Every story has an emotional response to elicit. When campers are sitting around a fire in dark woods, they tell stories that generate fear and excitement; stories about psychotic killers with hooks for hands, and teenagers who pick up strange hitchhikers.
When women have lunch with their girlfriends, they tell amusing stories about their husbands and boyfriends to relate to each other. And when you tell a story on your website, in an article, or even in an ad, you are letting people know that, "this product, service, or business opportunity worked for other real live people, so it could work for you, too!"
People don't remember statistics, but they have a special storage compartment in their brains for stories. Stories are an innate part of human beings. As long as there have been people, there have been stories. They are a part of every culture that is or ever was, ranging from writing on walls, to oral traditions, to dramatic plays, to modern novel. Stories capture our hearts and imaginations, so we tend to pay more attention to them than we would, say, hard-sell ads.
Consider how often you leave room during commercials, as opposed to how often you leave during Friends or E.R. Maybe difference is no more than mode of presentation. If commercials were 30 minutes long and told a story, maybe we wouldn't lunge for remote or leave room when they came on.
I'm kidding about 30 minute commercial, but I'm not kidding about using stories to sell. Let's talk about how you can use stories in your own copy to keep people's attention, build trust and credibility, and, most importantly, sell.
After reading a fair number of popular novels, you may begin to notice a pattern in how protagonists of story develop. Although you aren't writing a novel for your website, ad, or article, you can use this same process of development in your stories to help you sell.
Let's take a closer look at character development in popular writing and see what we can incorporate into our own stories, to increase sales and build credibility:
1. Remember past--Whether you are relating your own story, or story of someone who enjoyed success after doing business with you, give that person a past. In a novel, main characters don't appear out of nowhere. They have a past that begins before circumstances of novel. Similarly, when you tell a story in your copy, you need to let your readers know about your protagonist's past.
For an example, see Jim Daniels' story (http://bizweb2000.com) of how he built his Internet business. The story doesn't start with him at moment his business took off. It starts with him working a miserable 9 to 5 job he hated. Then it moves to him working to build his Internet business.
Giving protagonist of your story a past helps reader to relate to that person, making them more three-dimensional and easier to believe in.