Storytelling Influence Secrets

Why tell stories? Because they work. This year I’ve decided to incorporate storytelling into every part of my life: my business, my marriage and my parenting. The results speak for themselves.

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Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets, and this is the List Building Lifestyle. A podcast for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, travel the world and help people improve their lives in the process, then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend the free workshop at, where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.25 in affiliate commissions by sending just 481 clicks to my affiliate link in one day.

I'm also explaining why I walked away from ClickBank and I don't promote ClickBank make offers anymore, as well as the five things I look for in the perfect affiliate offer. I'm even going to show you the one page website that I use to make over half a million dollars in affiliate commissions this year. And I'll even bribe you to attend this workshop by giving you a $497 value course that shows you how to cherry pick high converting affiliate offers for your next affiliate promotion.

In addition, I'll even give you the three offers I'm promoting right now that are making me money as we speak. All of that and more at And now, it's time to claim your list building lifestyle.

Terrance Lackey: Welcome to the List Building Lifestyle show. My name is Terrence Lackey. I'm your cohost, along with my friend, my compadre and the list building godfather himself, Igor Kheifets. How you doing, Igor?

Igor Kheifets: Terrence, I'm going to make you a deal you can't refuse.

Terrance Lackey: What's that?

Igor Kheifets: I don't know, like a godfather would, you know?

Terrance Lackey: I love it.

Igor Kheifets: So, but maybe in like 20 years or so, when Erica is getting married, you can even come to me and you can ask anything and I won't be able to say no.

Terrance Lackey: You're just going to raise your pinky ring and everything.

Man, Hey so look Igor, we were chatting about what our conversation would be today and you mentioned storytelling. And I have experience in dealing with teams and in dealing with people that I work with and I find it easier to get the story, get what I want across, get the desired outcome from their performance by just telling them a story, telling them what I've dealt with in the past and what the result was. And they seem to resonate with that and take the right action. And they can kind of put themselves in my shoes rather than me just giving them orders or giving them direction. So, I'm real interested to see how that plays out, how does that incorporate into our business?

Igor Kheifets: Well, it actually incorporates in every part of our life. I tend to focus on principles that are only universal. So if I learn the principle and apply it in business, I know for a fact I can do the same thing in my life therefore to be more effective. And storytelling is one of those principles because the way the brain evolved over the years. You know, if we used fingers to grip on things and we use stories to grip on ideas and actions. And it's universal in how stories make us feel. I don't care if you're a visual person, auditory person. Somebody who communicates through touch. I don't care if you're like a plumber, or you're building hospitals, or you're writing copy. It doesn't matter; you are as subject to influenced by stories as anyone else. And you can see it more clearly than with kids.

About six months ago, Erica was, she started to complain about a bully in her school, which was very unusual. I mean, I didn't expect Canadian schools to have bullies in them, especially private Canadian schools. But there was a bully and I noticed that she was really afraid to stand up to the bully. And for a couple of times I just told her to stand up to the bully, right? Just like any parent would, we've lived through it, we've all had bullies. Some of us were bullies. And we just say, well, you just stand up to them, you do this, you do this. And you can tell it's just flying over her head. Like she can't really... there's a saying by, I think the guy's name was Miyamoto Musashi, he was a samurai sword maker. And he said something like, "I hear and I remember. I do and I understand." So the story is basically the difference between someone hearing you and actually doing what you want them to do.

So with Erica, I told her a story of my bully. And I told her story of this bully who was really annoying. At first, he started hiding my backpack and then he actually poured yogurt into my backpack, over my books, and over my notebooks, and over everything. And it really sucked. And then I told her a story of how, at first I was afraid of him, but then I did the same thing for him. I actually set his backpack on fire. I got in trouble with the principal, but that bully never messed with me anymore, right? And so she was really engaged with the story.

