The newborn baby’s skin fell to a deep blue-black as the heart stopped beating.

The nurse saw the shade change with her own eyes. One moment fine…the next…very not fine.

She called an emergency and instantly hospital staff swarmed the cradle.

A senior nurse looked at the heart monitor, saw it beating just fine, and decided the baby’s lungs had collapsed.

She began to prep for an emergency lung reinflation. It was a common procedure, but high risk because it required piercing the chest and inserting a tube into the lung cavity.

But the nurse on call knew the senior nurse was wrong. She knew it was something else.

She had seen that awful blue-black color in a baby before.

Why did she remember it so vividly?

Because when she had seen that color before, she gave the wrong diagnosis.

And on that night, the baby died.

The baby died on her watch, and she’d never forget that.

That’s how she knew this was not a typical lung collapse.

That’s how she knew there was fluid and air filling the sac around the heart, keeping it from beating.

Just like the previous baby.

The nurse tried yelling “It’s the heart!”.

But the other members of the team pointed to the heart monitor, beeping along with each heartbeat.

“Look, the heart monitor is beeping. The heart’s fine. It can only be the lungs.”

But she knew better.

And this baby would not die on her watch.

Frantic, she pushed and shoved the staff away from the baby, demanded space, screamed for silence and lowered the stethoscope to listen…

And then…nothing. No heartbeat.

Just then the cardiologist burst through the doors and the nurse slapped a syringe in his hand saying “It’s a pneumopericardium. Stick the heart.”

The X-ray tech confirmed the nurse’s diagnosis and the cardiologist guided the syringe into the baby’s heart, released the air sac strangling it, and the baby’s heart began to beat again.

This time, she saved a life.

And she knew how close a call it was. Had they stuck the lungs instead, they might have collapsed the baby’s lung.

Between a collapsed lung and non-beating heart, it would have been instant death.

Pretty intense right? Well what’s the point of this story?

What you have just experienced is a demonstration of one of the most important principles and practices in marketing.

What is this principle? In a word: story telling. In fact, storytelling is so powerful that I’m going to dedicate a few articles in this multi-part series just to storytelling.

But for today, here’s the conclusion you should take to heart (pun intended).

The point is that, just like most marketing, the staff was using the right tools to measure the wrong thing.

The monitor detected electrical activity of the heart, not the mechanical heartbeats.

So the nervous system was sending the signal, telling the heart to beat, but the air sac prevented it from happening.

Signal gets sent, heart doesn’t beat.

That’s the equivalent of the majority of marketing I see today.

Failed lawyer marketers say, “Look, we made an ad.” Then they listen for a heart beat, and there’s nothing.

And the problem is the same. They’re using the right tool the wrong way.

What they should be looking for – before they count the dollars, before they split test, and before they start throwing out high conviction blind guesses – is what you just experienced. I mean you just physically experienced.

Pay close attention.

If someone were to hook electrodes up to your brain and observe you while reading this story, here is what they would find:

First, your brows furrowed and your motions slowed as you stopped what you were doing and paid attention to this baby’s near death experience.

Next, as the situation became more tense, your heart rate increased, though ever so slightly, in perfect synchronization with the intensity.

All the while dopamine started flooding your brain. If you’re a fast reader, then it’s still coursing through your blood right now. This is intentional on my part, and frankly to my advantage. I’ll explain the purpose of this in another edition of this article, so be on the look out and don’t miss my explanation of this critical component.

Finally, as the story resolves and the baby’s life was saved, your body was flooded with oxytocin and tiny doses of endorphins. Oxytocin is the bonding chemical, and endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers (the word endorphine is a combination of endogenous, which means made within the body, and morphine, a powerful painkiller).

So what does this have to do with you getting more cases?

Well, lots actually.

First, dopamine is the seeking chemical. When you tell a story correctly, you’ve triggered dopamine in the reader or listener’s brain. Doing so causes them to seek out a resolution.

You see, dopamine is not a reward chemical like most people think. In fact, once we receive our reward, dopamine production halts, and our reward centers kick in. Unfortunately reward is not as powerful as seeking reward. And very shortly thereafter, we start craving dopamine again. Meaning we start seeking again.

The reason you use this in storytelling is to get your reader to “seek out” your solution. You spike dopamine to literally motivate them (motivate means to literally put into motion, like the motor in your car), to reach out and engage with you somehow.

If you provide the resolution too soon, you’ve de-motivated your prospect, and therefore caused them to stop moving towards you.

So that’s why we use stories that trigger dopamine, to create a chemical reaction in your reader’s brain which causes them to physically move toward you in some way. It could be writing an email, sending a text, or calling your office. It’s all physical motions towards the sale, and none of that motion happens without motivation, which doesn’t happen without dopamine.

Next, oxytocin is released when a tense situation resolves. That oxytocin subconsciously bonds you and the reader together over the shared victory in the story. The more bonded you and your prospects are, the higher the trust factor, and therefore the higher the likeness they will employ you.

So dopamine gets them to the water hole, and oxytocin makes them drink.

It all makes perfect sense now that you know, doesn’t it?

So here we have the first side of the Trillion Dollar Triangle: story telling. And if you were to tell stories without triggering these neuro-chemical reactions in your readers brain, then your stories would have no power.

Fortunately, there is a formula, even a checklist for getting stories to do this properly.

Do you want that checklist? Remember, I’m going to share it in another installment of this multi-part article. Be sure to read it.

Now, let’s confirm why this is so important to your marketing.

First, it’s not easily replicated. Anything not easily replicated by your competitors is a known strategic advantage with real staying power. This is one powerful way you will build a deeper moat around your castle.

The odds of them even knowing about this technique is little to zero. And even if they’re aware of the technique, it takes real skill to get it right.

Second, all of your marketing is fundamentally an exercise in response.

And you’ve just experienced a response. A physical response from an emotional stimulus.

Marketing without this kind of emotional storytelling and state change is exactly like measuring the heart with an electrical monitor.

The marketing looks great! Look, I’m reading it now. It’s wonderful!

But when you lower your stethoscope, and start measuring the right thing, you can hear your prospects heart go silent.

That’s what your marketing should be diagnosed for. Not the words or images on the page, but instead the feeling weaving through your prospects nervous system.

Get it right, and the feeling leads to the sale.

Do you get it?

Surely you do. Start looking at your competitors marketing through this lens. I’m confident you’ll find nearly nobody using marketing this powerful. And THAT is an opportunity ahead of you.

Will you make the most of it?

If you found this blog post helpful, share it, subscribe, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from YOU! If you have questions, leave them in the comments or email us.


-Randy Briggs
CEO, Leads Grow

P.S. If you want to speak with my team directly about how we can help you grow your law firm, schedule with us now at



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