How to Tell Better Stories and Convince More People

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t work when crafting situational persuasion success stories, consider ways to enhance and customize them.

In business, you typically apply the powers of persuasion to accomplish one or more of the following: You want someone to buy your product, agree to your new idea or take you up on your offer. This can apply to customers and clients, colleagues and rivals, and members of the media or other organizations. So focus on creating situational persuasion success stories that seek to improve internal communication, boost your brand and explain why your way — whatever way that happens to be — is best.

Concentrate on who you helped (with that client’s permission, if you’re using actual names) and what you did — not how you did it. If you focus on “how” (“We’ve helped ABC Corporation convince investors this company is the real deal by increasing fourth-quarter revenue by almost 55 percent, crafting new closing tactics and tracking accountability.”), your target might be thinking, We already tried those things, and they didn’t work. As a result, he’s mentally checking off reasons why you won’t be able to convince him and his company.

Instead, mention what you did, with whom, and share the credit: “We’ve helped ABC Corporation convince investors this company is the real deal by increasing its fourth-quarter revenue by almost 55 percent. The firm has credited our insight with identifying and taking advantage of new opportunities. We think its willingness to partner and collaborate made the results possible.” The likely response from your prospect: “Can you do that for me?”

Just remember: In order to convince, you need to be convincing.

You must exude confidence without seeming arrogant, and know when to stop talking and let your story sink in.

Experiment with the ideas I’ve shared in recent posts by developing your own situational persuasion success stories. Then you’ll join a long and, well, storied tradition of communicating via storytelling.

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