Once upon a time….

We don’t have an information shortage, we have an attention shortage. – Seth Godin

Like to hear a great story? How about telling stories? Extraordinary stories and storytelling are a great way to spread ideas. People remember stories more than they remember facts.

Facts are meaningless without a contextual story.

To influence customers its important to tell stories more.  The more you improve storytelling, the more your influence increases.

Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories.

Stories make it easier for people to understand. They are the best way, by far, to spread ideas. Especially when there is a large competition for people’s attention.

Steve Jobs’s story of being an adopted child, dropping out of college, being a hippie, going to India, coming back as a Zen enthusiast, eating apples and then starting Apple, being fired by his own company, starting Next, his philosophy about innovation, about art meeting technology… This is the story that Apple fanatics remember and love more than how many apple products were sold in a year.

Great storytelling and stories are a very integral part of being persuasive. If you want to persuade your customers and create a memorable experience at the same time, its important to master the psychology of storytelling.

Research  led by Melanie Green and Timothy Brock reveals that trying to persuade people by telling them stories works extremely well. The reason that stories (when told well) are so appealing is that you can transport customers inside the story and get your point across without directly selling.

Researcher Jeremy Dean (founder of PsyBlog) notes the following on the effectiveness of stories:

Once inside the story, we are less likely to notice things which don’t match up with our everyday experience.

For example, an inspirational movie with a ‘can-do’ spirit might convince us that we can tackle any problem, despite what we know about how the real world works.

Also, when concentrating on a story, people are less aware that they are subject to a persuasion attempt: The message gets in under the radar.

Customers are not purchasing a physical product or service. They are purchasing feelings associated with those products and services.

Customers are purchasing the story behind their experiences that resonates more with the story behind the product of service.

What’s your story?

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