Sharpen your persuasive edge with 3 simple storytelling tools

The ability to communicate and get your ideas across persuasively is one of the single greatest skills for a competitive advantage. While as a financial advisor you have valuable information and knowledge, that alone won’t get a client or prospect to act. That’s because information does not drive decisions. Stories do. And telling stories well is the key to motivating client action. Here are three tools for telling persuasive stories:

Tool 1: Tell effective stories

People think, process and communicate in story. The stories we tell ourselves are often the deciding factor for actions.

There are three simple story types you should use to guide your clients to action.

  1. “Me stories” are personal stories about ourselves, our background or our experiences.
  2. “They stories” are about a client or someone we met that illustrate a point.
  3. “We stories” paint the picture of how we — ourselves and our clients — will fulfill their dreams together.

Whatever type of story you choose, make sure it has a clear beginning, middle and end. This natural story structure will help the anecdote stick in the listener’s mind.

Tool 2: Logline

In one sentence, what is the one thing you want your clients to know? That’s your logline. Loglines come from Hollywood, and they’re the one-sentence version of what a movie is about (sometimes printed on the posters).

For example, “The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son” is the logline for “The Godfather.”

Tool 3: The rule of 3

Humans have the capacity to retain three to four big ideas. Ask yourself, What are my three supporting messages? One main idea, which is the logline, should be followed by three or four supporting messages, such as three reasons to work with you or three benefits of a particular policy.

Your ideas matter. If you match the power of your stories with the power of your ideas, you will stand apart.

Carmine Gallo is a communication coach and bestselling author. This post was adapted from Gallo’s 2021 MDRT Annual Meeting Virtual Event presentation, “Sharpen your persuasive edge.” (MDRT member exclusive. Available in nine languages)

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