If you want to deliver more powerful, more persuasive sales presentations, one of the best things you can do is watch television. Specifically, infomercials.
You can stop laughing now.
Think about it. An infomercial is basically a thirty-minute sales presentation. And because infomercials typically cost between 100,000 and half-a-million dollars to produce (and that’s before buying air time), they need to be really good presentations. Which means we, as salespeople, can learn a lot from them.
If you study infomercials, you’ll notice they all use the same strategies. And you can employ these strategies just as well in your own sales presentations.
1. Open with the problem
Most infomercials open with some variation of “Are you tired of…” or “Don’t you wish you could…” The problem hooks your interest. If you answer “yes” in your head, you’ve just selected yourself as a prospect. Similarly, in your own sales presentations, open with the problems your prospect is dealing with and you’ll get their attention.
2. Bring your enthusiasm
Every infomercial host is enthusiastic. The interviewers are enthusiastic. Even the announcers are enthusiastic. They have to be. People buy when their excitement level about owning the product exceeds their reluctance to part with their money.
Infomercial producers understand and capitalize on the fact that enthusiasm is contagious. The more excited you are, the more excited your prospects become. On the flip side, if you’re not excited about your product or service, why should your prospect be?
3. Create powerful visuals
Human beings are visual creatures. We take in 80% of our information through our eyes. Infomercials take advantage of this fact by showing demos of the product in action, or before-and-after photos, or clear illustrations of how their step-by-step process works.
Notice, they don’t show paragraphs of text or a slide with twenty bullet points in tiny type! Neither should you. Instead, think about what visuals would help you make your case and reach your prospect on an emotional level.
4. Focus on results
During a typical infomercial, very little time is spent discussing the product itself. Most of the script is devoted to the results the product creates: Kitchen products focus on the healthy, delicious meals you’ll be able to make for your family; Exercise products dwell on the sexy body you’ll be proud to show off; Financial systems stress how different your life will be when you have massive amounts of money coming in.
There’s a good reason infomercials dwell almost exclusively on the results: It’s all the buyer really cares about. Keep in mind, your product or service is merely a means to an end. It’s the end your prospect is really concerned with, so focus your presentation on that.
5. Provide testimonials
People are skeptical of claims made by a seller. However, they’re much more likely to believe claims made by other customers. As a result, testimonials are powerful persuasion tools. That’s why infomercials always include plenty of them and why you should too.
6. Put the price in context
No matter what your price is, prospects always wish it was lower. One way to make a price appear lower is to compare it with a higher price. That’s the reason so many infomercials compare their product with other possible solutions to the stated problem, which invariably are much more expensive.
What can you compare your product or service to? Alternatively, what would be the cost to the prospect of doing nothing and letting the problem continue?
7. Give prospects a reason to act now
Human beings are lazy. And we hate commitment. So we’ll put off any decision we can for as long as we can. Unless we have a good reason not to.
That’s why infomercials offer an incentive for picking up the phone right away: “Call in the next twenty minutes and we’ll double your order!” “Order before the end of this program and we’ll make your first payment for you!” What kind of an incentive can you offer your prospects to act right now?
Successful infomercials can generate anywhere from 10 to 50 million dollars in sales. From people who never expressed an interest in the product in the first place! If these presentation strategies work so well for them, they’ll work for you too.