Ever met a truly great persuader?  The quintessential, “Could sell ice to Eskimos”.

They all tell stories knowing we primarily make emotionally based buying decisions.

They take you on a journey first describing your current reality, the consequences of staying there and then showing you a better future.

Years ago we were on Kangaroo Island – south of Adelaide.  If you’ve ever been there you’ll know that 99% of the roads are dirt, there are almost no street signs and everything is surrounded by bush.  You come across intersections where there are two, three, even four roads crossing each other with no street names and have absolutely no idea where you are and which direction to take.

The only map we had was a simple tourist guide with one of those stylised drawings with only the major roads named.

We’d taken a day trip across the island and spent longer than we’d anticipated.

Darkness descended.  We had no idea where we were.

Barbara and I were holding back at snapping at each other and trying to act calmly. There was no phone signal and if we got stuck or hit a kangaroo we’d have been in big trouble.

Until we programmed the GPS.  Imagine our relief when it picked up our location and unerringly guided us back to our B&B, late, but in one piece.

Without that GPS we might still be lost somewhere in that maze.  The GPS not only got us back but saved a great deal of emotional upheaval.

Now, I could have just said, “Using a GPS will give you directions from points A to B.  You’ll not have to look at a map to figure out where you are and where you need to go.”

But that’s pretty dry.  It doesn’t engage the emotions the way a story will.  And when you hear the story, you may well relate and remember an instance where you’ve been in a similar situation.  Where you’ve been lost, in a hurry to get somewhere, maybe with a young child crying in the back and you’d give anything to find a solution quickly.

What stories could you use when selling your product or service?

Drop me a line and let me know.

Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.

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