The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business is a handy book for anyone who sells, leads or, well, talks. Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman define story as, "...a fact, wrapped in an emotion that compels us to take an action that transforms our world."
Isn't that the goal of every good marketing communication? And, let's face it, every word that gets spoken about your company could be considered some form of marketing. So shaping the "stories" you use to have the successful impact you envision should be a focus of any company that wants to grow.
The authors share a number of interesting stories and facts to illustrate what a successful story is, and the one thing they all have in common are the elements of persuasion.
These 5 elements are:
- Passion - how a story is told
- They have a Hero - who leads us through the story so we can step in and see it too (think customer)
- The antagonist or obstacle they must overcome (think problem, need, challenge or issue your customer is trying to solve)
- The moment of awareness that allows the hero to prevail (the outcome of whatever you're proposing - product, service - the difference it will make)
- The transformation in the hero and the world that follows (purchase and outcomes)
You get the idea. This is a powerful little book that reads fast and offers a tremendous amount of insight into how to tell a successful story. I definitely recommend this book!
And, when you do, don't be surprised if you have an entirely different perspective on your company's communications.