Don’t stumble without data like Andrew Mason!

Groupon’s recently-fired CEO said he lacked data to make decisions. Be prepared to sell your idea!

“My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers” Andrew Mason

How do you describe your job as a visualization practitioner? Your answer is likely a strong influence on how you go about your work. I think there are many correct answers — content publisher, analyst, storyteller, artist… Have you ever thought of yourself as a salesperson?

In my opinion, sales is one tough job and most of us have never received any formal training. Yet, we sell all the time at a significant disadvantage because our visuals have to do all the “talking!” Now you know why PowerPoints are filled with text — because the poor visuals cannot stand alone.

Here are a three sales techniques you can apply when building visuals. Consider this an experiment; try each individually so you get comfortable, measure results, and adjust. Then start combining.

Pattern interrupt: Show something in an unexpected way that purposefully generates a bit of tension. Make sure your customer can literally see the opportunity and use that to drive a conversation that gets into the details of their decision-making process.

Create fear: Our emotions drive action equally, if not more often, than analysis. Do you work emotion into a visual? Fear is a stronger motivator than pleasure; make it the center of attention and don’t succumb to sugar-coating what people need to hear (even if they don’t want to hear it).

WIIFT: (what’s in it for them) I agree with Mr. Mason’s focus to serve customers. Do the same. Whomever is looking at your visual, that’s your customer. Help them see what you see, but it must be on the terms and context of the world in which they operate.

Do you have a story about a recent “sale?” Please share it.

Posted in Decision Making, Strategy

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