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How to Tell Stories that Sell

using stories to sellWhy do you buy the things you buy?

If you think you do it for logical, rational reasons, you may be wrong…

Because many studies have shown that our buying decisions are based on our emotions…

In fact, a recent study at the University of Texas found that rational thinking is only used to justify emotional decisions. So, once you can connect with your prospect on an emotional level, and they’ve decided they like your product or service, it’s difficult for them to backpedal.

Think about it…

You don’t spend extra money on a particular brand of clothing because of the little brand label. You spend the extra money because of your perceptions of how price impacts the quality, comfort, or social status – whether or not they do.

In fact, there was a social experiment conducted whereby test subjects tasted wines sitting on a table with various prices on the bottles – and while their brains were being scanned. The subjects consistently preferred the more expensive bottles, which was confirmed by activity in the parts of the brain that signify pleasure.

And what happened when the expensive bottle bore a cheap price tag? Their enjoyment of the product – both perceived and actual (remember, their brains were being scanned!) decreased.

Bottom line, emotions are powerful!

So, how can you invoke emotions in your prospects?

Well, there’s a method that you interact with every day that can help you do just that…

What is it?


Stories have the power to invoke strong emotions in your audience. They have the power to change people’s opinions. Or create attachments to people, services, and products.

If you can master the art of storytelling, odds are you won’t ever have to worry about having an empty wallet.

Today, we’ll give you a simple process for telling stories that sell.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Always be on the lookout for potential stories in your daily life, and realize that almost ANYTHING can be turned into a story that sells.

Imagine today you drop your phone on street. You never bought a protective phone case and yet, miraculously it doesn’t break. Of course, the first thing you did when you got home – was buy a phone case! If you sell computer backup software you could use that story to show that most of the time, your prospect doesn’t need your service. But, when they do? Boy are they glad they’re protected.

A fitness consultant could use the same story, with a different spin. They bent over, grabbed their phone and kept walking, when it suddenly it occurred to them that the same thing happened 7 years ago – and they pulled their back out for 3 days! What a great way to sell the life-enhancing benefits of yoga and core strengthening?

You can even use the story of your business… or of a successful client. You can talk about a struggle with a problem, the inability to find a good solution (like how we couldn’t find a good power-dialer software!), and how service X made all the difference.

It’s up to you – but just know that potential story content is all around you!

Define Your “Hero”

Your hero is the protagonist of your story, and is someone that you want your prospect to relate to. They have a particular goal that they’re trying to reach by the end of the story.

For example, “John” could be a 35 year old man who owns a small construction business. He’s losing out on business because his competitors are ranking higher in the search engines. His goal is to start getting more business by improving his company’s SEO.

The only problem? He has no experience with SEO, and he isn’t a very computer-savvy person.

The Obstacles

The obstacles are what your hero needs to overcome as they strive for their goal. Your hero’s obstacles should be very similar to, or highly suggestive of, the obstacles that your prospect is dealing with.

In our example above, John knows he needs more online exposure, but may not have much time to learn about SEO because he’s busy running his business. But he also may not have a big enough budget to hire an SEO consultant to devote months to getting his site ranked higher on Google.

The Resolution

This is the turning point for your hero – the moment when they start to figure everything out.

The main component of this resolution is either analogous to your product (like in the cell phone story above), or can be your product itself.

Let’s go back to John, and let’s say you offer a service that helps business owners get great results from PPC (pay per click) advertising on Google.

John was skeptical about your service, but was willing to give it a try. When he does, he starts getting more and more business, and at a fraction of the price it would have cost him to invest in SEO. Plus, because he’s learned a skill, he can manage his own PPC campaigns now with 30 minutes per week, instead of having to continue to pay an SEO firm month after month.

Your service is now positioned as a large part of John’s solution, and the component that helps him reach his goal. It also suggests how your service is preferable to another option your prospect is considering. That’s powerful.

And with that, you have a basic story format.

We’ve laid out a very basic outline for creating a story that sells. There’s A LOT you can build with this outline – so, see what kind of stories you can come up with to activate your prospects hot buttons, overcome their skepticism, and create both perceived and actual value.

It might just help you boost your sales numbers.