Facts Tell Stories Sell? Nah. Pitch ’em to Death…

February 13, 2021

by Kenneth Holland

'Facts Tell Stories Sell' has become a powerful rally-cry in the sales world...because it IS absolutely true.

Then why do so few do it?

Some years ago I stumbled onto a radio/tv sportscaster personality named Colin Cowherd. You may or may not have heard of him…he has a morning show where he gives his opinions on sports topics. It’s called ‘The Herd’ and people usually either really love him or really hate him, but he’s very polarizing and it’s quite popular.

The reason why I bring him up and what drew me in to his show was his ability to tell stories…

Colin would start off and introduce the show and then immediately break into a short story. He would build his story up and then he would segue it into his message, which tended to be more factually based.

For example, let’s say he was talking about the New England Patriots…the NFL Football team. Cowherd’s a big fan of the Patriots and so he’d start off telling the story but it usually wouldn’t have anything to do with sports. However, his story drew you in and then he would transition in to his message.

What makes this so effective is the the fact that he is telling a story.

Using Storytelling in Your Marketing: Engage Them...Then Give 'Em the Facts

All too often the thing I see in marketing these days is people just trying to jam offers down people’s throats.

Let me give you two examples to illustrate my point:

Sales Pitch

“Hey! You need to buy my super spiffy…make 100 grand a month…push button software. It has 18 million features. You’ll be uneasy street and in no time you’ll pay off all your debts. Clink the link below and let’s get started!”

Story

“She locked the door and told me never to come back. I was stunned. I had just filed for bankruptcy and I thought this was it. I had nowhere to turn. I was broke and days away from living on the street. Then one day I met Mr. X and he showed me something that would change my online business forever.”

***

What the story does is create an emotional connection with the reader or the listener or the viewer, or whatever medium you are using. So by using the story in a manner of whatever you’re promoting, you create that connection and the reader HAS to find out what happened.

After the story I lead into a lesson. The lesson is merely the payoff from the story itself. We all know these stories as kids told to us by our parents at night as we’re going to bed.

The lesson transitions in to the offer, the call to action or whatever you are selling to them. It could be something you’re selling or you’re trying to get somebody on your email list or to get them to join your Facebook group…whatever your goal is.

Stories are a highly effective way to achieve this.

You Can (and Should) Pitch…But If That’s All You Do…

Now, do not misunderstand me…straight sales pitches can be effective and should be used. I’ll give you an example…

When I send my email marketing campaigns to my email insider’s group (which by the way, if you’re not a member of you should be) I will use a lot of story based emails. It’s going to be maybe a couple of paragraphs…something that brings the reader in but doesn’t bore them by being overly long. Then you can transition them to the lesson which will then take them to the offer.

But like I said, I’ll write a straight pitch. I’ll use an engaging introduction sentence, maybe even a small paragraph that’s not a straight offer but then quickly go to the pitch.

Vin Scully Stories: The Greatest Sports Storyteller of Them All

A lot of you may know who Vin Scully is. He’s the former, legendary broadcaster of The Los Angeles Dodgers. He is known as maybe the greatest sports broadcaster ever.

However, I’m going to say something that many Vin Scully fans will find offensive: I don’t think he was the best play-by-play announcer ever. He was great. He was really, really good. I don’t think he was the best ever, but he was the best storyteller ever. And if you ever heard him call a baseball game, it was unlike any other broadcaster that I’ve ever heard. Vin sold you on the stories about the players and the game. He had a natural storytelling style that made him one of the all-time greats.

Start learning to tell stories in your marketing. If you’re doing emailing, tell stories. Let the story pull your audience in to your world and take them on a short journey...then sell them. Learn this skill and you’ll have a LOT more fun in your business…