In recent days I have been attracted by a television genre that I hadn’t given any weight so far: teleshopping. Yes, those promotions that start on local TV after midnight, or after lunch.
Watching them with a careful eye, I found that they offer great lessons for anyone who wants to equip their arsenal with an effective product sales presentation, regardless of whether the presentation is used in writing, on video, or in person.
There are teleshopping for all tastes, and all types of product: from walking sticks with a value of a few tens of euros, to branded watches, from “fake” mobile phones, to mattresses, and so on.
It all started by chance, when during an evening zapping, I ended up on a well-known telemarketer presenting a shower cabin. “Funny, I thought it was just mattresses”. But instead of changing channel, I was curious to focus on the promotion not as a potential buyer, but as a marketing and sales consultant: “Let me see how you try to sell this shower…”
The experience was interesting. So, I got a taste of it, and in the following days I started looking for other promotions, until I collected a good number of useful tips. The most curious and enlightening case was that of the walking stick, on which I’ll come back later.
I condensed this analysis into some principles or “lessons” that can be useful to anyone who wants to present a product in an effective way: from the marketing that must transfer the concept of a product, to the seller who must present the product in front of the customer and close the sale.
Today I’ll tell you about the first three.
Lesson No. 1: REPETITION
The first obvious feature of these teleshopping is repetition:
– the same words are repeated countless times;
– In addition, the same concepts are repeated countless times, but in other words;
– and finally, the whole promotion itself is repeated several times from A to Z! When you think it’s over, the presentation starts again from the beginning, wrapping you in an almost magnetic lullaby.
Lesson No. 2: TONE
The presenters speak faster than normal, and loudly. Like it or not, this means that this mode is more effective. It “converts” better than a quiet tone. It persuades more people to pick up the phone and call the number.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why the Italian presenter nicknamed “il Baffo” (“the Whisker”) was (and I think still is) so successful, this is certainly one of the reasons: your target likes more an emphatic and passionate tone, even if it’s an artefact.
However, there’s a difference: the emphatic tone is calibrated according to the target and the product. It’s fundamental for “commodity” products. For branded watches, the tone is more compact.
Lesson No. 3: FEATURES-APPLICATIONS-BENEFITS
During the presentation, the product is literally dissected in every aspect:
– the features;
– the applications;
– the benefits for the user.
This is truer as the product seems to be an ordinary product, difficult to differentiate from other dozens.
Let me give the most emblematic example: in my head, until a few days ago, a walking stick was just a walking stick: what can you ever say about it?
Now, however, I have been informed that the common stick can fall and leave the elderly in trouble, it’s heavy, it’s cumbersome, it gets entangled, it slips, it has a rigid handle, etc. etc.
While instead, as chance would have it, “our” stick:
– stands alone, it’s light, it’s foldable, it has a rotating handle, and a light!… (features);
– so, it helps you more in the A scenario, B scenario, etc. (applications);
– so, you’re less in trouble, you’re more comfortable, you’re safer, etc. (benefits).
This “reverse engineering” teleshopping activity has also offered many other angles and ideas for marketing and sales which I will come back to again, but now I’ll stop at these first three.
If now you want to move from theory to practice, I leave you this simple
The exercise is useful to anyone with business responsibilities: from the SME owner to the marketing director or product manager, from the country manager to the sales director to the seller: we all have to sell our product, we all have to make an effective sales presentation to a single customer or market.
So, take one of your products, and create your own teleshopping using the three principles above:
– List of Features-Applications-Benefits.
Tip: don’t improve, be disciplined. You have to write the script as well, just like companies that invest tens of thousands of euros in their television appearances do.
Why shouldn’t your product deserve the same regard as a walking stick? If you believe that your product is about the same as many others, you have not made enough effort to find and highlight something that no one else has so far pointed out.
Follow this order:
- Imagine first of all the ideal customer to whom you will address your “teleshopping”;
- Then create a detailed list of all the features/applications/benefits of your product for that ideal customer;
- Now write the script word for word;
- Add repetitions: don’t be afraid to be repetitive: on the contrary, repeat several times (at least 3, better 5) words and concepts;
- Finally work on the tone: read out your script, record, and try again until you sound convincing.
Maximum time if you want to do the exercise “for fun”: 2 minutes. You say a few words then you stop, thinking it’s a waste of time.
Result in that case: nothing will change in your business.
Minimum time if you want to make the most out of the exercise, and thus create an effective sales presentation: no less than 2 days.
Result in this case: you’ll probably double your current conversions…