled world if we’re going to make any progress. Tell them how good we are for them. What we can do for them. 

I think the reason so many people haven’t gotten this right, is that either they don’t realise this yet, or they don’t know how to adapt.

Well, what if there was a recipe?

​The Recipe

I have long been preaching the same story about turning our sales and marketing messages around. About building compelling and beautiful stories that resonate with prospects (in gamification, this is the Epic Meaning and Calling for business).

But in his book, Building Your Story Brand, Donald Miller put my thoughts into a wonderful road map for building business stories.

And I believe this story telling should be the core of all marketing and sales activities.

So how do you go about telling this beautiful story? To drastically sum Donald Miller’s book up, here are the components of a beautiful story:

  1. The Hero: Who do you think the hero of the story is? It’s your business. JOKES, jokes, it’s your prospects. To tell your beautiful story to prospects, they have to be the hero of their own story! Not us.
  2. The Villain: The villain is the challenge your prospects face.
  3. The Guide: The guide is (okay, now you’ve got it) you. The guide is someone with specific knowledge or assets that can help the hero defeat the villain.
  4. The Plan: The guide has a plan, based on knowledge or experience, and they will use that plan to help the hero defeat the villain.
  5. The Failure Fear: The Failure Fear is about planting a fear about what will happen if they do not defeat the villain. It’s the worst thing that could possibly go wrong.
  6. The Success Elation: The success is the dream of what life will be like once the villain is defeated. The peace, bliss and relief of no longer dealing with that challenge – averting the fear

Cool, right? Now, how do you put it together into a beautiful story, so that you can approach anyone and tell them what your business does in a way that they will really hear you?

​In Action

Let’s put it into action, using Level180 as the story teller. Here’s how it looks:

Your business (the hero) offers good products and services. The challenge you face is that in this ever-changing technological landscape, competition is increasing constantly and so is the amount of information flowing to your prospective clients (villain). It’s confusing for your clients to pick a supplier amidst all the noise!

We’ve (the guide) been working to understand what drives purchasing decisions in this challenging landscape and have developed a proven methodology (the plan) to help businesses to cut though the noise and get their business story heard by the right prospects.

The rate of change is increasing, and the risk many businesses face is becoming irrelevant to their prospects (the failure fear).

Don’t let your business slip into obscurity, contact us and we will help you get your message heard; drive new business sales and increase client spend (the success elation).

The Difference

Do you see the difference here? The only time I mention “me” is when I introduce Level180 as the guide. The rest of the story is about the hero, the terrible villains they have to overcome, and the wonderful joy they experience when they defeat the villains. And that’s what makes it beautiful, it’s a story about your prospective clients and their success.

All the language in our sales and marketing efforts needs to link to or stem from this.

​Use With Caution

But there is a catch, and this is a personal viewpoint. 

You really need to be excited about their journey, and your ability to be their guide, only to lead them to their success.

If you’re only in it for you, it won’t be long before the hero realises this, and starts to look for a more suitable guide.

Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Level180. ​I believe that what makes us different from all the other guides out there is that we really do care about the success of our heroes. So much so, in fact, that our billing model often links to their success. What’s your beautiful story? I’d love to hear it, and if you like, I can even help you make some adjustments to make it more effective. Just click here to tell me your beautiful story, and I’ll get back to you.

Add Epic Meaning to Your Organisation

​A step by step guide to bringing meaning to the workplace

Are your employees mentally checking out shortly after clocking in? Mindlessly running the hamster wheel day after day, so that they can collect their pay check at the end of the month?

Some of the classic symptoms are high sick rates, high turnover of staff, drop in performance, and general disinterest. It’s not good for your employees, and it certainly isn’t good for business. But the underlying cause could be much more sinister.

This is a complex challenge to solve and it could take a lot of time.

Having a vast amount of exposure to these environments, I have identified one simple thing that could go a long way to help dealing with these challenges.

And it’s taken from the first core drive of Octalysis, the modern benchmark framework for gamification, namely Epic Meaning and Calling.

​Is there a reason your employees come to work on a daily basis, apart from doing their mundane work tasks in exchange for moola?


If the answer is no, then that could be part of the problem. If yes, then do your employees know what that reason is?

