Sept./Oct. 2021 Issue

Tell A Good Story

In the article “People Remember the Story” by Ryan Estis, he says some things that really caught my attention that everyone in mortgage should also pay attention to in my opinion. He shared a story about someone that heard him speak at a conference.

The guy was a stranger that approached Ryan as he was about to deliver a keynote. Ryan thanked him for the support and taking the time to say hello. As the started to chat about the conference and the keynote, Ryan asked for a little feedback. “Do you remember what it was about the talk two years ago that resonated with you?”

The guy didn’t hesitate. He said, “That story about Lily at Starbucks. It stayed with me.”

He didn’t remember the details of the three best ideas for generating more referral sales that Ryan talked about. He didn’t repeat back the two questions you should ask when auditing a sales call that Ryan emphasized. What he remembered was the story Ryan told during the speech.

Why is this important? Through stories, we make sense of our world, our experiences and ourselves. Through stories, we make decisions about who we want to be.

And the best stories endure the test of time — not only in their retelling, but in the behaviors, they instill and perpetuate. 

That’s because stories evoke dramatic neurological responses from audiences. Stories cause oxytocin synthesis, which motivates cooperation, promotes connection, and encourages empathy. Stories also induce production of the stress hormone cortisol, which enhances focus. Finally, they release dopamine, which inspires hopefulness.

By triggering these neurobiological responses, stories speak to our emotions in a way that facts, figures, and statistics can’t. Studies show that after one day, 65% of presentation participants can recall a story. Only 5% can remember statistics. So, don’t always think people are going to be blown away by the facts and figures if you can’t use those facts and figures to tell a compelling story that will get every lender’s attention and help them improve their business.