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One of the most powerful and compelling forms of communication throughout human history has been the story. From bedtime stories to listening to grandparents talking about the good old days, our upbringing has been saturated with story. 

Now neuroscience allows us to understand exactly why stories are so powerful, and most importantly for us as sales professionals, how we can use them to inform, educate and influence our customer's brains. 

In experiments conducted by Dr. Uni Hasson, a woman told a story whist being monitored by an fMRI scanner. A group of volunteers then listened to the story through headphones while they also had their brains scanned by an fMRI scanner.

When there was activity in one part of the woman's brain, corresponding activity occurred in the listener's brain. When the woman had activity in the emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her pre-frontal cortex activated, so did theirs!

When telling her story, she was planting ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listener's brains. When you listen to stories your brain "dovetails" with the brain of the storyteller. You experience the same brain activity as the storyteller.

When you are telling your customer's stories, the neural activity between brains synchronises, increasing understanding, comfort, rapport and connection. You can transfer experiences and emotion directly into their brain. You will not have a passive, uninvolved customer - they will be drawn in because your story deliberately activates their brains.

Your customer's brain is most likely to be stimulated by your story when they are drawn into it and transported along by it. The events needs to unfold one after the other, with a clear demonstration of cause and effect. This matches how our brains like to think and will create the most powerful impact.


Author: 2018 National Sales Academy Speaker, Simon Hazeldine.