Communicating with one another is an interesting process. We use words to help each other understand what we want each other to know. However, when we say a word, the other person does not really envision the word we have said. For example, when we say the word “dog,” the person does not see in their mind the three letters “d o g.” The person will see in their mind an image of a dog. So what actually happens when communicating is that we paint “word pictures” in the mind of the person to whom we are speaking.
As we all know in our wonderful profession of selling we need to be exceptional communicators. That would mean that to excel in our profession we need to be Master Artists in painting “word pictures.” Like any painting our “word pictures” are to stimulate an emotional reaction. That fits the selling profession perfectly since we know that all buying decisions are made emotionally and justified logically.
In our sales presentations, the three “word pictures” that we need to paint for our prospect are “the features,” “the advantages” and “the benefits” of our product. For the purpose of this article, a reminder may be in order. A “feature” describes something about the product and what it does. An “advantage” describes how a “feature” solves a problem. A “benefit” describes how an “advantage” helps the prospect gain something they want (money) or avoid something they do not want (pain). So how do we paint “word pictures” that help us sell better? Following are examples of two ways to word a presentation. One example will be “word pictures” that could be compared to “stick drawings” in black and white using a pencil. The other example could be compared to a “canvas painting” in vivid colors using oils.
Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, this is the hybrid engine that performs more efficiently (feature). That means that you burn less fuel (advantage). The result would be that you will save money (benefit).”
Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, this is your automobile’s environmentally friendly power plant. You will spend a lot less time in service stations pumping gasoline. I am certain you will find some way to enjoy the money you will save over the years.”
Notice the more “picturesque words”: “friendly power plant” versus “hybrid engine”, “less time pumping gas” versus “burn less fuel”, and “enjoy the money” versus “save money.” Another example follows.
Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, this carpet has fiber whose color will not fade. That means you can clean the carpet as often as necessary. The result would be that the carpet always looks new.”
Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, your carpet is made of a fiber that will always present the beautiful colors that you see right now. So cleaning your carpet will never be a threat to the attractiveness of your living room. You will always have the peace of mind that you will never be embarrassed when you have guests in your home.”
These examples should give you some idea of what is meant by painting “word pictures” when you are selling. Take a few minutes and review the words that you use to sell. Do your words have the potential to create the level of emotional response that would improve your chances of making a sale? We hope you have gotten some real value from our painting lesson.