How I once told a persuasive story that drew blood
As you know, there are many opportunities in your daily life to practice persuasion skills.
Those of us who are parents have even more opportunities to have to use persuasion.
Last week I had to take all four of my daughters in for blood draws at the clinic’s lab.
As you might imagine, they weren’t excited about this, and neither was I. The youngest two (ages 6 and 8 ) had never had a blood draw before so they were even more anxious.
At first I tried to use hype to lower their resistance.
“We’ll make it a blood draw party! Treats afterwards!”
Of course they didn’t fall for that. And you’d think I would’ve known better, being a copywriter.
Next I decided to tell them a story about how their six-year-old cousin had several vials of blood taken from him last summer and he handled it like a champ, no tears.
That didn’t lower their resistance either. I guess hearing a story secondhand about someone else’s success isn’t all that interesting. Again, you’d think I would’ve known better.
I realized I needed to dig deeper and tell a personal story and show them I know what the fear of blood draws is like.
So I told them about when I was six weeks pregnant with their 14-year-old sister. I had unexpected bleeding and went to the doctor. I marinated in anxiety in the examination room chair, afraid I was having a miscarriage.
The doctor patted me on the knee and told me he wasn’t going to do an ultrasound because he thought it would be too emotional for me if we couldn’t hear a heartbeat. He sent me to the lab instead to get a blood draw that would determine whether or not I was still pregnant.
“How do you think I felt while I was getting a blood draw that would tell me whether or not your sister was still alive?” I asked the girls.
Their eyes got big as saucers and they hung on every word.
Then I told them how powerful blood is and how it can tell us so many things about what’s going on inside our bodies.
They literally started tugging on my arm and begged me to take them to the lab immediately for their blood draws.
They did this even though I also told them a story about how I once had a blood draw that ultimately gave me bad news. I felt it was important that they know the full score in the event this blood draw, or one in the future, gives them news they’d rather not hear.
As it turns out, they were very brave during their blood draws. The youngest cried with empathy during her 8-year-old sister’s blood draw but remained stoic during her own.
Few things are as powerful as a story. This applies to your business as well.
Many of my clients are unsure of their stories at first or think their stories are too boring. Sometimes I have to really work at pulling their stories out of them.
Filed under: Stories/Storytelling
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