11 Reasons Why Facts Tell and Stories Sell

Written by: Daniel Levis 32 Comments Click to Contribute

Niche marketing success boils down to two fundamentals — traffic and conversion.

You need to get targeted visitors to your website, through sound search engine optimization and other techniques.

And you need to be able to convert those visitors to customers through strong sales copy that gives people compelling reasons to buy.

One of the most powerful weapons in your copywriting arsenal is STORY…

You should be telling stories that share your personal experience with the products you are promoting… stories that demonstrate how existing customers benefited from what you are offering prospective ones… stories that help your prospects to get to know you and trust you… even imaginary tales that help them to visualize what their lives will be like after buying what you’re selling or promoting.

There’s no better way to make a human connection and communicate the features, advantages and benefits of doing business with you than by telling a good story.

Why do you suppose that is?

  • Stories avoid confusion by expressing things in simple terms that people are already familiar with.

By taking concepts that are new and perhaps difficult to understand and relating them in story form, your prospect will gain a much better understanding of the benefits of your product.

  • Stories increase consumption of your sales message because they create curiosity.

In a straight product presentation you cut straight to the chase. You explain who the product is for… what it is and does… when, where and why it’s used… and how your prospect will benefit.

When you tell a story however, you turn this formula upside down. You seduce… slowly lifting the veil on all of the delicious pleasures your product makes possible, and the pains it relieves.

You tease the prospect along. Questions are raised, conflict revealed and slowly resolved, and your prospects stays hooked to see where you are leading him.

  • Stories bypass skepticism and neutralize sales resistance.

The natural condition of your potential buyer is “guard up”, mind closed — afraid of having to think something new… of being taken advantage of… of looking foolish in front of others for making a bad purchase. They’re fighting you all the way.

But when you sell with story there is little to resist against. You are not telling people what to think. You are simply showing them what happened in a similar situation to their own, and leaving it up to them to draw their own conclusions.

  • Stories allow your prospect to experience ownership of your product or service in the present moment.

There’s an old saying, “the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain”. It’s true. If you paint vivid mental imagery in people’s minds about the physical, emotional and spiritual satisfactions they will enjoy as a result of owning your product or service, NOT buying can be made to feel like a terrible loss.

  • Stories allow you to make a personal connection with your potential buyers when they arrive at your website.

People buy from people. People they know, like, and trust. And to feel we know someone is to know their story, particularly if it demonstrates how they overcame a problem we too are desperate to solve.

When you tell your story skillfully, your prospect projects into your shoes. He wants you to win, because when you win he can see himself winning too.

  • Stories are inherently believable.

You’ve heard the expression, “seeing is believing” right? Well when you tell a good story, you take the claims you’re making for your product out of the abstract and into the concrete. A subject acts on an object in the story.

If Dick (subject) picks up an apple (object) and throws (action) it at Jane (indirect object), you’re imagination becomes active. You can see that scene in your mind’s eye.

And did you know that there is a part of the human brain that literally cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience? It’s why horror movies are frightening and people cry when they watch Little House on The Prairie.

This visually active part of our brains is where decisions to spend money are made.

  • Stories are emotionally evocative.

They awaken your prospect’s inner child. And which aspect of personality would you rather sell to: The mature, pickle-up-butt side, full of cynicism and rationality — or the impulsive, carefree child inside… courageous, trusting, and innocent?

All human action is the product of emotion. We decide we want to buy something first, then we go looking for reasons why it’s a good idea. Man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one.

  • Stories increase the number of times you can touch your market.

The more times you make contact with your prospects, offering sound reasons to buy your product or service, the more likely they are to do it. But if you send too many sales pitches to people, you will come across as pushy, annoying and desperate, pushing them away from you instead of pulling them towards you.

Not so with stories. They’re soft, cuddly and non-threatening, allowing you to sneak up on people and ask for the order more often.

  • Stories give you license to say things to your prospects that are close to the bone, highly personal, perhaps even offensive if communicated full frontal, but which allow you to trigger powerful ego-driven emotions that are incredibly motivating to people.

You can imply your potential customer is a loser if he or she turns their back on your offer… that he or she will be a god or goddess to the opposite sex if they do buy… and other such powerfully motivating identifications… all under the radar… and with total impunity as a seller — very powerful.

  • Stories allow you to charge more, because they are capable of communicating ego-based consequences and gratifications (loser, god or goddess, etc., for example) convincingly.

