Remember this scene from Seinfeld? George is so proud of himself because was going to buy a 1989 Volvo Sedan, but instead the salesman convinces George to get the 1989 Lebaron Convertible. The salesman told him the car used to be owned by Jon Voight, so George jumped on this opportunity to own a status symbol and a piece of history.
But then this happens…
Of course, in this case George was duped. The car WAS owned by a “John Voight”, just not the actor, Jon Voight.
Still, this shows the real power of story telling in selling. We’ve even talked about it here before (definitely read that article for tips on applying stories to your content and copywriting).
The topic came up for me again, when I stumbled upon an article from the Harvard Business Review where Ty Montague suggests, If You Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story and he’s absolutely right. What I found most interesting was he shared something called Significant Objects that really caught my attention.
According to the Significant Objects web page:
What they do is buy very inexpensive items from a local thrift stores or garage sales. Then, a writer creates a story to go with the objects and they sell them on eBay. Now, before you get concerned, they say they make it clear the story is fiction and the writer’s byline is included in the eBay listing. But time after time, these objects sell for many times their actual value.
They’ve even raised money for charities in their experiments and recently released the Significant Objects book that is filled with these stories. I ordered the book last night, so look forward to going through it. If it was available on Kindle, I would have devoured it yesterday and told you all about it.
Ordinary Birthday Candles Sell for $21.50
You can also go through their website and find many of the stories. For example, ready about this ordinary package of candles that sold for $21.50. The proceeds actually went to an interesting organization called Girls Write Now, a writing and mentoring program for at-risk girls from New York City high schools. Pretty cool, huh?
How Does This Apply Your Business?
But bringing this back to your business, how can use this valuable insight? Can you make up stories to sell stuff? Well, that may not be a good idea for you…but everything and everybody has a story and the more you can draw that out, the better you can sell your products and services. And the more likely, you can command a higher price.
Again, for more practical tips on adding stories to your content, read this post. It shows why real stories are very powerful and ways to unleash that power in your own writing.