Like if before anything I told her, she was sort of like rolling her eyes or maybe just listening and not really resonating or not really recognizing. And then this time around, she was very attentive, and she was listening to what I was saying, and she was really, you can tell by the eyes, right? She was very engaged. She was asking, "Okay, what's next? What happened next? What happened next? And where is this bully now? And when was it? How old were you?" and she really started asking questions, and that's how you know they're engaged when they ask you questions. And I didn't really hear about the bully anymore. Now I didn't get any complaint from school saying Erica set anyone on fire, but I'm assuming something happened because I continued to ask Erica almost on daily basis so how's things with that person? How's things with that person? And there was nothing going on, like everything was all right.

Now, again, I don't know if she did anything about it, but maybe just a mere energy shift. You know how sometimes, like you can have two people walk next to a dog and one of them would be very stiff and the other would be relaxed? So maybe just a posture change for Erica. Hearing the story of how I overcame my bully making her believe that she could overcome her bully if she ever needs to. But it worked. Something changed. And I really love that. And that's like besides me using stories in pretty much every area of marketing at this point. And really enjoying it too; like it's really fun to tell stories to influence instead of trying to make claims and bump up against these sales defenses, if you will. You ever had that when you made a claim or told someone something and you can tell they're like putting up a wall and there's no way you're getting through?

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, I've run across that before. And I always wondered about that. And I talked to students when I do some coaching and stuff and I actually bring up something I've heard you say before, is that when you are in a situation when you're selling or trying to convince someone or trying to present a position, and maybe you don't have the background or the experience, one thing that you can do is definitely share stories about how that was handled in the past by yourself or others. And I think that doesn't require, you said that that doesn't require all this data, doesn't require a whole lot, it really just requires them to be able to understand and resonate with the story, and be able to follow it to its conclusion. So it's a great tool to use when we're doing our marketing, right?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And to be honest, I don't think people will listen to your data until you tell a story. Like for me, the formula to get someone to listen to me is story data; it's not data story. It actually doesn't work the other way around, you can't start with your data and then launch into a story. You have to start a conversation with a story and then give the data as to almost back up why the story you told was true.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, I can see that because you started rattling off numbers, it's not going to mean anything, but you throw the story out there and they can rap big. It's like a framework of a house, then you have the data that you could fill in, but they have something to hang it on, which is a story.

I used to live in Australia for three years and I ran across a lot of friends over there that are Aboriginal. And that culture just blows me away because for thousands and thousands of years, they have nothing but oral tradition, not really a written language. So you can imagine the amount of data that's actually been transmitted throughout hundreds and thousands of years just by fireside stories. So I can definitely see that the data in the story are definitely intertwined to become memorable and give the teller credibility.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And it comes in with this tool we call the hero. I think the reason why stories are so effective is because we carry a point or a message through the hero that's living the story. And that's powerful because that is better than making a claim. That allows our customer to imagine the journey as their own. And that is why it's so cool. That is why it doesn't feel like selling. That is why it doesn't feel like convincing someone. It's just a story. Are you familiar with that that movie? It was I think Michael Douglas and some other actress that was really popular in nineties. And they were getting a divorce, and they basically nearly killed each other or killed each other at the end. I think it has something to do with the roses. Let me Google that actually right now. The War of the Roses. Have you seen that one?

Terrance Lackey: No. I have to check it out, probably on Netflix.

Igor Kheifets: The War of the Roses is an amazing movie. It's amazing. I mean, first of all, the movie itself is pretty cool. It was shot in 1989, so obviously take it with a grain of 1989. But the acting is awesome. And the story, promise, no spoilers, the story starts this guy comes into a lawyer's office on I think New Year's Eve and says, "I would like to get a divorce, I hear you're a great divorce lawyer." And the lawyer is Danny DeVito. And Danny DeVito looks at his watch and it's like, you know, Christmas night, Christmas Eve, or whatever. And he wants to go home. And so he sits the guy down and starts telling him the story of the roses, right? It's the family of this, again, Michael Douglas, and Kathleen Turner was the actress. And he tells the story of how this couple, who was rich and happy, decided to get a divorce and how it all really spins out of control. And just watch the movie. It's really cool.

