Make Your Next Pitch Demonstrably More Persuasive

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 06:30
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Marketers have long known that dramatic product demonstrations can be enormously effective in eliciting interest from would-be customers. The art of the product demonstration can be highly persuasive, whereas showcasing functionality alone may not be as motivating. I've found that technical professionals tend to be more accustomed to a "just the facts" presentation approach in internal selling situations. Therein lies the opportunity for many technologists and professionals in general, to enhance their approach and increase their effectiveness.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends....

Make Your Next Pitch Demonstrably More Persuasive

Marketers work with their product development counterparts to conceive of product demonstrations so as to more vividly call attention to differentiating product characteristics. However, most technical professionals don't think of creating product demonstrations when seeking to earn their internal customer's interest. It is almost as if they consider doing so to be undignified. Friends, when you're trying to achieve persuasion, you are marketing. That means it's time to think like a Marketer! 
Effective product demonstrations usually tie to a consumer relevant insight. In the 1960's, Shell Oil Company vividly communicated how its Platformate gasoline additive extended driving mileage. The size of the technical benefit was relatively minor (4.33%). Still, applying reasonably conservative calculations, this could translate to roughly 10 miles more per tankful. Shell explicitly dimensioned the benefit in its print advertising. However, much more impressively and memorably, they produced iconic television commercials that while fairly technical, dramatically showed the product benefit in context: Platformate will help you and your car travel farther between fill-ups. They powerfully communicated their value/convenience benefit.

When you pitch a new opportunity, do you seek to engage your audience rationally with a by-the-numbers recital of technical facts and features? Or, do you go further and seek to also win their interest and support with well-conceived, captivating visual demonstrations? 
We all know that having a functioning prototype is very helpful for purposes of making a technical concept "real" and to elicit internal customer interest and excitement. Taking this one step further, a well conceived demonstration elevates technical performance to an expression of marketing claims. Importantly, a well executed product demo can not only help you to impress your audience, but it can also help create buzz for it with key influencers within the organization.
I have recently noted that Rustoleum has licensed NeverWet superhydrophobic coating technology from Ross Nanotechnologies. Talk about a technology with a terrific product demonstration!
As a footnote: in reading reviews about the commercialized product, I've learned that the technology apparently has some limitations, especially if not used as recommended. The point is that NeverWet's dramatic product demonstrations undoubtedly earned Rustoleum's interest in a way that a simple description never could.  
There can be great value in presenting technical benefits in a visually compelling and relevant manner. This doesn't need to require lavish and expensive production efforts. It often can be done simply, inexpensively and in a straightforward way. It is well worth considering as part of your innovation sales "toolkit". 

Could your innovation team benefit from coaching tips to help improve its internal selling effectiveness? Consider giving me a call at 614 937-2408.



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