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October 30, 2020

The Perfect Story-Telling Formula

So what is the perfect formula for telling a sales story?

●     Is it the hero’s journey?

●     Is it conflict / resolution?

●     Is it problem, agitate, solve?

Well, before we even get into that part, we need to understand something.

When it comes to marketing, we shouldn’t concentrate all our attention on the plot of our storytelling.

The number one most important thing we should focus on in our stories is actually the emotion it creates in the reader, listener or viewer.

Simply put: the goal of your story is to generate emotion in somebody.

Of course, you might have heard this already, but it bears repeating: “People buy on emotion, and they justify on logic.”

Most people attempt to sell on logic. But I think that’s a huge mistake.

If you want somebody to make a buying decision, you have to change their emotional state.

And the fastest way to get somebody into a different emotional state is with a good story.

How To Change A Person’s Emotional State With A Story…

You need to lead into your stories smoothly, and not be like, "Hey! I’m going to tell you a sad story to make you feel sad, in order to manipulate your feelings real quick so you’ll want to buy my product to make yourself feel better, ok?"

Not a good plan.

Two things dictate whether your story will generate the emotion you want…

#1 The Story Itself

It's best to avoid over-thinking this part...

People can quickly tell if you’re sharing something happy, sad, frustrating, or inspirational.

You can learn from how others create their stories by simple observation. You know a good story when you see one. But avoid spending too much energy at this point. Save it for the next step, which requires more attention...

#2 The Emotion Your Story Generates

The feelings you share when telling the story is what will influence people the most… not the structure or plot-line of the story.

Emotion is contagious.

Think about it like yawns. When someone yawns, the person next to them immediately starts to yawn too.

When someone gets excited and happy and tells you, "Let me tell you what happened! It was the most fantastic thing ever," you experience a physiological change that can make you feel more excited too.

If your story is charged with emotion and your own energy, you will trigger a physiological change in your potential customer.

They'll automatically start feeling the desired emotion that can lead to a sale.


When it comes to the using any story in sales, there are two important things you need to pay attention to:

1. Tell a story that targets the emotion you want to create

2. Use your own emotion to influence others with your presentation

That’s it! Now you know the perfect story-telling formula, no matter what you sell!

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Jon Brickley

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