But the idea is he gets the guy to sit down, listen to a story about another couple divorcing, or wanting to get a divorce, and not being able to agree on the terms of the divorce. That makes the guy not want to get a divorce. Again, I understand that I'm spoiling the ending for the guy, but I'm not going to spoil you like the details of the story. Point being is that he could have just said, you know, Mr. Johnson, don't get a divorce. That's a mistake. Do you know how many couples, 56% of couples never able to sit down and agree on a contract and the terms and they end up dragging it off for three years, and it's costing them $50,000 just in lawyer fees alone. He could have said that, right? Most lawyers would have said that. But he just tells him a story without even saying something as maybe it's a bad idea. The story does the convincing for him.

And I that's an amazing lesson of what great storytelling can do, as far as you being able to convince people to buy anything, really, or do anything, be it to buy a product, or follow you in a corporate environment, or look up at you as an authority rather than a nobody, or any other thing you want to achieve in life. Again, it really useful with kids too, by the way, I use stories all the time with kids.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.

Terrance Lackey: I got to check it out. I am surprised that I haven't seen it. I mean, Danny DeVito, it's got Michael Douglas, a lot of great stars. And then I just saw when it came out, December '89, so that's when I was deployed in the desert storm. And so I didn't see it because I was out of commission awhile, but now you've given me something to watch here during our COVID lockdown phase. So I'm going to look at that and watch that tonight. War of the Roses, 1989, Michael Douglas, absolutely.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, it's a great movie. I first saw it before I was into marketing. I didn't really recognize the lesson, I just loved the movie. But I now realize how, I guess, our love for movies too, how useful it is. Like now whenever I watch a movie, or a documentary, or anything, I am fascinated with stories. I'm fascinated with the storytelling. I'm fascinated with why would they choose to present a scene this way, not that way. And that's really powerful because when you tell stories, although you don't really have to be an amazing storyteller, it really helps if you are at least somewhat good at telling stories.

But there is a great book that I highly recommend, it's called Lead with Story. It's available on Amazon, for $3.99 on Kindle, really cheap. Lead with a story by Paul Smith. And this is a book for a corporate environment storytelling. This is a book for getting teams to achieve things together and to lead people into achieving bigger projects and stuff like that.

But what this guy does, and he worked with Proctor & Gamble, and Nike I think, I mean, a bunch of big companies. And Coca Cola. Right. He collected like thousands of stories and he was able to break them down into principles. And what I love about this book is it shows you how you can be a really bad storyteller in terms of visuals, in terms of cosmetics of storytelling and get your point across. In fact, as I was reading the book, even though I'm not in the corporate world, in fact there's very few things in the world I detest more than the corporate world because I was a part of it and I hated it. Primarily because I was a part of the bottom, a lower, lower part of the food chain. But I really didn't like the corporate world and what it represented to me.

This guy, I just stole at least 50 stories from the book. I literally just sat down and wrote down all these different stories he told because they're amazing. They're so simple. Some of them are only five paragraphs long. Some of them are like only 10 sentences long. And yet, the point they deliver, even though I know I'm reading a story about something that he's trying to convince me to something, it doesn't matter. The story does the convincing, even if whoever's listening to it knows that they're being told the story for the purposes of being convinced. It's nuts, it's absolutely the most incredible influence tool you can have in your arsenal.

Terrance Lackey: Whoa, whoa, whoa, Igor. Igor, you're telling me that I don't even have to use my own stories? I can use other people's stories?

Igor Kheifets: Oh, yeah. In fact, the stories you use don't even have to be true. Have you ever heard of fables?

Terrance Lackey: Are you kidding? Yeah, fables. Yeah, sure. Who hasn't, right? The stories that you hear as a kid.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah.

Igor Kheifets: I mean, and again, you just said it, the stories you hear as a kid. Do you think any of the stories you heard as a kid were true?

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, of course not. I mean, yeah.

Igor Kheifets: Probably not. Like nine out of 10 probably were not true. The Little Red Riding Hood probably wasn't true.

