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January 17, 2008

10 Powerful Stories To Get More Customers

Remember, as a child lying in bed and listening to stories? Remember how engaged you were? Remember how you never got bored of them and always wanted to learn more?

Well, there’s a good reason why… and here’s how what you learnt as a young child could help you attract, and keep more customers…

Metaphors and stories have proven to be a powerful way of influencing other people. They are also extremely interesting to your potential customer, and connect with a deeper part of the human psyche.

Here’s 10 of the most powerful types of sales stories you can incorporate into your website ads and sales letters.

1) Introductory Stories: These are stories about who you are, why you’re writing to them, and how you have assisted other people and/or businesses.

This is a perfect way to connect with your target audience and generate rapport. Reveal something personal about yourself within the story, and establish credibility and trust.

2) Stories Which Overcome Fears: Everyone has fears of some type. Identify the greatest fears and concerns your customer has. And then show how other people, just like them, who had the same concerns, overcame them, and discovered there was nothing to worry about.

If you’re selling a health product, the client may be concerned it will not work for them. Tell the story of somebody else who felt the same and where they are now. Perhaps incorporate this structure within one of your testimonials.

This is a classic “Feel, Felt, Found, approach” I understand how you feel. My previous customer used to feel the same way. His experience now is.

3) Ego-Enhancing Stories: This type of story shows how people respect and look up to people who use your services, or own your product.

For example, if you were selling a Mercedes Benz. you could talk about a guy who bought one recently and how his colleagues, family and friends were so impressed.

4) Attention Grabbing Stories: These are used to get people to focus on you, your products and how you can benefit them. They explain why your customer should sit up and listen to you, right now.

Here’s an example from a sales letter from a company called “The Supper Club”.

“How can I get in on this deal?”

The question was posed by a Daily Reckoning reader who was referring to a deal I mentioned. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a stock. It was a private deal. And it was too late to get in anyway.

But it’s why I’m writing you today.

5) Product Information Stories: Don’t just list the features & benefits of your product or service. Tell a story which integrates this information.

6) Improved Productivity Stories: Outline exactly how your services and/or products have assisted companies to increase their profits, become more efficient, increase output and reduce down time.

Tell a before and after story of one of your customers. You’ll never guess how much (other customers) business has changed since they started working with us.

7) Family Togetherness Stories: This type of story demonstrates how your product or services has caused families to come together.

8) Money Stories: The idea here is to show people how your product or service will save or make money for your customers.

For example, if you’re a mortgage broker, give a case study of a past customer, and how much money they have saved through swapping over to you.

If you’re a PR company, give an example of how you helped one company get out of a rut.

If you’re an accountant, reflect on how you helped a specific customer save thousands of dollars on tax last year, because you’re up to date on all the tax changes.

9) Security Stories: This is a prime example of how you would go about selling an insurance policy. Tell a story about how your products have allowed your customers to sleep safely, and with peace of mind.

This could be used in the insurance industry, alarms, people selling trusts, pest and termite controllers, safe cars like Volvos, or any industry where people buy to feel more secure.

At the same time, it could be used for anybody who helps people to make more money, or ensures reliability. For instance, a marketing company could explain how safe one of their clients feels about their business with all the extra income being generated.

10) Closing Stories: Stories can be used here to close the sale and sum up all the benefits you have to offer.

What stories could you use to promote your business?

Author:  Scott Bywater is well known for getting results as a professional direct mail copywriter. And also the author of Cash-Flow Advertising. To get a free subscription to his “Copywriting Selling Secrets” newsletter where you’ll discover the truth about why most ads and sales letters don’t work (And how to make yours different) scamper over to his web site at http://www.copywritingthatsells.com.au

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