Epic meaning and calling talks about the benefit to the world around you when you do your allotted daily tasks.

When you add epic meaning and calling to your workplace, you provide a reason or purpose for coming to work and putting in the grind.

When you do it correctly it could have an immediate impact on the symptoms of disengaged employees.

​Harder for some

If you’re an NPO or charity, then you most likely have a meaning for coming to work and doing the boring tasks you need to, over and over.

But for most businesses that meaning does not exist, at least not in the minds of the employees - the ones entering zombie like status when entering the building, then miraculously recovering upon leaving.

And that’s because it’s a difficult thing to figure out. If you’re an admin clerk, what positive impact could that possibly have on the world around you?

Ah, but there is! We just need to figure it out.

5 Steps to meaning

There are 5 steps to adding epic meaning and calling, and I’ll break those down for you so that you can add meaning to your workplace and have hamster wheels spinning at electricity generating speeds!

  1. What does your business do? Firstly, you need to summarise what your business does. Keep it simple.
  2. Who does your business do this for? Who are your customers?
  3. Why do they need this?
  4. What happens when they get the services you offer?
  5. What is the employee’s job?
  6. Now, what role does the employee play in doing this?

And there you have it, you have successfully added epic meaning and calling to your business! Let’s look at an example of a job and how to add epic meaning and calling:


Let’s say you’re a development company that develops smartphone and web apps, and we’re trying to add epic meaning and calling to a debtor’s clerk.

Now following the framework above, let’s answer those questions:

  1. We develop smart phones and web apps.
  2. For medium sized businesses.
  3. To help their clients engage with them easier, so that they can grow.
  4. Their customers lives are made easier.
  5. You collect funds from our clients.
  6. You ensure that we get the money owed to us so that we can pay our employees, and grow our business, so that we can enrich the lives of our clients and make the lives of their customers easier.

Now isn’t that a whole lot better than “you call people you haven’t paid us and harass them for payment.”

How you apply the formula depends on the size and structure of your organisation.

You need to figure it out according to your business unit, team, roles etc. But you get the point, and the formula will hold true regardless of the size of the business – you just need to filter it down.

​Lead by example

The formula is not enough on it’s own.

Leaders of the business need to live the meaning and calling, and your remuneration and treatment of employees need to be on par.

But adding epic meaning and calling is a great place to start!

​Now go out there and add meaning to your work!

Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Level180. ​Epic meaning and calling is what differentiates a good game from a great game. This amazing core drive has a significant role to play in employee performance and I highly recommend you invest some time in it. If you need help, reach out, I'm always happy to help!

The Power of Real-Time Recognition

According to the most recent report by Aon on Employee engagement, over 30% of employees are disengaged from their jobs. This means that they show up for work, but either their minds are not there, or they outright cause disruption in the workplace. Aon also state that as little as an increase in 5% of employee engagement can increase bottom line by as much as 3%. That is significant, and that’s why companies invest millions to increase the stats in their favour. But are some of the simplest solutions overlooked?

5% Increase In Engagement =

3% Increase In Bottom Line!

One of the challenges that drives this employee disengagement is lack of recognition for the work that they do. 

Most managers believe they do recognize their employees for their good work. This is done in the form of feedback in their monthly one on ones; bonuses; annual incentives, etc.

That as well and good, but it creates another obvious problem when it comes to recognition; how are managers going to know how many good things are done in a week, a month or a year? It’s almost impossible to track. So a lot of the good work being done is overlooked!

Wouldn't it be great if we could give and receive this feedback in real time?

Imagine if your employees received real time recognition for their efforts! 

All the extra little miles they are going for their clients, and their colleagues being recognized not only by management, but peers as well – in real time!

Jane just won a new client, or Peter just closed his tenth case for the day. When these real time examples are pushed to the rest of the team, via screens or mobile devices have two massive impacts on employee engagement:

  • Dopamine kick:

Firstly, the employees receiving the real time feedback, get a kick out of the recognition. These examples of real time recognition are like a dopamine hit, they feel cool, and you want more – Kudos. 

  • FOMO:

Secondly, to those who are not getting these hits feel inspired to do so. If Jane can do it, so can I! Game on! So not only does it provide motivation for those receiving real time recognition but inspires others to work harder and compete for theirs.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

But there is one little trick. You can’t have the same people receiving recognition all the time.

