More Powerful Than Memory Alone

Whenever I need help getting started on a client’s copy or sales pitch as it were, I find myself referring back to a classic scene in my favorite episode of Mad Men. If you don’t watch the show, you should. It’s brilliant.

If your business is related to sales in any shape or form, I encourage you to give this video a quick view. It could be the best 3 minutes and 26 seconds you’ve ever spent seeing a prime example of the use of storytelling as a sales tool…

Out of the 729,000+ views this video has received so far, I’d guess that about 500,000 are from me alone. Sports fans might prefer the ‘ol coach’s pep talk, but I prefer this clip for getting me fired up to sell.

First and foremost, the way Don Draper (the leading character) begins his pitch by slowing things down to talk about his first boss is classic. Anytime you can begin an interaction with some narrative, be it in person or on the web, you instantly engage vastly different areas of your reader’s brain than with simple words alone. In affect, storytelling helps your customer FEEL AN EMOTION rather than just hear what you’re saying.

Neuroscience has proven that when someone reads a sentence about some form of motion, their motor cortex is naturally stimulated. And when we read or hear about food, our sensory cortex is engaged.

A story, in the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. So when people are exposed to stories their brains naturally work to find connections to past experiences. This action engages their insular cortex which helps them relate the experience through love, hate, remorse, disgust, or in the example that Mr. Draper uses… nostalgia.

So what does this mean for your business? Simple.

By using the art of storytelling in your web copy, pitch letter, brochure, your in-person customer contact, and even your email, you evoke powerful responses associated with specific neurochemicals.

Simply Google “storytelling as a sales tool” and you will find over 1,590,000 results served up. It’s no secret that storytelling is a proven technique to start a conversation, which in turn leads to a relationship, which leads to trust, which leads to a sale. BINGO!

So if you’re looking to influence customers in a positive way, leave your contrived features & benefits speech in the round-file where it belongs. Start with a story instead. Make me feel something… and make me care.

P.S. I give away more great insight about the world of storytelling to my exclusive email subscribers. You might consider joining. (HINT ==> ==> Sign up here… WINK!)

About David Wittlinger

Gummy Bear addict. Web designer. Copywriter. Social Media Strategist.


  1. Dave, this is a killer blog post! I’m really enjoying reading your blog.