March 28, 2017

The Six Rules of Story Selling (5 of 6)

Rule 5: Good story selling builds relationships, and treats prospective customers like people, not statistics.

Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website?

If so, do you know how to use it?

Everybody installs Google Analytics. Few people know what all the numbers mean. And even fewer people make positive changes to their website as a result of those numbers.

Are you guilty as charged? I know I am. I’ve done the Google Analytics exam on two separate occasions. I understand the difference between metrics and dimensions. I know how to create a custom Analytics report.

And yet… and yet… I log into Google Analytics once a month, mostly out of idle curiosity to see how many people have visited my website.


Well, possibly because Google Analytics is free. We take for granted the things we don’t pay for.

The second problem is that Google Analytics deals mostly in ‘clickstream’ data. It tells you what happened. How many people visited what pages.

What it doesn’t tell you is WHO.

WHO is visiting your website is a far more interesting question than HOW MANY. Google Analytics won’t tell you who has visited what pages, because it runs against Google’s terms of service.

There are ways around this. If you follow a link from any of my emails and browse to the ‘projects’ page on my website (, Infusionsoft sends me an email to let me know you’ve been there.

I don’t do as much with that information as I ought to, but I’ll usually check you out if you’re not on my radar. The people who receive the most expensive direct mail from me are the people who browse key pages on my website. It’s more profitable to know who is interested than it is to know how many people are interested.

Adding this level of insight means the people in your marketing funnel become people, rather than statistics. Remember, as you build your marketing system you’re not really building a funnel. You’re building relationships with real, breathing human beings. People with unique hopes, fears and dreams.

Yes, there are normally multiple steps in the relationship building process, but things are never as neat and linear as the funnel analogy makes out.

Marketers cling desperately to the funnel concept because it simplifies an otherwise messy situation. It assumes that all the ‘prospects’ in your funnel are homogeneous ‘consumers’, moving in the same direction down a neat and tidy progression path.

Instead, I think it’s more helpful to think of customers moving into and out of your world, to varying degrees. Customers move in when they buy higher value products, and out when they cease to be clients. The more time that passes since a customer last bought, the more they slip out of your world. This is true no matter how much they’ve spent with you in the past.

When you think of yourself as a relationship builder, not a builder of funnels, the entire way you view marketing changes.

Rule 5: Good story selling builds relationships, and treats prospective customers like people, not statistics.

Focus more on WHO, and less on HOW MANY. None of the ‘contacts’ in your database are truly alike.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.