I went to an Adobe event not long ago to learn about HTML5. I ended up being overloaded with information designed to whet the appetite of the common geek and entice them to buy Adobe software. Well I can tell you something; its worked. I am not a web developer, I understand coding but Marsh Media has professionals who love this area. I am a web designer, a graphic designer and a marketing expert and anytime I fiddle with coding, it’s merely to tweak things. I used to rely on Dreamweaver when I first started learning code, but today I use notepad. Being persuaded to feel a need for Dreamweaver was going to be a tough challenge for Adobe and yet they have turned me into a prospective buyer now. How?
Formation and structure is key. Adobe warmed the crowd up with an introduction to web design and how it will be changing over the next few years. This allowed everyone in the room to be on the same educated platform making it easier to pitch the sale. Using journals and lots of references to well respected authors, the speaker convinced the audience that the future will be websites created mainly for mobile devices etc. Facts to support evidence are a great tool used by many large corporations to educate their customers, for example Dettol kills 99% of germs; the 99% adds fact to the statement making it more accurate and therefore realistic.
Once everyone is convinced with the future changes that are predicted by Adobe, they then take you straight into the problems that designers and coders will face and then “BOOM!” as the American speaker said, here is Dreamweaver offering you the solutions. Problem creating and then problem solving is a great way to market. Typical examples of this is Dettol adverts, telling you how germs can spread, promoting the little child touching the surface and then putting their hands in their mouth, and the Dettol bottle fixing the problems that could be caused. An element of fear is spread to the parent’s responsibility of keeping their child germ free. Same goes with Adobe, they indicate an element of chaos with the changes in the future while offering a safety net if you follow them.
So we have two strong influential formations and the third is the icing on the cake. Although you may be convinced that the way websites are created is going to change, and that Adobe has the solution, you may be worried about the previous versions, their complexities and whether the flaws still lie. Adobe Dreamweaver is a large investment, so surely you could find an alternative? Well at the event Adobe gave a live walkthrough of the product, asking the audience to participate with any questions they may have. They spoke to the individual and tackled their doubts right there, driving any negative and unreasonable ideas right out the door. Any justification you had to not buy the product has now disappeared leaving you with justified reasons to buy the product. This closing part of the formation is what I call the hard sell. Many of us have been through the hard sell and the skilled sales person will have you unaware they are even doing it. The used car salesman will make it intrudingly obvious; “we can throw in a full tank of petrol now if you buy it now” or “this deal is only available today and we are closing in ten minutes”. A disgusting sales technique which targets the vulnerable through pressure of disappointment, lost opportunity and inability to displease their sales person. Then there is the hard sell which takes a smarter approach: “we can help you, we are always here and this item is here at your convenience”. You do not feel obligated or rushed, however the sales person has discovered who the gatekeeper, the decision maker, the influencer, the purchaser and the end user is (Decision Making Unit) and will have carefully planted seeds to help you justify to these people why you purchased this item. Any doubts you had they will have tackled leaving you feeling confident in the product and the sale.So to conclude, the key to a successful sales pitch in a presentation is to follow three rules:
1) A clear introduction which creates a story of where people were, where people are now and where we will be in the future will educate the audience to maximise your selling influence
2) Problem evaluating is crucial to raise awareness to any problems that people may face in the future. It also helps to raise some fear factors to increase emotions. The tempo and control you have over another person’s feelings is not to be undervalued as a business. If there is a genuine fear factor to be added in your sale, take your audience on a journey through a life without the problem solving product you offer, and one with. It will draw them closer to the brand and they will begin to overcome any justification barriers themselves because they want the product, thus saving you half the battle.
3) Questions and answer time is a great way to close a presentation and welcome any challenging questions. Push the audience to ask you a question. Tell them they cannot leave unless five hideous questions are thrown your way. It will make them think decisively and allow you tackle them head on. Once they leave the room with those doubts, your chances of a sale decreases, so get those questions!