No matter how game-changing the idea you’re pitching — you’re at the mercy of the dreaded Paradox of The Brilliant Idea Theory, which states: The more brilliant the idea, the less brilliantly it tends to be explained and understood.
You can’t sell it if you can’t tell it. So, it goes to logic to Tell It in the way the prospect is STORY-wired to understand it…and to retell it. I call this The Brilliant Idea Story Theory, which states: The more brilliant the story of your idea, the more brilliantly the customer understands it and can retell it.
I put together for you these classic stories that trigger in the listener: 1. Riveted Attention Span; 2. Deep Empathy; 3. Human Longing for More.
STORY #1 CHANEL: Chanel tells its brand story through Coco Chanel’s human story. It isn’t a big leap to imagine how this became the emotional core for every Chanel customer-brand experience.
What makes Stories so behaviorally irresistible and intriguing to us humans?
Neuroscience shows that our brains are story-hardwired. We literally NEED stories
for us to feel joy, to be social, to gain an advantage, even to survive.
STORY #2 TOMS: uses Story to raise awareness of children who have no shoes. Consider how Brand Positioning can come to life through a culturally authentic social Position that the brand takes.
STORY #3 A LITTLE BOY NAMED BEN: Paul Zak, director of the center of neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, created this very human Story to tell his very neuroscience story.
“A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry,
making us more trusting, understanding of others, and open to ideas.”– Paul Zak“Research shows that the more you present facts to a user,
the more she questions the veracity of your argument.”– Michael Gazzaniga, dir, SAGE Center, UCSB
So, would you agree that it makes sense to tap your power of Empathy — and update your training in “Selling” to be about “Helping” — Helping another person in pain solve a problem you have a solution for?
Four Tips to Great Storytelling
1. Intriguing Hook to start story, so listener wants to hear more.
2. Minimalist Story Form to keep listener’s attention from wandering.
3. Before and After to show the pain/problem…and value of your product to solve it.
4. Happy Ending to release dopamine, leaving listener feeling good and brand associated with the story.
Bonus Story Tip: To change behavior and open minds, it can help to have fun, to play! Seriously. See video.