Stories have been used to illustrate points since the dawn of time, yet the idea of building entire businesses, or product sales formulas around them is still somewhat new. Please don’t think of or use this as some kind of a sleazy way to manipulate people…it’s not.
See… Customers often just don’t see the value of an idea until they grasp the pain of NOT solving the problem, the pleasure of buying something and the big “why” behind the product.
Here are some elements (in no particular order) that can help create an insanely good sales story.
#1. A hero and a villain
Create a character the audience (target market) will root for.
Create a villain, somebody the audience can shake their fist at along side you.
The villain doesn’t need to be a person, it could be the government or IRS (CRA in Canada) it could be a nameless faceless thing… but there’s almost always an enemy.
#2. A transformation/results
Help someone see the incredible joy of what life will look like with the problem solved. Make it visual, explain the feelings and the emotions. What’s a day in the life of a product/service buyer look like?
In order to facilitate sales, it’s always good to leave something OUT of the story deliberately in the solution end or resolution end. In fact, some entire movies keep people in the seats by not revealing something super special until the very end.
#4. A cause/vision
A cause can be useful if you can get someone to care about something other than themselves. Something somewhat related to your niche.. For example, say you sold feed to farmers. Farmers can relate to other farmers, what if some of that money went to struggling farmers? McDonalds gives money from happy meals every year to Ronald McDonald House for children. It’s sold to parents who can relate to other struggling kids.
#5. A shared pain
Is there something you struggle with that your ideal customer struggles with too? Maybe something your customers struggle with that you could easily turn into a story or a mental picture that would cause people to think?
#6. The pitfalls
In a perfect world, a story should help people experience the pain of not solving the problem. The pitfalls of not buying. The challenges that come from not doing, buying, or using the product or service.
The format is usually:
- Introduce problem
- Introduce villain
- Introduce hero
- Introduce solution, then another problem and solution
- Describe the transformation to problem solved
- Leave something unresolved, untaught or not fully explained