The Perfect Story-Telling Formula

What’s the perfect formula for telling a sales story?

  • Is it the hero’s journey?
  • Is it conflict / resolution?
  • Is it problem, agitate, solve?

Before we jump into this, I need to clarify something.

You shouldn’t concentrate your undivided attention on the plot.

The number one most important thing in your story is the emotion it creates in the reader, listener or viewer.

Simply put: the goal of your story is to generate emotion in somebody.

Of course, you might have heard this already, but it bears repeating: “People buy on emotion, and they justify on logic.”

Most people attempt to sell on logic. But I think that’s a huge mistake.

If you want somebody to make a buying decision, you have to change their emotional state.

And the fastest way to get somebody into a different emotional state is with a good story.

How To Change A Person’s Emotional State With A Story

The number one rule here is not to tip your hand and tell people: ‘Hey! I’m going to tell you a sad story, so you’ll be sad, and you’ll want to buy my product to make yourself feel better.’

Not a good plan.

Two things dictate whether your story will generate the emotion you want.

#1 The Story Itself

Don’t overanalyze this.

People can quickly tell if you’re sharing something happy, sad, frustrating, or inspirational.

You can learn from how others create their stories by simple observation. You know a good story when you see one. But avoid spending too much energy at this point. The second thing about a story deserves more of your attention!

#2 The Emotion Your Story Generates

The feelings you share when telling the story is what will influence people the most… not the structure of the story.

Emotion is contagious.

Think about it like yawns. When someone yawns, the person next to them immediately starts to yawn too.

When someone gets excited and happy and tells you, “Let me tell you what happened! It was the most fantastic thing ever,” you experience a physiological change that can make you feel more excited too.

If your story is charged with emotion and your own energy, you will trigger a physiological change in your potential customer.

They will feel, on their own, the desired emotion that can lead to a sale.


When it comes to the using any story in sales, there are two important things you need to pay attention to:

  1. Tell a story that targets the emotion you want to create
  1. Use your own emotion to influence others with your presentation

That’s it! Now you know the perfect story-telling formula, no matter what you sell!

And if you want more sales story secrets, you should be in my Sales Copy, and Content Marketing Hacks With Jim Edwards Facebook group! Click here to request access!

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  • Adventago

    Reply Reply October 8, 2020

    I love this blog post-JIm this is very true

    Even I am guilty of this at times

    I would try and make a logical reason as to why someone would want to buy this

    However, I realized that I wasn’t buying like at all

    Everything that we buy is to solve a problem

    And once I implemented your ideas

    I got a lot better engagement

    Thank you for your amazing work from your friend Adventago 🙂

  • Jorge

    Reply Reply January 6, 2021

    Thank you, Jim. Story telling is fundamental and so powerful, especially when adding, like you often do, a healthy dose of humour.

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