Terrance Lackey: The Three Little Pigs, of course not.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And a bunch of others. Yet, do you think they had like reduced their impact on you? I don't think so, no.

Terrance Lackey: No. No, because you remember them to this day. I mean, I can remember stories that from years, my childhood, that those fables and stories that I've heard other people told me, I retain those almost for a lifetime I bet you.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. And I remember first grade in Ukraine. I don't remember what we studied in math. I don't remember what we studied in language. Maybe the alphabet because this is my brain tells me, it was like, okay, first grade, alphabet, or whatever. But I remember reading classes from the first grade when the teacher used to read the stuff. What did the teacher read us? Only stories pretty much. There was always a fox or a wolf or a bear or a bunny. There was always some bird or whatever. And they always got in trouble. And then they tried to get out of trouble in some way and not die, you know? So it was pretty standard, but we loved it. And we still love it.

Terrance Lackey: So the key to resonating with your audience and making yourself more credible and really getting them to listen and understand and know, like, and trust you, is to really have a story somewhere in your copy, somewhere in your conversation, or your sales letter, or your video, or some way relay a story that then can tie them into the action that you want them to take, or the features or benefits that you want them to see that maybe influence them, if it's the right solution, influence them to buy. Right?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, exactly. In fact, I'm just browsing Amazon and I'm discovering that Paul Smith, the same author, wrote another book, it's called Sell with a Story. Now I got to be honest, I didn't read the book, but I just bought it. And I'm probably going to read it because I'm curious what's his take on that? Like the thing about leading with a story, I think there's a few but almost no examples about selling, but I'm actually curious to see if he's got any examples with regards to selling as well.

Igor Kheifets: So I'm definitely getting it. And turns out it's also free if you've got Kindle Unlimited, so I'm getting that too. Speaking of Kindle Unlimited, if you've got Kindle Unlimited, you could get the copy of List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire for free. Just go to Amazon, search for List Building Lifestyle. And if you've got Kindle Unlimited, you can just grab it for free and read it tonight in one sitting. And you'll actually get to listen to a few of my stories, stories of how I started, how I overcame budget limitations, time limitations, technical ineptness limitations, and a bunch of other limitations on my way up to the internet marketing superstardom.

Terrance Lackey: Well, there you go. Well, list builders, you've heard it here. The secret, a super tool in your toolbox to communicate with your avatar is to have a story, yours, someone else's, or one that's been around awhile that relates to what you're trying to communicate.

We're going to definitely include the books that Igor has mentioned, to include his own on the If you want to grab a transcript, that's over there as well.

Man, great conversation, Igor. I love it. I got some more books to add to my reading list. Any final thoughts on this show?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. I just want to remind you that you don't need to be an incredibly powerful storyteller to experience the benefit of storytelling in your business, or your marketing, or your life. It always just starts with a character, be it yourself or someone who you're telling the story about. And you just plainly saying where they start, what they're trying to achieve, what obstacle they're bumping along the way and how they overcome the obstacle. That's pretty much it. And if you don't know how to be a good storyteller, you probably know someone who is, so just go and hang out with them and ask them to tell you some stories and just start paying closer attention to the pauses they make, the details they share, the details they don't share, and how they behave when they tell a story.

Because I started out and my storytelling skills were really poor because I would generalize things. I would literally give you the summary of the story, not the story itself. It took me a little while to figure it out, but it was being exposed to great storytellers, especially on YouTube. Like you can just go on YouTube and you can listen to people like Tony Robbins. You can listen to people like Og Mandino. You can listen to people like Les Brown. You can just open like Bo Eason. There's just a bunch of people who told great stories. And just listen to them. And that's it. That's it. Just by being exposed to good storytelling, you will get better.

Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show, as well as other exclusive content at Also, don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week, where I show the two step system that made me the top affiliate for people like Matt Bacak, John Crestani, Richard Legg, Michael Cheney, and many, many others. In fact, on this workshop, I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promoted an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half a million dollars in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people, promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours ar So go ahead claim your seat right now and I'll see you there.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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