Over twenty years ago, in my first "Big Al" book, I wrote:

Facts tell.

Stories sell.

Instead of overwhelming your prospects with facts, 3-D flip charts, PowerPoint presentations, and high-tech animation, make it easy for your prospect to relate. Tell your prospect a story.

Let me give you an example of one of my favorite stories. This story is designed to get the prospect to think long-term and believe he can succeed in the business.


The Two-Year Story

Imagine you're at work one day and your boss comes to you and says, "Bad news, we're going to have to fire you. Business is bad. And the economy stinks."

You feel depressed. No more career. No more regular paychecks. But then the boss says, "You know what? If you were to work just one extra hour overtime every day for free, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, we'll let you keep your job and you can continue collecting your same paycheck."

Now, what would you do?

Most people would say, "Sure, I'll work an extra hour of overtime just to keep my job. I know I'll be working that extra hour for free, but it's important to keep my present job."

Then your boss says, "Well, I know it's kind of bad news for you--but there is some good news, too. If you work an hour of overtime, Monday through Friday, for no pay...at the end of two years, we'll let you retire at full pay."

All of a sudden, how do you feel? You feel like saying, "Wow! Excellent! What an opportunity! Just work one hour overtime for free, Monday through Friday, and two years from now, I retire at full pay?!"

So, you're working overtime and six months later one of your friends says, "Hey, why are you doing this? This is crazy! You're working an hour overtime and not getting paid for it. They can't make you do that--you should quit!"

You tell your friend, "No way! I only have 18 more months to go--and then I retire!"

A year from now, maybe your spouse says, "You know what, dear? You've been working that free hour of overtime for the past 12 months. Why don't you spend more time here at home instead of working that hour overtime?"

You say, "No, no, no! Just one more year and I can retire at full pay."

You would be at work faithfully, Monday through Friday, working that overtime so you could retire.

You would be excited about the opportunity.

Wouldn't you?

Well, you have the same opportunity to retire with your network marketing business.

We ask people to spend one hour a day, Monday through Friday, building a network marketing business. And all you have to do is talk to some people.

You don't have to worry too much about what you say or how good you are, because you'll get better. The longer you do network marketing, the more you'll learn.

So maybe after the first month you say, "Gee, I really don't know what to say."

The second month you get a little better and say, "Well, I know the name of the company is the Wonderful Company."

The third month you get better at this and say, "I think this is a neat business. You might want to look at it."

And the fourth month you get better and better.

Just invest an hour a day. At the end of two years you might be pleasantly surprised and say, "You know what? I can replace my full-time income and retire for the rest of my life."

Would you take advantage of that opportunity?

If you are like most people, you will want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity...but you won't. Why not? Because there's a little voice inside of your head saying, "But what if it doesn't work? What if I waste an hour a day over those two years? What if I'm not good at this? I don't know anyone who has retired in network marketing; I only know people who retired with a pension from a job. This might not be a sure thing."

Yes, you're going to have some doubt. You will have a belief problem. And that's pretty natural.

Here's what we're going to do to help you with your belief. To encourage you along the way, every so often we're going to send you a check in the mail--just to keep your spirits up as you build your two-year business. When you get these occasional checks, you will say, "I know it works! I've got these checks to prove it."

And that is why you want to start your business today.


See how this story relates to the prospect? The prospect sees himself and gets to live within the story.

This is why I love to use stories. Prospects forget the facts, the percentages, and the ingredients--but they will al-ways remember the stories.

is the author of the Fortune Now newsletter, a generic training resource for professional network marketing leaders.