Friday, August 24, 2012

Sticky Presentations

We live in a crazy busy world. Everyone is constantly inundated with information and sales pitches. This creates a challenge for sales people becasue we have to break through the clutter and make our presentations memorable and impactful. We need to make our presentations "sticky," to get the prospect engaged so that they retain the information we share with them. I like to use  "visual analogies" to sell advetising.

 For example: I was doing a presentation to a customer who advertised in a competitive product to convince him to include us in his marketing mix. I did some research and found that about one third of the market read their product exclusively and almost an equal number read only my paper. The remaining third read both publications. I could have printed out the research and shared the numbers, but in most cases this overwhelms the customer. Instead I bought three cheap clear plastic vases and two bags of Hershey's Kisses, one milk and one dark choclate. I put milk chocolate candy in one vase and the dark chocolate kisses in another. The third vase was left empty. During the presentation I pulled out the three vases and told the customer that they represented the readership of the two local papers. The vase on the left with the silver wrapped candy was my paper, ant the purple wrapped candy on the right was my competitor. I then poured some of each into the empty vase in the middle telling him that this was a more accurate description of the market because a third of local residents read both. I then took the vase of milk chocolate candy away and put it behind my back. I told the customer  "You current program misses one third of your potential customers" and pointing the the mixed vase "you are cutting your exposure to these people in half." This image helped the customer to understand what he was doing much more clearly than any chart or PowerPoint could do, The sight of having his "candy" taken away invoked the natural human tendency to avoid loss. Making my point visually burned this into the customer's brain and helped position the value of my paper. They expanded their budget and now advertise in both papers.

One final point: I first considered using dried beans to make my point but decided to go with the chocolate. After my demo, the client ate some of my"props" and I left the rest for his staff. This small gift made the presentation more memorable and literally left a "good taste in the customer's mouth." Whenever possible use visual analogies to prove the value of your products. Doing so will make what your presentations much "stickier!"