Episode #30: Selling With Story: How to Make Your Client the Hero

In 1949, Joseph Campbell wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this book, he explores the theory that important myths from around the world - which have survived for thousands of years - all share a fundamental structure in the way they tell stories. He referred to the structure as "The Hero's Journey".

The Hero's Journey has been used by a wide variety of modern writers and artists including Star Wars creator, George Lucas. In this episode of Money Script Monday, Kevin breaks down the proven framework to storytelling and shows you how top financial professionals are using this framework with their clients to conjure memories, stir emotions, and take action.


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This post is intended for financial professional use only.

Video transcription

Hi there. My name is Kevin Nuber, and thank you so much for watching today's "Money Script Monday" video. I'm really excited to shoot this video because today, what I'm going to talk about is "Star Wars."

So, what does "Star Wars" have anything to do with what we do as advisors and as agents? I ask everybody real quick to suspend your disbelief for a second. Let me talk about "Star Wars" for a little bit, and I promise you I'm going to make a very important point about how this applies to your practice.

First off, back in 1949, there was a book written called, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces," by Joseph Campbell. Whether you've ever heard of this book or not, I guarantee every single person watching this video has been influenced by this book in some form or another.

In this book, he said that all good stories in mythology and in the past follow a very specific framework that he called, and has been since coined, "The Hero's Journey." And what people have done today is they structure their stories using this framework.

He said this is so important. Not only have things in the past been structured this way, but it's engraved in our subconscious so deeply that when we construct our own memories about what has happened to us in the past, and when we imagine our own desires in the future, that we use this same framework.

I want to go through the story of "Star Wars" and show you exactly how this follows the hero's journey verbatim. Second, I want to talk about how you can use this outline and take your clients through this same process called the hero's journey in order to be a more successful advisor. And then third, I want to show you that not only is this something you can use in your practice, but it's something that you are already using in your subconscious when you craft your own memories and when you project out things into the future with your own personal desires.

Let’s go ahead and get started.

Mundane world

First, I want to take you back to the very first "Star Wars" when Luke Skywalker is out in Tatooine. Now, think about that opening scene when he's out there all by himself.

Mundane World - The Hero's Journey

He's in this what we call the mundane world. This is the very first step in the hero's journey.

You have your hero, he's in his present world, his present state. This is what they call the ordinary world, this is what he's used to. And he's not happy whatsoever with being out there in Tatooine. He knows that there's something greater out there in the universe, bigger than himself and greater than the place that he's currently located.

And then something happens to him. It's usually something that's forced upon him. It's not by his own will. But it causes him to go on an adventure. And in this situation, in "Star Wars," his aunt and uncle are killed.

Call to adventure

And Obi-Wan Kenobi comes along and tells him about this adventure that he can go on. And that's the second step, is this call to adventure.

Call to Adventure - The Hero's Journey

It's very important to know that in this story, that typically, the hero refuses that initial call to go on that adventure, and that, second, is that there's a mentor that helps this person go on this journey. And if it wasn't for this mentor, then this person would never cross the threshold and embark on this journey.

Crossing a threshold

That’s the third step, is the crossing of the threshold, and the mentor is the person that pushes him over that threshold.

Crossing a Threshold - The Hero's Journey

Think about Luke Skywalker when he's in Tatooine and finally he decides to leave the planet, and he gets on the Millennium Falcon, and he goes out into space. I mean, think about how big of a step that is.

He's going into a special world, somewhere that he's never been before in his life. He doesn't know what's out there. And that's the next step in that journey.

Path of trials

Now, when he goes out into this special world and he goes onto this adventure, think of all the things that happened to him.

Path of Trials - The Hero's Journey

He sees enemies, he finds new allies, and he finds all these challenges that he has to go on to in what we call the path of trials. This is the next step in the journey.

He has to go rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star as a prisoner. And in the end, he ends up flying an X-wing and blowing up the Death Star.

Master of two worlds

Think of where he ends up at the end of this journey. He ends up being the master of both worlds. That's the ordinary world he was used to, and then second, this new world that he was introduced to. He comes out of this process being something greater than he would have ever imagined when he was sitting there on that opening scene, looking out over the horizon on Tatooine, imagining what was out there. He had no idea that he was going to be blowing up the Death Star.

Well, what does this have to do with anything with financial planning?

To be an effective advisor, it's very important to understand the role that storytelling plays in the financial planning process.

Think about the first time that a client comes to meet you. An ideal client, they're presently in this world, this mundane world, in the world of their finances, their financial plan. There's something that they're unhappy about. They don't like where they're currently at, and they know that somewhere out there that there is something greater and bigger than what they currently have.

Things like safety and security, and a plan that will get them through their lifetime.

And suddenly, they have a call to adventure. Maybe they receive a piece of marketing from you or they go to a seminar. And they reluctantly go on this and they see you, but they're very concerned about what they're about to embark on.

But it's not until they actually go and meet with you and they meet a mentor that has more experience and has more skills than they do. And you essentially become their Obi-Wan Kenobi that helps them actually cross the threshold and embark on this journey in their finances that they otherwise would have never gone on if it wasn't for being introduced to you.

Now, when they start on this call to adventure and they cross that threshold, they're going to encounter all sorts of things. They're going to find new enemies, new allies, and they're going to be tested quite a bit.

They’re going to have to do things based on your recommendation that they don't want to do, like stay in the market if it goes down or maybe buy certain products that they initially don't want to go purchase.

But it's because you are showing them along this path that, in the end, when they get to retirement, or they're in retirement, that they come out of it something greater than they ever thought that they would be in their financial plan.

When they first met you that very first time or responded to your advertisement when they were down here in this mundane world, they had no idea that this is where you were going to take them.

It's very important when you're working with a client, that you work with them in a way where you make them the hero and you frame the journey that they're about to go on so that they're the hero and that you're the mentor that's going to take them on this path.

Now that I've explained these to you, think about your own personal memories and your own desires, think about things that have happened to you in your past, personally.

Were you ever in a place where you were not happy or you were dissatisfied? And was there something that happened to you where you weren't the one that did it, but it was just forced upon you? And you went and did something, and took risks that you otherwise would have never taken, but if it wasn't for that initial nudge.

You met somebody who had much more experience than you, that guided you through this process. You experienced trials and tribulations. And then today, you have risen above where you were before to become something greater than you ever were.

My point is, is that we construct our own memories and our own stories the exact same way. So, why not structure your client's story and the process that they're working on with you in a similar way?

On the page below, you're going to find some resources that we put down there to help you understand a little bit more about this hero's journey.

I encourage everybody to understand this process so that you can craft your own personal stories with the hero's journey, and you can craft your own client experiences with the hero's journey.

If you have any questions and want our assistance in helping you construct these stories, please reach out to us at 1-888-LIFEPRO. Thank you very much for watching this video and have a great day.

Additional resources

About Kevin Nuber

Kevin Nuber is the Vice President of Field Support at LifePro. He coaches hundreds of financial professionals on how to build effective financial strategies that achieve their clients' long term goals and helps them stay educated on the latest industry trends.


This information is meant for educational purposes only.

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