So to counter this, you need to ensure that you recognize various different leading indicators or KPI’s, so that everyone has something to aim for – in line with their strengths.

For example, if you were dealing with a support call center, rather than only rewarding the most amount of calls taken, reward your team with different areas that impact overall performance. Like the type of calls dealt with, or the amount of calls resolved with the first call.

Know Your Leading Indicators!

Figuring out these leading performance indicators or KPI’s also does something else that improves employee engagement… It empowers them to work to their strengths, and empowerment is also a massive part of employee engagement.

So by looking at introducing real time recognition into the workplace, you not only have a direct impact on motivation, but you are also empowering your team to “play” their way!

Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Level180. Real time recognition is a big part of the work we do for our clients, and we’ve learned what to measure, and how best to achieve real time recognition. If this is something you want to consider, get in touch and let’s have an obligation free chat.

The Modern Marketing Hangover

I welcome the idea that technology has changed and continues to change the way business is done, and that we need to harness this technology and governing methodologies to improve the way we sell. But the first ones onto the “digital bandwagon” were marketers, and many of them exploited their prime mover position. Everywhere you look now, there is a digital marketing company that will promise “all you can eat leads”, and “never cold call again.” And they are all experts on sales. Suddenly, there are so many sales experts, its actually mind boggling! 

The message coming from a lot of them is that digital marketing methods promise leads like you have never seen before, that will be so good for your business, you must consume or be left out in the cold.

Inebriate Ecstasy

This industry has boomed to such an extent that there are now businesses being built on the back of the work being done by digital marketing agencies. Their sole purpose is to help you manage the leads you are receiving from the digital-sphere, and you need their help because you are having to work your way through hundreds, if not thousands of leads. The modern marketing talk has lead us to believe that there are suddenly so many more leads in the world – for everyone. And so we consume leads like we do a good mead on a night out with our mates… Because it feels like the right thing to do, it’s euphoric and nothing can go wrong! But it’s just as easy to get carried away.

The Hangover

Now, many years down the line we are starting to see the aftermath of empty promises – the hangover that comes from eating “all the leads we like”. Most of these leads are junk (they will never convert to paying clients). That is the toxicity we are putting into our businesses, like the mead on that night out with mates. These toxins seriously dilute our focus and distract us from doing what we do best!

Then end result? A woody pipeline that cost you an absolute fortune. And now your business is under massive pressure to make up for the sales you have not been getting while investing in the “all you can eat leads” and you need to cover the money spent. It’s a double whammy, and an easy trap to fall into.

So what does this all mean? Are all digital marketing methods toxic? No, not at all. I already said we need to use technology and it’s ensuing methodologies to increase sales performance. It’s how you harness this technology that really matters. Digital marketing in the business to business space is more complex than business to consumer, and we need to be realistic and logical about it. If you are selling a slick product to engineering companies in your area, would it make sense to be getting thousands of leads every month? Are there that many engineering companies in your area? It sounds really silly, but it’s actually that simple.

Rather get these modern marketing people to provide you with 5 to 10 leads a month that are really relevant and likely to close. As simple as this sounds, the next question is how much work would be involved in getting you these 5 to 10 proper leads a month? My guess would be that it will probably take the same amount of effort as it would to get you the thousands of rubbish leads. Which means the cost will be pretty much the same.

The Remedy

Unfortunately, there is no cure for a hangover, you just have to ride it out. You can only prevent a hangover. No one can argue that prevention in this case starts with the client. And in the business to business space, who knows your clients better than your sales people? Get your sales people to work with your marketing people to profile your clients. Find out what makes them good (or bad) for your business, and what traits they have in common. Think about their challenges, their industry, the number of employees they have, their turnover, and where you can reach their decision makers. Then come up with a unique marketing plan to target your prospective clients.

Even when done right, getting these leads through modern marketing methods will take some time. If you don’t have time and need sales, pick up the phone and call your prospects..

Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Level180. Are you confused about leads for your business? You’re not alone! As I continue my journey, I am meeting more and more businesses that have been through the modern marketing hangover and now they desperately need help with sales. I may have the answers you need. If this is something you want to consider, get in touch and let’s have an obligation free chat.

