How Great Stories capture the imagination of your audience

written by john c ashworth

Great stories capture the imagination of your audience.

Stories that are lame lose credibility fast.  Authenticity rules when it comes to writing your stories.  Authenticity comes from the heart.  It’s a poem you write on a quiet Sunday morning, listening to the birds in your backyard and wondering how you could possibly be so fortunate for everything you have in your life.  How you could have been so brave in the beginning to believe that this was possible for you.  Because that’s where it starts, you see.  With the dream that you can do it.  The dream that stirs inside you like a meadow full of monarch butterflies, flattering you with their presence. Now more than ever, we need to dream.

Great stories take you away.  Made-up or true.  Fiction or non-fiction.  Authenticity and consistency are what matter the most.  Are you achieving this with your stories?  Are you telling your stories at all?  How can you make those stories more scintillating, like an interstellar interloper from another galaxy you can bring a unique and distant blend of the same oxygen, water, and carbon; and at the same time and with those same ingredients, concoct your own unique celestial comet that travels at intergalactic speeds toward a smashing finish where you manifest an inspired reader.

Moral of this story?

Stories sell.

Write and develop more of them for more effective and response-driven marketing and sales.  

You’ll be amazed and surprised what happens when you start to do this and especially when you get it just right.

…and before I go for the day, here are a few more cool and interesting things you should know about stories and how they can help you sell more stuff.

Great stories always make a BIG promise.  A promise that is as bold and audacious as it is authentic.  Your promise is an all or none attempt to garner attention.  To go all-in and take the pot. If you fail even just a little bit here, you’re done.  That person is moving on to the next best promise he or she can find.  Or, just doing nothing at all.

Building trust inside your story is also very important because no one trusts your marketing.  No one trusts you at all until you’ve established credibility and delivered a story that is authentic and that resonates with your audience. 

Working in the car business for four years taught me a lot about the importance of this ingredient in your marketing, sales and stories.  No one trusts a car salesman until the salesman has an opportunity to make a BIG promise, deliver on that promise, and propose, build, and create a story that builds trust and confidence and a sheer willingness on the part of the prospect to buy the car.  No one is being sold.  People are buying things.  And they don’t buy until they’re ready; and being ready requires trust and credibility and emotions that drive people to take action. And as I’ve been saying, you build that foundation with great stories.

The best and most talented marketers and salespeople set the back-drop, produce the play, and gather the audience. They don’t force them to applaud, but instead, allow them the space to make their own personal and emotional judgement about what they have just seen and experienced.  They draw their own conclusion about whether or not they want to applaud you, buy your stuff, and then continue their relationship with you for further purchases down the road.

Before any of this can begin, there exists one more essential universal intergalactic ingredient cardinal to the cause.

First Impressions.

First impressions are formed almost immediately and they set the tone for your entire interaction.  Great stories can happen fast or they can develop over longer periods of time.  Either way, your first impression sets the tone and leads the way to a purchase or a final decision not to trust you and to hold-off on buying your thing for now.

Lastly, great stories can be told in many ways.  Many of them not that fancy.  In fact, it is very important that you remember one more important fact about this production.  Your audience is either ready to listen or not.  When they are, you don’t have to get too fancy, you just have to tell a great story. If they’re not, you need to find a better and more interested audience. Because If they are not yet ready to listen, you will waste lots of time and money and energy running scared and wondering why you’re stories are not working and why your small business is struggling.

It’s OK if your audience is not yet ready to listen.  That’s the first step in the creation of your ultimate sales machine – identifying, cultivating, and priming your own audience.  They are out there.  You just have to get serious about finding them.  And if the people you’re speaking to right now don’t seem to be listening, it’s not their fault. It’s probably just time for you to get to work on this.

-John

PS Keep in mind too that images and great photographs can also tell stories on their own and help you electrify your stories with an irresistible allure. Here are two photographs I’ve taken recently. Each a story on their own, or an opportunity to enhance any other story you might want to tell. Each a personal window into my life and interests and choices. Possibly bringing you that much closer to me and my work in general. Imagine the possibilities…

PPS You can find lots more photographs on the ash flash by clicking here.

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