Against my better judgement, I cut through the dark alley on my way home that night.
What are you thinking right now? What happened to Louis in the dark alley? Was he mugged? Did he witness a murder? I don’t know what you’re thinking. But I do know this. You’re not thinking about your unpaid bills, your laundry that’s piling up, or the hinge on the door that you’ve got to replace.
Gotchya! You are ENGAGED.
What’s this got to do with marketing? Everything. Bad marketers try to “sell” stuff. Good and great marketers tell stories. Burn this into your memory, and you’ll make big bucks “selling” your stuff: Before you write one word of copy, before you call a prospect, reach out to one on Facebook, or talk to a potential customer face to face, ask yourself this question. “What’s the STORY behind my product or service?”
People, that includes me and you, never buy things. We buy dreams. And dreams, my friends, are stories. I didn’t buy a car when I bought my navy blue Mercedes in 2009. I bought a story about Louis, the successful entrepreneur, a man with taste, a leader that others want to follow. The Mercedes was just a prop, a symbol that tells my story to the world. I live into my story, so it’s real. But, it is, first and foremost, a STORY.
What’s your story? Even more important, what are the stories of all your potential customers and clients, and how can you tell those stories to make them buy-buy-buy everything you have to sell? You may be saying, “How the hell am I supposed to know? Everybody’s got a different story.” Actually, that’s not true. Everybody has a different variation. But, there are only six human stories. Six! You can learn them in the next six minutes. (I was gonna say five, but that wouldn’t be fun.)
Remember. Stories are about our deepest dreams. And our dreams compel us to do what we do. As a marketer, when you know why a person or a group of people do what they do, you have the power to sell them things. All you have to do is tell the story that makes their dreams come alive, and they will rush to buy from you.
So, what are the six core human stories? I must acknowledge Anthony Robbins for making me aware of them. He calls them the 6 Basic Human Needs. They are:
Let’s focus on one of them to discover how they can make you a fortune. I’ll choose Uncertainty. I like that one because it puzzles people the most. They think, “Nobody wants to be uncertain. How can that be a basic human need?” I like it for another reason. It’s one of my powerful human needs. A person who craves uncertainty wants and needs a lot of variety in her life. This kind of person loves adventure and change. Variety (uncertainty) is her adrenaline rush.
Let’s say I’m presenting a network marketing opportunity to this person, and I focus on the incredible compensation plan, the health enhancing products, and the time freedom to stay home with her family. I probably will not win this person’s business. I haven’t hit on her core need. But, if I stress the excitement of travel to exotic places and the money to do it in style, if I focus on the never ending adventure of reaching limitless income plateaus and the ability to always create new challenges, if I paint a picture of all the new successful supportive friends she will make on her journey, I will ignite the spark of this person’s dreams. I will enroll her.
I told her a story. I didn’t lie. I told her the truth about my opportunity. I simply underscored the most important benefit that this person wants and needs – variety or uncertainty. The same applies if you are selling insurance, coaching, financial planning, software or any widget. I’ll digress for a moment to drive my point home. I’ve trained a lot of financial planners to present their products and services by appealing to core human needs. Some of them increased their closing ratio by 60% the moment they got the importance of telling stories.
I pick on financial planning because it is all about helping people achieve their dreams. At least, it should be. You’d be surprised how many intelligent people in this industry focus on the boring details about their company, their mutual funds, whatever. They talk about everything except their prospects’ dreams! I’ve sat through some of their presentations that could cure the worst case of insomnia. Until they paint a detailed picture for their audience. Until they transport that audience into a “movie” where they can see themselves desperately clipping coupons for bargains at the grocery story vs. dining in the best seafood joint in town.
So, ask yourself, “How can the ‘things’ I sell satisfy my customers/clients’ need for:
- Safety & Security (Certainty)
- Variety & Adventure (Uncertainty)
- Acknowledgement & Respect (Significance)
- Intimacy & Love (Connection)
- Enlightenment (Growth)
- Value to Others (Contribution)
Dig deep to find the story behind your products and services. Relate those stories to the six basic human needs of your prospective buyers. Then watch your income soar!
Let’s cut back for a moment to my first sentence in this story. I took you immediately into a dark alley at night. I created suspense and mystery. I got you hooked. You’ve got to have a hook for the opening of every story you tell. If you don’t, you’ll be telling the rest of your story to yourself. Your would-be buyers will run form you.
So, how do you develop a compelling story after your great hook? Ah, my friends, that’s a whole other story!
Louis is an entrepreneur with a passion for persuasive story telling that sells. He is a professional actor and network marketer. Louis is a charter member of Omar & Melinda Martin’s “My Unfair Advantage” program. Louis loves helping others succeed. He has created a complete system that will help you master powerful “story-selling.” Go to www.PersuasionGenie.com and grab your copy now!