Story Selling Triggers

Here are some triggers that release the “paralysis by analysis” stress clients feel when they are trying to make a decision. In selling situations, the right brain needs and desires the following:

  • Context (personal relevance)
  • The big picture (long term relevance)
  • Humor
  • Images
  • Visual stimulation
  • Emotional affirmation
  • Affirmation of values
  • Metaphors
  • Stories
  • A comfortable feeling about you

Think of establishing context in this way “we are going to read the last page of the book before we try to write a table of contents. We’re going to start with an end in mind. Now, tell me everything you want to acccomplish … that is how we want this story to turn out.”

Like the archeologist who discovers a piece and immediately begins to visualize the entire object, so the brain searches for the personal significance of the idea or suggestions it hears.

If context is not clearly established up front, the client will start questioning (internally) the relevance of the various products and ideas you are talking about. This sounds like an elementary point, but we can’t count the number of presentations we have witnessed where the context was not established up front and the client had to stop and ask halfway through the presentation, “Now how does this tie in”?  Establish the context at the beginning clearly and continue to refer back to it at key points in your presentation. The right side of the brain wants to know how each piece of text fits into the context. If it does not recognize the context, the right side of the brain ignores the information.

Ponder this physiological fact: laughter and stress cannot occupy the same space at the same tie. Financial decisions are stressful to make. Even after a decision is made, the mind begins to second guess with a litany of ‘what ifs’. Laughter diffuses stress. Humor puts matters into their proper perspective. By using humor, we don’t mean telling canned jokes or presenting puns. Humor is better introduced into the atmosphere by our attitude, manner, and approach. Start by smiling. Check your own tension in the mirror before your client walks in the room. Laugh easily. Don’t hurry. Share a good story that has humorous aspects. People can relate to stories.

Humor opens the door to emotional buy-in. Laughter puts the audience at ease and creates a bond with the presenter. It puts them on the same page. Thoughts of ‘I can relate to that’, he is one of us  ‘i have had that thought myself’is  what the twinkle in the eye of the person laughing is saying. Discomfort is dissipated. Stress is released. After people laugh, their attention level becomes heightened and magnetic. They don’t want to miss the next punch line. People love being entertained in situations where they don’t expect it.

What Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of Telling the Financial Story

Journey Outline



  • Reading and Leading Others
  • Getting Others to Tell their Story
  • How Humor Get You Further than Self Promotion
  • Making The Intuitive Leap with Your Client
  • Using Analogies and Metaphors to Move Your Clients and Products


  • Telling the Story of the Affluent
  • Telling the Story of the 65+
  • Telling the Woman’ s Story
  • Let Me Tell You A Story

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storyteller which helps professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

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