Gamified Sales Training: Level Up Performance

In this post I will show you what happens when you take the modern approach to sales training and combine it with some of the latest technology the world has to offer. While this type of training is not for every business, I certainly see it as the future of sales training (and training in general), and everyone who has anything to do with sales or training should be aware of this.

Modern Training Methods

Traditional training methods don’t work because the training delivered is not relevant to all delegates, and for those it is relevant to, the information doesn't stick.

To overcome these common challenges, you or your training provider need to create training content that is specific to your salespeople’s needs. For example, if you have a salesperson who is the master of negotiation, but can’t create new opportunities, don’t make them sit through hours of negotiation training. Help them with prospecting content.

  • "Modularised" Training

With this approach to each team member, as opposed to “one size fits all”, you can “modularise” your sales training, specific to delegates’ needs. This way, the training becomes relevant to each member of your sales team, and the the training becomes more impactful on their daily lives (provided the content is solid). 

It takes a little know-how to understand the unique needs for each of your sales team, but it can be done easily enough, and is quick to gauge. ***Pro Tip*** There is a good chance you have the information you need already. The long term benefits will be worth it.

Imagine if you could not wait for your next "dose" of training?

Enter Gamification!

It’s a buzz word at the moment, that’s for sure. Ask any strategy Guru for what the next big thing could be for a company and gamification will come up several times.

But when you go past the buzzword, what is gamification, what does it really mean, and what is the true potential in our daily lives?

As a born and raised gamer myself, I can go on about this for weeks. But to do it justice, I need to refer to and give credit to the godfather of gamification himself, Yu-Kai Chou.

He developed the system called Octalysis. If this is new to you, it’s most worthwhile checking out his ground breaking Ted Talk where he reveals his vision to the world.

To sum it up, gamification is about taking day to day tasks, both in our personal and working lives, and turning them into games. The benefits of doing this successfully are off the charts.

Laborious tasks become entertaining, performance can be truly incentivised,  and we gain more knowledge into some of the psychology behind human performance. 

And that’s not even scratching the surface. Gamification is not limited to gamers, nor is it gender specific. More and more people are starting to play games. Want to see how and why? Check this out.

Below is the Octalysis model, which I will summarise below:

In order to make gamification successful, personally or in the work place, Yu-Kai points out that there are 8 key elements (Octalysis – above), of which at least one of the key elements needs to be done well.

And there in lies the challenge with gamification. Very few people know how to create games out of mundane work tasks. Even though there are amazing platforms that allow you to create games in the workplace, most of them don’t teach you how to tick the Octalysis boxes.

Making Magic

With the background set, and having given a brief overview of modern training methodology and gamification, we are now able to make magic happen in the training space by combining the two!

When you take the various training modules devised by using modern training methods and convert the curriculum to a gaming platform, you can now reinvent the training space!

Modules created will have different levels, ranging from novice to adept. All modules will be available online in the gamification platform. Players (in this case, salespeople) will be able to access the modules at any time.

Some modules will need to be accessed by passing other modules with certain criteria. Tasks and quizzes at the end of each module will rate the player’s performance for that module, along with other aspects, such as how many times they have attempted to pass the module before, and overall time taken.

Each player receives a score for each of the modules they have taken, and those modular scores roll up to an overall score for each player. Based on their engagement in the game, and their performance in each of the modules, each player will receive a level.

To level up, they need to do more training and perform better in the training. All performance indicators are shared with all players, which will be available at all times via the web and mobile. Players can form teams, or compete solo to challenge each other to new modules and race for the ever elusive highest ranking player or team.

The Result

This method of training gamification ticks the scarcity, empowerment, ownership, and meaning blocks of Octalysis. The effects are also ongoing and everlasting, because your training game will evolve with your business. 

When done correctly, you will see a direct correlation to the person’s gaming level and their performance in their job role. This is because essentially, by playing the game, they are learning to be more effective at their job. That is the whole ideology behind gamification.

Hi, I’m Martin Lamberti, founder of Level180. I'm good at two things; playing games and figuring out what drives purchasing decisions. I am a student of Yu-Kai Chou and care very deeply for the topic of gamification. If you are considering gamification for your business, get in touch and let’s have an obligation free chat.