How to Sell a Product You Can't Easily See
Once upon a time, most companies sold products that customers could see. A shiny car. A colorful shirt. Easy to photograph, easy to understand.
Today more products tend to less visual. You can’t take a picture of a firewall, for example.
Or sometimes they’re not very interesting to look at. A revolutionary new drug may look like any other pill. A financial services product turns into yet another set of pie charts.
How do you sell a product the customer can’t see?
That’s a significant challenge facing companies — and marketers. A recent article from Harvard Business Review provided seven reasons salespeople fail to close deals. The No. 3 reason: Salespeople can’t clearly explain how the solution helps the buyer.
It is hard to understand something that you cannot see.
That’s a problem that marketers can fix using visual storytelling.
The brain processes visuals much faster than it processes words, as much as 60,000 times faster according to one study. That’s critically important in a Google-fed world where first impressions — and buying decisions — are measured in milliseconds.
But not every product lends itself to a photo shoot. That doesn't mean that they can't be presented beautifully and effectively.
Some ways to make the invisible more visual:
• Show how the product/service works.
• Show how the product/service differs from the competition.
• Show what benefits the product/service offers.
• Show a case study about a customer who has benefited from the product/service.
• Show what happens when someone doesn’t use the product/service.
• Show data that helps contextualize the product/service.
Amazon has singlehandedly changed our behavior as consumers. It is now much simpler, faster and cheaper to tell Alexa I need razor blades than to drive to the store and buy them in person.
And now visuals matter more, not less. They influence buying decisions well before the point of purchase, delivered through email campaigns, digital ads and SEO content. They add vitality to social media, where tweets with images are more likely to be shared. And they're leveraged by salespeople tasked with turning browsers into buyers — in stores, on calls and at events.
Visual storytelling need not be confined to who, what and where. Sometimes it's the why and how that makes all the difference.