I recently spoke to an audience full of entrepreneurs who were all present to learn the secrets of business success. I took the stage with several other experts who spoke on getting published, how to scale product offers, the best social networking techniques, etc.
I was the first speaker on stage because my topic was “Pitching your Business for Success,” and without a strong pitch, those entrepreneurs had nothing to publish, nothing to social network—nothing to build a business on.
My keynote was followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. I heard from insurance agents, personal trainers, attorneys, investment bankers—people from many different fields and backgrounds. Many of them were making one simple mistake in their pitch. They were pitching the endgame rather than the immediate benefits.
The personal trainer was talking about looking great in six months. The insurance agent was talking about the benefit of coverage should the worst happen someday. The investment banker spoke about the return that would give you a happy retirement! Big mistake! People buy what they can visualize themselves using right away. They want the package to arrive, rip the paper off, and have their product immediately transform their lives.
If you are not pitching the immediate benefits of your product, you are missing out on big sales! That personal trainer needed to focus more on how great that person would feel knowing that she was on the path to self-renewal! The explosion of energy she felt when jumping out of bed in the morning ready to exercise! The satisfaction of going home and immediately shopping for smaller clothes, knowing that she would be wearing them soon! These are instant emotional benefit, instant transformation of lifestyle. Instant. “On Demand.” This is the reason for the compelling nature of the before-and-after photo.
In the before, we see ourselves. In the after, we see who we dream of being. All the work, time invested, sweat, and salads are reduced to a thin line down the center of the screen. Five minutes in Photoshop, and your customer can leap through time until all the waiting and discomfort diminishes to almost nothing in light of the results. It is like magic. It seems instant. It seems “On Demand.”
We live in an instant gratification society. At this time in history, it is more obvious than ever before. Millennials can’t imagine what it feels like to wonder about something for more than a few moments before their smartphone feeds them the answer. Research suggests that even our educated 55+ shoppers are savvier than we give them credit for, utilizing Internet marketplaces and mobile shopping apps daily. We exist in an On-Demand culture. Our society says “Give me infinite options for movies, shopping, communication, travel, navigation...and give it to me the moment I demand it!”
My daughter gets upset when the little hourglass on her phone spins more than twice before she has the information she wants. If there was ever a time in history when a product needs to engage people’s emotions by helping them to visualize the instant benefits, the time is now! Ask yourself: When my customer experiences my product for the very first time, what are the immediate benefits he or she will feel? What will be his or her first 30 minutes be like with my product? How will his or her life be instantly transformed in a way that excites him or her? It is the lifeblood of any solid pitch. This one small twist in perspective can change a floundering pitch into a home run!
Photo by marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cory Bergeron is founder of Pitch Video.