In his book “Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph withthe Hidden Power of Story,” Peter Guber writes about how motivatingpeople to act in the way we want often depends on our ability totouch a chord through a story that illustrates our message.

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Aesop's fables and Biblical parables are two profound examplesof the power of story. If you just say: “you'd better work hard oryou may not be able to pay your bills and that would be adisaster,” you may be making the same point as the fable of thegrasshopper and the ant. But you probably wouldn't identify justhow short-sighted and insensitive the grasshopper is withouthearing the story.

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Story can be interwoven into enrollment in many ways. One is thenegative:

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Susan was offered a short- and long-term disability plan atwork. It would cover 60 percent of her income and would cost about$25 a month. But Susan hadn't missed much work over the past fewyears, so she decided to save the money and hold off on buying theplan. Less than a year later, her doctor informed her that sheneeded surgery and would miss several weeks of work, more if therewere complications. She asked her benefit administrator if shecould apply for the disability plan and found she couldn't qualify.Susan figured out too late that she had saved a couple of hundreddollars — and had lost thousands.

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The other story approach is the positive:

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Jack was offered a critical illness plan at work. Though hehadn't heard about the product, he decided he was much more likelyto face the cost of surviving a critical illness than he hadrealized. For one thing, he knew quite a few people at work who hadgone through a critical health issue, and most of them talked aboutall the expenses their medical plan didn't cover and the financialhardships that resulted. He purchased a $20,000 benefit for justover $25 a month. The benefit may have saved his family from goingbankrupt when he had a critical illness event just a few yearslater.

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Though the two enrollment scenarios above are made up stories,they're thinly disguised real-life tales. I've worked with peoplejust like Susan and Jack.

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I highly recommend “Tell to Win,” and I urge you to think aboutyour own experiences when asked “why voluntary.” You will besurprised how easily examples come to mind, and you will win overthe mind of prospects.

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