Facts and figures tell, stories sell

Posted by on 9 November 2016 | Comments

Aha! sales stars don’t just use insights to sell. They also use stories to sustain traction and momentum created by their insights. Sellers who use Aha! insights plus stories are much more successful than sellers who use facts and figures to support their insights. An ancient Jewish fable tells us why.


Truth and Story: An ancient Jewish parable

A long time ago in a small village lived two girls, one named Truth and the other named Story.

Each wanted to be the most popular girl in the village. Soon a rivalry between them developed. They decided to settle the question once and for all with a contest. Each girl would walk through the village. Whichever girl was greeted by the most villagers would be the winner.

Truth went first. She set off down the cobblestone street, passing through the heart of the village. Not one person came out to greet her. By the time she reached the other end of town, she was devastated.

Story went next. She had only taken a few steps into the village before people came running out of houses and shops to greet her. “Story, how are you?” “Story, good to see you!” And so it went until she passed through the village and reached Truth who was in tears.

“Story,” said Truth, drying her eyes. “You win. You are the most popular girl in the village. Everyone likes you. But why?”

Story put her arm around Truth’s shoulder. She spoke in a consoling voice. “You and I,” she said, “we are not so different. I have Truth in me too. But nobody wants to hear the naked Truth.” “So what am I supposed to do?” said Truth.

“Here,” said Story, removing her cloak. “Take this, and wrap yourself in it.”

“What is it?” Truth asked.

“Emotion,” Story said. “Wear it, and you, like me, will become Story.”

Stories move us because they evoke emotions. Sellers must never forget that the prime purpose of emotions are to move us.