Why It’s OK To Use Literary License in Persuasion

Everybody embellishes stories, at least a little bit. Like that time you told your colleagues who weren’t at the new-client meeting that everyone applauded after your presentation.

I’m here to tell you it’s okay to use literary license in the persuasive stories you tell your prospects. Slight exaggerations, the blending of separate events and the changing of particular details can be done for the benefit of a good cause: your pursuit of getting to “yes” faster.

Now, I’m not recommending you resort to outright lying. There’s a term we use for making up stories, and it’s called “fiction.” Don’t dabble in fiction, but remember that the term “literary license” grants you permission to stretch the truth. Use drama and emphasis to prove your points and make your case. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “If this isn’t a true story, it should be.” Make the stories you tell that good.

Here’s an example: “I remember one female customer who came into the store bathed in perfume, with makeup straight from a fashion runway and a leather jacket shinier than chrome.” (The woman may, indeed, have been dressed stylishly and appeared out of place in your store, but isn’t the way I describe her above immensely more memorable?)

No harm, no foul.

(Photo by Patrick Tomasso)

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