I had the honor of interviewing someone this past week who has been called the greatest sales trainer of his generation, Eric Lofholm (you can listen to the interview at https://gregjameson.com/eric-loftholm/). Eric is a master sales trainer who has helped over 10,000 students and has helped generate nearly $500 million in revenue in the last two decades. This interview got me thinking about how traditional sales techniques can be applied to typical shopping cart software. The answer lies in telling a compelling story. The story behind a product or service is the key factor in getting someone to resonate with your offering and to remember it. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The feelings that stories evoke is instrumental in making a sale, regardless of the method you use to tell the story. Here are some ways you can tell your story:

The long description of EVERY product or service you offer on your ecommerce website should tell a story. There are multiple ways to tell a story, called storypaths. This is a common example, called the “man in the hole” plot:

The long description of EVERY product or service you offer on your ecommerce website should tell a story. Click To Tweet

As you can see, with this story path, the protagonist starts out with a good intention, but soon starts to experience conflicts that result in a number of problems until he or she reaches a crisis point. Then he discovers your product or srvicewhich saves the day and his life is better because of it. But that is not the only path you have to use. Here is another popular curve you can use, often called the boy meets girl plot that you see in almost every Hallmark movie:

In the beginning, everything is great, but then there is some event that leads to a black moment, but then they determine it was either a misunderstanding or something that they can overcome, and once again, life has changed forever and they are better of than when they started. But the most common story plot of all time looks like this:

This is the story line we see in the book of Genesis in the Bible as well as Cinderella. Cinderalla starts off in a poor states, then the fairy godmother overcomes one obstacle at a time:  no dress to wear – done, no shoes – no problem, no transportation – here. Everything goes great, then bam! The clock stikes 12 and everything disappears. But then the prince finds her and the shoe fits and it off the charts happiness.

So the question is, how can you apply these story telling techniques to your product descriptions? Here is an example I use for the long description for an artificial candle I sell to scout units:

Does your scout unit meet in a church, school or other building that prohibits the use of open flames? You want to use candles as part of your scout ceremonies, but you are not allowed to – until now!

Be careful though – these artificial candles look exactly like a real candle. These are so realistic that we’ve even had the fire department called when we were using them. Talk about creating an event that your scouts will not soon forget!

One of our scouts, Joey, was “lighting” the candles by pushing the remote control switch, which allows you to make the motion as if you were actually lighting the candle. Instead, you simply push a button to turn on the flame. You could hear some of the adults in the back of the room starting to whisper about how open flames weren’t permitted.

It’s not really a flame – the effect is created by using an LED light that shines on a piece of moving plastic that is shaped like a flame.  It wasn’t long though before a group of fully decked out firemen came storming into the room…

Now it’s your turn. Go evaluate your product descriptions and see how you can telll a story that will stick with your customers. I’d love to see what you come up with.

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