Story As Sales Letter

Photo credit: Orin Zebest

A loud clang, a sickly-sounding whir and a faint waft of smoke.

That was what woke Jeannette Pearson from a sound sleep.

Snowflakes fluttered almost noiselessly outside. The intensely bright moon set the landscape aglow.

The whole scene should have been serene and peaceful but for that sickly whir and the musty, acrid, smoky smell. It gave her a dark chill that had nothing to do with the winter cold outside her cocoon of blankets.

Her heater had given up, possibly for good. Little Amy was probably already shivering in the next room.

It was 2am. What could she do?


For some reason, that phone number stuck out in Jeanette’s memory. Amy had seen it on a sign a few days earlier and asked why some phone numbers had letters.

Jeanette dialed and was relieved that someone answered….

The End of The Story

I have been playing around with the concept of creating an entire sales letter in the form of a dramatic story.

Using stories as part of the sales process is nothing new but what I have been experimenting with, as you can see above, is something slightly different.

As a pure story, it really isn’t bad. It wouldn’t win any prizes but it isn’t awful. As a sales letter, it really doesn’t seem to work at all.

Photo credit: mcfarlandmo, on Flickr

It’s possible that, with enough massaging, I could find a way to make it work. Maybe I just haven’t tried hard enough.

But the more time I put into it, the more I find myself writing a story versus selling a service. (This was not a piece for an actual client, but an intellectual exercise to keep my skills sharp.)

Instead I think it will be abandoned except as it appears in this article. It can serve as a reminder to me and others that storytelling has a rightful place in sales but it can never replace sales. Its purpose is just too different.