You can position your product or service as a means to a more admirable identity for your prospect, and as a visual symbol of that identity, for all to see.

How else do you explain people paying $15,000 for a Rolex watch? Does that watch tell time 150 times better than a regular watch available at Wal-Mart for $100?

  • And last but certainly not least, stories differentiate you from the competition.

When you build a truly great story that resonates with the kind of customers you’re trying to attract to your business, you stand out like a sore thumb. Your message is entirely different to everybody else in your market.

Buying into the story — seeing oneself as the hero in that story — forms a powerful buying motive for your prospects that can fuel your success for years to come.

Caveat Emptor

Now that I’ve sold you on the usefulness of stories in making your sales copy more persuasive, let me leave you with a little warning. Stories are explosive, like gelignite — exceedingly powerful in skilled hands.

But they can also blow up in your face, reducing your conversion instead of increasing it. You need a solid grounding in the fundamentals of persuasion to be able to use them to profitable effect.

So as a special favor to Adam, I’m gifting NPC members a free month in my Persuasion Mastery Club, to help give you that grounding. Details below.

Until next time, Good Selling!

Author Daniel Levis

Daniel Levis
About the Author
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant, direct response copywriter and publisher of the highly acclaimed marketing periodical, Persuasion Mastery Club. Get a full month of Persuasion Mastery Club (a $78 value), FREE! No credit card required. Just sign up here.

32 Comments Posted:

Written by: Peter Clark November 15, 2011

Hey Adam, Please thank Daniel for a great post, and thank you for talking him in to doing it :-) This is great information and I have already printed it out to read over and over again (As I do with all your posts :-) Love the new releases at NPC as well, just awesome, how do you keep it coming??? Thanks again Adam. PC

Written by: Robert November 15, 2011

Hi Daniel:

What a GREAT article! :-o Thank you for sharing. I will be using such soft-sell, personal ‘story-telling’ as I build the Blog entries on my Website.

Sincerely,
R. Brian Biccum
bbiccum@comcast.net

Written by: Nate November 15, 2011

Thanks for posting this- those are some usable tips I can instantly benefit from. I write all my own sales pages and I create at least 30 auto-responder messages per niche site I create, so understanding effective copy has been something thats helped my niche sites immensely.

Written by: Kevin Myers November 15, 2011

Daniel is a master story-telling genius; I have learned so much from his material. Based on his technique, I wrote a killer story that has been doing well for me. Grab his stuff!

Written by: Jeff Cutts November 15, 2011

Thanks Daniel & Adam,
I have gained heaps from your article, I must say copy is one of my weak areas, and this is showing up in my low conversion rate. Problem is good copy writers are hard to find and when you can find one they charge the earth. I guess I’ll just have to learn the trade. You may like to post who has courses running.
regards Jeff

Written by: Shim Shimuzu November 15, 2011

This is an incredible article, thanks very much for writing it, and to Adam for posting it.

Written by: Billy Halford November 15, 2011

You had me at “…Stories Sell”. I like the confidence in your content. Thanks.

Written by: Leatheman Blast November 16, 2011

Thank you Daniel, I passing this on to my team of writers. I have always instinctivly known this, but didn’t know how to apply these simple but powerful techniques.
We will see you in Persuasion Mastery Club

Written by: Terrry November 16, 2011

This is very true and very important, it seems to me. A story is a script the prospect hopefully sees himself acting in and the product is the prop he needs for his performance. You can see it on any TV commercial all day long.

Written by: Michael November 16, 2011

Yeah, this is a great selling technique. Unfortunately, many people on the web fabricate a lot of these stories, so personally, I block even them out. But then again, being in marketing you get used to selling psychology and after a while, people selling you something just makes you chuckle cuz they use the same methods you do.

Written by: James Newric November 16, 2011

I’ve been using stories for many years in my copy. I’m not sure but I think it was Joe Vitale that first turned me on to the “tell a story” concept, but in any case, it works!

Thanks for the reminder, lately I got away from telling stories and was just focusing on the facts…

Facts are dry, stories are engaging, (and a good mix of both sells) and that for me is the bottom line.

Written by: dasji November 16, 2011

He is very frank to tell that story sells and no need to tell .Practically correct i learned some experience from my friends too.

