That old cliche, a picture tells a thousand words holds true in sales; using picture power is especially important during the time you’re explaining your product or service. This HBR article talks about image-based words are more memorable than abstract.
The article explains how picturesque image-based words helps people easily visualise the future. And people resonate with concrete messages because their lives are taken in by sights and sounds.
For example, a story about a starving 7-year old girl from Mali triggered people to donate more than double the amount as a message that said “food shortages in Mali are affecting more than three million children in Zambia). You can picture the 7-year old girl, but three million kids is difficult to fathom.
How to translate vision into words – two principles:
A vision to create a city with solar panels on every rooftop, biofuel in every car, is instantly understandable and more compelling than increasing renewable energy by 25%. So make sure the picture you paint is instantly understandable regardless of technical expertise or background. Say it so a 5-year old will understand.
Use emotional impact to show how life would be different. For example, instead of saying, “you could reach a target audience of 2000 people”. Saying, “imagine you’re standing on stage to a sold-out audience at London’s Roundhouse Theatre. The sea of your potential customers are watching you; you’ve got the microphone, what do you want to say to them?”
If you can see it, say it
The article suggests avoiding using numbers because it undermines the brain’s ability to conjure up mental imagery. We have two cognitive systems, one thinks logically, analytical, and the other, sensory, information about the environment, our “mind’s eye”. Your aim should be to trigger the sensory side and bring numbers or owning your product or service to life by painting pictures.
If I ask you to think of a bulldog, a black siamese cat, or a red apple with a pokey green leaf, can you see them? It’s hard not to, right?
In Carmine Gallo in his book Talk Like Ted, he says neuroscientists have discovered that our visual cortex can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. So if you can think of something vividly or get someone to really imagine it, the same areas of the brain get activated as though it was real. And using picturesque words boosts memory, increasing your prospects recall.
One thousand songs in your pocket – Steve Jobs. He used numbers, but brought it to life with ‘in your pocket’.
Linkedin has 70 million members, and we’re adding three million more every month. That’s equivalent to adding the population of San Fransisco to our network every 30 days.
Coffee made with freshly cracked beans.
Over to you
Look at your product or service and think about pictures you can describe to conjure up easily recognisable images to spark emotion of what life would be like after someone buys your product or service.
Please come back and tell me how you get on in the comments below. Can’t wait to hear how you rock the world!