Larry King, host, Larry King Live

Clinching The Deal By Capitalizing On The Back Story

In the late 1980’s, Peter Guber’s business partner and Guber had gotten word that Larry King was interested in pursuing new opportunities beyond CNN’s Larry King live. They created a global talk show called Wired with Larry in mind and prepared to give him an ownership stake in it. But this was a big deal that required big bait and Ted Turner did not want Larry to leave the Turner Network.

Over several meetings with Larry, they laid out their concept for a show and made sure Larry understood that their offer was twice the size of his current deal. Guber was so confident that they’d capture his attention and interest, he never even thought to tell Larry a story. When Larry passed, electing to stay on CNN, Guber was baffled. How had Turner persuaded him?

Years later, in his Beverly Hills home Larry told Guber what had happened. Turner seized the reins of the back story that ran Larry and turned it in his desired direction.

Turner said, “Just tell me, ‘good bye.'”

Peter Guber, Larry King, and Judy Olian

Peter Guber, Larry King, and Judy Olian

Those two words unleashed a cascade of memories bottled up in Larry’s back story. Larry could not speak them. Instead he told his agent, “I’m staying.”

Turner had known that the story running Larry was dominated by the untimely death of his father. Larry always felt his father was disloyal for leaving him when he was young. Turner knew Larry had issues with disloyalty. By pushing the emotional button nested in that back story, he ruled the day.



blog-telltowin-linkTo validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.


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