Written by: Ken November 16, 2011

This article reminds me of famous writer who said that the two of the most important elements of writing well are “humanity and warmth.” That’s what draws people to read on, and to enjoy it.

Thanks for the reminders.

Written by: Paulo Teller November 16, 2011

Well, Adam, now I fully understand the reason for your success and how far you’ll get – for sure!
With Daniel Levis by anyone’s side, all is easy. A webinar with him could take 20 hours instead of 2 and people wouldn’t leave the places. Besides, his writings are unique (identified him from the first sentences).
Excellent “acquisition”, Adam. I hope many people will follow your articles.
Best wishes,
PT

Written by: Boudewijn Lutgerink November 16, 2011

I did a year of study on internet marketing before even starting something.
The last thing I was looking for was a way to bring the message, completely overlooking what I was already good at, story telling. I do use parabels to explain techie stuff to non-tech people.
This post is a real eye opener, thank you so much. I now know what to do.

Written by: John Edwards November 16, 2011

I knew stories would help to increase conversions but to tell you the true I am not using it too much in my salesletters,I will implement it right away to see if I got a quick increase. My sales are not what I was expecting. I think this can help me.
Thanks
John

Written by: Jonathon November 16, 2011

Reminds me of the offline commission sales adage: “Telling Is Not Selling” … use questions to get prospect to tell you (and convince himself) why he needs to buy. Here again using stories also works.

Written by: Warray November 16, 2011

Great article from Daniel. I’m really appreciate you tell us how to create traffic emotional and use psychology to win the traffic.

Written by: Gifford November 16, 2011

How true that stories can be very captivating to the human heart!

In fact, the greatest man who ever lived and the greatest Teacher of all time, Jesus Christ, made extensive use of illustrations or parables to communicate profound truths about the kingdom, greatly benefiting honesthearted ones.

Of course this uniquely human faculty has also been exploited by ruthless men, including some dictators, for selfish gain. So use of the story should be made with integrity. We are careful to communicate only what is truly beneficial to the reader.

Gifford

Written by: Don Bengert November 16, 2011

Good insight on the effectiveness of ‘story telling’… This justifies the stories that can be told in the industry I write about. Thanx, Don

Written by: David November 16, 2011

My daughter said a guest professor gave a lecture at college about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a progressive structure that could be explained in terms of propositions like, “One of the most basic needs is for food, water and shelter” and progressing to companionship and a sense of accomplishment, and so on.

What is interesting in this lecture, however, is that the lecture proceeded merely as a string of stories, poignant and to the point to be sure, but without the usual propositional statements thrown in. The professor, by the way, came from an American Indian culture, and if the hierarchy was somewhat non-standard for western psychological theory, its form was persuasive.

Written by: Russell Cormier November 16, 2011

That was a great lesson. I can take just that outline and run with it. That will help to spark my own story telling. I’m pretty good at relating peoples problems to another’s story.

Thanks Guys!

Russell

Written by: Larry November 16, 2011

Thanks again adam for sharing daniel with us. I have already signed up for the one month training. I need to learn how to convert my traffic through good copy.

Written by: Daniel Levis November 16, 2011

Thanks for all the great comments, guys, gals. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

Written by: Wealth Building November 17, 2011

soft selling has worked like a charm for me in all my niche websites. stories are a great way to build rapport, credibility and convey that one is purchasing from someone who is close to the subject matter, who has been there and done that.

Written by: Ray Ducharme November 18, 2011

I heard this before,but never had it make as much sense.Will copy and this one so I can read it again;)Thanks

Written by: breakfast recipes November 21, 2011

extremely nice post, i certainly enjoy this site, keep on it

Written by: chn November 27, 2011

Thanks for all the great comments, guys, gals. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

Written by: Cam Abel November 28, 2011

So true! I guess for me it is all about trying to get your intended customer to be able to personally relate to what it is you are saying. Telling stories is one of the best ways to help do this!

Written by: Alex January 20, 2012

Great article men…

Written by: Danny Jaco November 27, 2012

Thanks for the very helpful info. I’m signing up for the Persuasion Mastery Club now!

Written by: Erik Nebergall December 6, 2012

I’m a career sales guy. I recently read a book written by Mike Bosworth on this subject which lead me to so a web search on the subject. Your perspective reinforces what he said about using stories to sell. I’ve been applying this approach for several months and have found a tremendous improvement in my rapport and trust building, making the sale easier.

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