Skip to main

6 Attributes of Compelling Stories That Sell

Authors: Park Howell Paul Smith
Posted Under: The Business of Story Podcast
Show Business
Hosted By

Apple Podcast Reviews:

A lot of great information about story telling. It is hard to pick one episode, they are all good!


I recently came across Park Howell's excellent podcast. I love how he weaves in his personal stories with the interviews of his guests. If you are involved with sales or marketing for your business definitely check out this show.


Paul Smith, Author, Speaker, and Consultant, joins the Business of Story Podcast to talk about our need for narrative, why stories are more compelling when they convey lessons, and the six attributes of a story that differentiates it from other forms.

Paul Smith_InstagramStory Crafting 101

My top salesperson is a swimming pig.
Got your attention, no?
First lines are important, and crafting compelling stories to sprinkle across your marketing strategy is even more essential. Paul Smith is a guru of carefully crafting stories for businesses. He believes that there are certain special attributes, six in fact, that distinguish a story from other mediums. And it’s important to know the difference.
Paul provides valuable insight as to why the element of surprise is useful, how storytelling helps customers remember information, and shares at least 25 types of stories that are helpful along different parts of the salesperson’s journey.
Paul illustrates that stories are truly needed throughout the sales process, saying, “I found that salespeople are effectively using stories throughout the entire sales process, not just the sales pitch. So that means everywhere from introducing themselves, to a new prospect, to building rapport with the buyer, to the main sales pitch itself, to handling objections, to closing the sale, even service after the sale.” From the first moment you interact with a potential customer to after your product or service is bought, story can drive successful customer interactions.
Oh, and Paul might just explain how a swimming pig sold him a photograph.

In This Episode

  • Why it’s important to know what is a story and what’s not
  • How to craft your stories around lessons to be more compelling to customers
  • Why storytelling helps a listener remember facts and be motivated to action
  • How to use upwards of 25 story types to infuse your sales technique with success
  • Why stories help the buyer relax, listen, and bond with a salesperson
  • How to close a sale by using the right story and help your brand by building word-of-mouth


Quotes From This Episode

“When it’s time to tell a story, you need to at least know what the heck a story is, or there’s no way you’re going to tell a good one.” —@LeadWithAStory
“There’s all kind of research, cognitive science, that supports our need to share stories and draw meaning from them.” —@LeadWithAStory
“It might be a great sales pitch, but it’s not necessarily a great story.” —@LeadWithAStory
“I talk about crafting a story, not just making up a story or telling a story off the top of your head without thinking about it. You need to think about and craft out these stories.” —@LeadWithAStory
“Even in business stories or even in sales stories, the element of surprise is important, and not just for entertainment value. It actually serves a purpose, and that purpose is it gets your audience to remember the lesson at the end of your story.” —@LeadWithAStory
“Storytelling builds strong relationships and, especially for salespeople meeting that new potential buyer for the first time, you need to build relationships. Storytelling is the shortest distance between a stranger and a friend; it’s telling stories about yourself to other people.” —@LeadWithAStory
“The word-of-mouth value of a story is way better than a list of dry facts and arguments.” —@LeadWithAStory


Join the Social Pros LinkedIn Community

Join a community of real social pros doing social media on LinkedIn. Receive all the inspiration and ideas straight to your feed and add your thoughts to the conversation.

Follow Social Pros on LinkedIn

Subscribe to Social Pros Podcast

b2b influencer