Derek Sivers
Persuasion Story Code - by David Garfinkel

Persuasion Story Code - by David Garfinkel

ISBN: 9798857434574
Date read: 2024-02-09
How strongly I recommend it: 5/10
(See my list of 360+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

About stories meant to sell something. You say to the waiter, “Tell me about the filet.” You’re asking for a tiny story. Most of our desires come with a little story of explanation or persuasion. Interesting subject, and the author is a super-expert on the subject.

my notes

At a restaurant, you say to the waiter, “Tell me about the filet.”
You were asking to be sold on something you already wanted.

Persuasion stories don’t each have clearly defined beginnings, middles and ends.
They don’t resemble the plots of movies.
They are short.
They do not attempt to teach universal life lessons.
They help one person persuade another person.
The kind of thing we naturally say when we are casually trying to convince another person of something.

“That’s terrible, and you have every right to be upset. I’d feel the same way. No one should be treated like that.”
That’s actually a story that builds trust by showing empathy.

“We can use a new toner-saving technology that cuts costs by 20%. So compared to the standard model, based on how much printing we do, it will pay for itself in 3 months.”
Persuasive stories help move a person towards a willingness to agree.

Multiple persuasion stories work better than just one.
Put the building blocks together like puzzle pieces.

Origin Stories build confidence by showing how a person’s or company’s background makes them solid and worth doing business with.
Origin stories contain convincing detail and fascinating facts, proof, concrete elements, facts and events.
You’ll find them on “about” pages on websites.
“What qualifies this person to say what they are promising?”
Show what you have done in the past, makes it legitimate.

Stories About Your Prospect’s Pain
Build trust by showing you understand the dilemma your prospect is in, thus creating valuable empathy.

Stories That Predict The Future
Paint a compelling word-picture of how much better your prospect’s future can be.

Reassurance Stories
Deal with early doubts and worries that come up.

Stories That Explain
Interesting but neutral explanations and persuasion that puts up prospect defenses.

Stories That Build Trust
Organize credentials, reviews, expert endorsements and case histories

How to create a Qualifications/Track Record Origin Story?
List all the things you have done: list of qualifications, awards, degrees.
Use them to write your story: The motivating moment, important touchstones that contributed to their unique expertise.
What others say. Accolades or awards.

Discovery Story:
The discovery itself is the story’s hero.
A sense of relief at the end of what must have been a long, frustrating search.
One dramatically painful failure.
One big matching contrast, turned things around.

I Couldn’t Find What I Was Looking For So I Created It Myself Story:
The story of search… frustration… and decision to come up with something new.
And the process of creating it.

A story shows you know what they are experiencing and how they feel about it.
Misery loves company. And a person in pain will trust another person who has gone through the same pain.

A story about the world today - a “top of mind” topic - likely to be on the mind, to create some mental/emotional common ground.
You are in their corner.
Help them articulate what they’re feeling about it, and why.

Stories about pressures from other people, being criticized or doubted by others for “not being normal.”
The pressures others are exerting, validation and reassurance.
Look here for the support you’ve been trying to find.
Remind the prospect of facts and events in their own lives that created emotion for them.

Predicted Transformation Story: deliver that kind of superpower, something unique and awe-inspiring. Previously thought impossible to obtain. Few can imagine they would ever.
What is the one standout skill or ability the prospect can get from your product or service that they would consider rare or nearly unattainable?
What are the most impressive and desirable results someone who has this skill could get?
Because of these results, how would your prospect’s overall life and sense of themself change for the better?

We rarely have just one emotion at a time.
When we are thrilled about something, there’s also a part of us waiting to find out if there’s a catch.
When we’re excited about something happening now, we’re also wondering what will happen next.

Stories about how others have made it work:
Create a realistic guided visualization of your product in use (experience), ending in success (results).
They start to imagine themself going through the same experience.

Entertainment industry awards are just high-level certifications from committees of peers in a particular industry.
Critics are certification in a category called “Critically Acclaimed.”
Mentioning a certification in a story adds credibility.
A sentence has more persuasive impact than when the certification is listed as a bullet point.

Why is the one more powerful? Because the first one is a story; the second is only a fact.
The formula for a Results Testimonial can be very simple: - I had this problem/need/desire - I tried this solution/provider - I got this result.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.

Words that evoke specific images - known as word-pictures - have a much stronger impact than words that describe concepts, abstractions and generalizations.
Specific images create more emotion
That which we see - whether in reality, or in our mind’s eye - turns out to be one of the most powerful and reliable ways to create emotion.
Read a sentence and ask yourself if you could take a picture of it.

Start by writing the whole story in just one sentence.
That will be way too concise, so try it in two sentences.
Keep going up, one sentence at a time, until you come up with a complete story that feels conversational, but very much to-the-point.