Why You Need to Learn to Tell Compelling Stories

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I never thought THAT would happen to me. But it did. I’ll explain.

I met her on South Street.

The Greek Picnic was a yearly tradition for us from ages 18-22. Officially, “The Greek” was a weeklong gathering of many Black  fraternities and sororities in Philadelphia each summer. My friends and I had no idea where the real event took or even what it was for. All we knew was, one Saturday night each summer, there would be more people on South Street than any other day that year. To us, people translated to girls.

So we planned.

We got haircuts. New outfits. Scheduled the drive to South Street from Mt. Airy because the traffic was crazy. Oh, and definitely remember the pens and paper for all the girls’ phone numbers (pre-smart phone era).

Everyone came out on Greek night. I mean, Everyone.

The madness began in North Philly. Males and females alike would begin the walk down Broad Street. All were looking for females to approach, male attention, or both. Women in thongs and nothing more. Women in thongs under their jeans, who gladly removed their pants in exchange for attention and photographs. Basically, Greek night was South Beach in Miami for one night per year. For people who weren’t used to South Beach in Miami.

Madness.

The Philadelphia Police Department worked overtime on Greek night. You could tell they were prepared for the madness, as they had the little trailers to hold suspects in after arrest.  If the PPD had arrest quotas, Greek night was a big event for them. Fights, gunshots, and female harassment was rampant on Greek night.

I should mention the demographics: mostly under-30 African-Americans in the middle of the summer in Philly.

Madness.

The Greek was one of the first places I learned to be proactive in creating attention. I tried starting conversation with any female who looked at me a split second longer than needed for normal human facial recognition. My closing ratio (read: getting a name & phone number) was high. Greek night was a confidence builder.

Most of the girls would be walking one way while I was walking the other. That sharpened my instincts; I had to quickly decide to speak – and then say something that stopped her (wassup? was my go-to). So when I saw her sitting on top of a free newspaper box on the corner, I knew it would be easy. This girl wasn’t even moving.

It was.

We exchanged info and I went to see her a few days later. She lived right off of South Street with her roommate. We hung out for a minute on the steps of her place, walked a little bit, talked a bit more. Being 20 and having only one thing on my mind, I was ready to take things inside. She seemed hesitant, but not the normal college girl, I-don’t-normally-do-this type of hesitant. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but let it be.

A few days later we were talking on the phone. After the usual small talk, I brought up the day I’d been at her place. She was evasive about the topic, and again I let it go. Maybe it’ll just take some time, I figured. I’ve seen this before.

She called me the next day.

Dre, I have something to tell you. 

What?

I’m… I’m not exactly who you think I am, sweetie. Do you know anything about… 

***

Maybe I’ll put the rest of that story in a future book.

Recognize that you’ve read this far. Why? Because the story kept you moving down the screen.

Compelling stories sell much better than fact and figures. Information requires thinking, and thinking requires more energy than listening to a good story. Understanding stats is work. Enjoying a good story is fun. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay “]Compelling stories sell much better than fact and figures.[/shareable]

Your ability to tell stories is more valuable than your ability to describe your product or service. Your story is more important than the actual virtues of your product. When people buy the story, they buy you. Along with whatever you’re offering that’s related to the story. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay “]When people buy the story, they buy you.[/shareable]

Learn  to tell some good stories. Those from your own life are best; you have all the details that allow stories to suck people in.

You’ve already lived them. Now, get good at telling them. This is huge for your business.

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