Using Stories to Sell

Is Fear Keeping You Back?

Today I helped out a Boy Scout troop.  They’d gone canoeing on a river.  I needed to move their van to the bottom of the river where they would take the canoes out.

No problem.  I hopped in the van.  The weather was cooler and I let a breeze flow in the window as we drove.  The road wound around and we passed deer, a flock of munching buzzards, and a wild turkey.

Then the sun came out and it warmed up.  I looked at the gages.  GAAK!  All these buttons!  I decided to ride with the window down.

But then I started getting hot and sweaty.  I glanced at the buttons again.

Dashboard controls

There were masses of them and they were so intimidating.  Should I pull over and figure them out?  Should I poke a few and see what happened?

I drove for a bit.  Then I realized I was stopped by fear.  I’d just glance at the buttons and there were so many, I was afraid to even try to figure them out.

I know those of you who have vans are thinking, that’s dumb!  It’s so easy to use the controls.

I say that’s because you’ve taken time to learn them.  Then it becomes easy.

But when I realized it was FEAR that was keeping me back, I got stubborn.  I don’t want to be a slave to fear.

So as I drove, I glanced again at the controls.  Recirculate.  Nope.  Something with windows. Nope.  Rear defroster. Nope.  Auto.  Hmmm.   What about Auto?

I punched Auto…. And COOL AIR started blowing!


I felt joy for two reasons.  One, I got cold air.  Two, I had overcome my fears.

Sometimes we ride through life being uncomfortable.  Maybe there’s something know will be good for our business, but fear of failure or doing it wrong  holds us back.   We put up with being less effective and less profitable because we fear doing what might make us successful.

We think we don’t have time to pull over and check it out. Or maybe we are afraid of the solution.  And so often, after we face our fear—it turns out to be no big deal.

If  you know you need a marketing plan but have stalled on it.  If you know case studies or white papers will grow your business but you’re too busy… Now is the time to do it.  Face your fears, worries, or time constraints.  Accept the risk and focus the rewards.

Study and do. You can write them.  There are classes and courses that will teach you how.  Simply factor in the learning curve.

Or reach out to a professional who will do it for you.  Work with them to help them know your audience and product.  It may cost less than you think.  When you see the ROI, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago.

Accept the possibility that either choice  might not be as daunting as you first think.   Take the risk.  Face your fears and move forward to increased productivity and business success.


I’ve just shown you how to take a story and turn it into persuasive copy.

Check it out.  Did the story draw you in?  Did it keep you engaged?  Did you relate?  Was there a smooth transition from story to application for the reader?  Daily life stories can share a message that draws action.  This technique works especially well with emails.

Tell me what you think.

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