Many sales and marketing organizations invest time and resources to increase Web site traffic, yet gain very few new prospects. Despite site redesign, search engine optimization, and improved messaging, their sites still don’t deliver their required sales performance.
The reason for these disappointing results is that many Web sites are unable to tell a compelling sales story. Although online pages are very effective at selling simple e-commerce products like books, t-shirts or cell phones, many products and services require a much more focused conversation to engage prospects.
Very few Web visitors spend more than a few seconds on a page before clicking to a new subject, going to a new page or leaving the site. Most sales stories require a few minutes of focused attention. Potential prospects are therefore lost before they have mentally connected with anything beyond a headline and one or two pictures. Although a Web page for sales is supposed to bring visitors to a follow-on step, Web sites typically don’t get the job done.
Online presentations are potentially much more effective vehicles for sales and marketing. However, presentations for this application must be designed with some common sense rules to be fully effective.
Rule Number One: Take advantage of multimedia capabilities, especially voice narration.
Rule Number Two: Tell a logical focused story in the same way that a sales professional would tell it face-to-face. Don’t distract the viewer with unrelated ideas.
Rule Number Three: Use interactive technology that makes the viewer a participant in the conversation. Ask the viewer to respond to questions that keep him or her mentally engaged.
Rule Number Four: Maintain viewer attention with compelling graphics and photos. Visuals are much more effective than text in helping the narrator to tell a content-rich story.
Rule Number Five: Combine information with emotional appeal. Prospects use both sides of their brains when they are fully engaged in a sales conversation. People buy because of their feelings as well as from the information that they understand. Presentations that appeal to emotions without a logical story don’t create new customers. Conversely, presentations that are content-rich yet dull and unappealing won’t succeed either.
Rule Number Six: Every slide must be an integral part of the story. It must match the narrator’s words by using eye-appealing imagery with little or no text.
Rule Number Seven: Be brief.