USE VISUAL AIDS EVEN WHEN YOU CANNOT – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #17

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 17:


Every sales person knows the truth of the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual aids (everything from a graph to the product itself) have to be used in the right way. You must let them to speak for them, and that means keeping quiet once they have been introduced and shown. (This is typically not something that sales people find easy to do, but people cannot concentrate on taking in what they see and listening at the same time, so if you talk, they might miss a point and your case will be diluted.)


This comes from the world of mining…

The way to make the best of visual aids is not simply to see what is available and use it, whether it’s appropriate or not. It is to see what could be useful and organize whatever is necessary to make it available. A salesman selling mining equipment made this point strongly to me. He sold machine like a Black & Decker drill but the size of a small car. It was not practical to bring a machine along to someone’s office, and it was difficult to get potential buyers to go and look at machines until he had generated some interest.

This salesman carried a large and very heavy pilot’s case to his first meeting with prospects. Inside was a piece of granite. (He had a nice story about how it was formed millions of years ago and came from the Grampian Mountains in Scotland). One side of had been cut by the machine, as easily a knife would go through butter, judging by how flat and shiny it was. It provided dramatic evidence of the power and precision of the equipment, given the nature of the machinery; prospects were not expecting to see anything.

In practice

  • If necessary you must contrive or invent something that will do the visual job you want, that will stimulate a prospect’s imagination. Of course, the first task is to decide what role the visual can usefully play.
  • Even when what is sold is not very visual, the same principle applies. For example, I saw an accountancy firm increase the sales of audits to small/medium sized businesses by producing a double-sized set of accounts. This could then be shown to prospects with a commentary about what they could do with the information they contained (for example, better manage their cash flow).

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