“Let me tell you a story about something that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”
Like magic the two young boys stopped wrestling with each other, came and sat silently, eyes wide opened, ready to be transported into another world.
Story is incredibly powerful because we are wired to learn from stories. From a very early age we learn about the world as adults tell us stories about far away kingdoms, cats in hats, and how uncle Fred lost his teeth because he didn’t brush them! Like a virtual reality classroom we have been using stories to instruct the next generation to survive and thrive since the beginning. No wonder it’s such an innate reflex for us to be captivated by stories.
Stories about other people are especially captivating because we are wired to empathize with the protagonist or the hero of the story for a number of reasons: We want to glean whatever we can from this character for our own survival and thriving; and we want to feel connected and understood as we resonate with the hero of the story – Survival and a sense of belonging.
You know what it’s like when you are reading a novel or watching a movie, you can’t help but put yourself in the shoes of the main character. That’s why these stories move us emotionally, because in our nervous system we have a type of virtual reality connection with the hero of the story and we feel what they are feeling. They may be very different sorts of characters than you are, but there’s an emotional journey, a journey of trials and growth that we can relate to and resonate with.
One of the keys to effectively connecting with potential clients and customers is to relate to them through the power of story. Statistics and the wonderful details of your widget may be interesting but probably not compelling enough to move people to purchase from you. They may need more motivation, and motivation can be generated as you marry information with emotion. Emotions move us to action, information directs that action. And you guessed it – information and emotion is all delivered in the vehicle of a story.
But not just any story! It’s a story where your listeners, your potential customers, are the hero, and can resonate with a message about thriving and belonging. We are all a little egocentric and when we are considering a product or service we are always looking for the answer to the question “What’s in it for me?” This is why customer testimonies are powerful, because we can relate to the story of a single customer over how many widgets you’ve sold or how many awards it’s won or how much of a discount you’ll give me if you buy within the next 24 hours.
Make your customer the hero of your marketing stories – stories that are not just about information but information + emotion – and you will discover a lot more engagement.
Of course the power of story is evident when relating to staff, suppliers, and everyone in your network. That’s what this membership site, Safineia, is all about – discovering the power of story with an understanding of your hidden mental operating system.