Strip Out Complexity and Confusion with Big Pictures
Complexity in your message keeps your customers from buying. Whenever there’s complexity, there’s confusion. And, confusion slows down the decision-making process.
A confused buyer cannot buy. So, you need to make it simple for your prospect to make a decision. How? Have you ever noticed that when someone says, “I don’t understand,” someone else gets up and draws a picture?
One of the great tools that you have in your messaging toolkit is a concept called the Big Picture. But, just knowing why pictures are important doesn’t mean they will be executed well. Look at this picture below to see what can happen when a big picture goes wrong.
OK, OK. I know this was drawn by a grade-schooler. But, it still makes a great point. Big pictures are powerful tools that can have tremendous impact. Just make sure it’s the impact you want.
You need to be aware of how your customers’ strategic agenda, responsibilities and experiences affect the way they see things. They are always wondering, “How will this work in my world?” They don’t care about your world and the way you’ve ordered it.
Many times you are too steeped in the details and nuances of your specific products and services to realize that your customers see a forest, and have no understanding or appreciation for the subtleties surrounding your tree.
Here are some important lessons for making sure your big picture helps strip out complexity and confusion among your buyers, not add to it:
- Use Contrast – Before and after imagery is very powerful in communicating value. Make sure your customer sees the “pain” they are currently experiencing without you, and then clearly contrast it with the “gain” your solution provides. Make sure you use dramatic contrasting colors so that the viewer can literally see the difference. Don’t use blacks and blues; rather, use the drama of red to make your contrasting point.
- Beware of Metaphors – Using a metaphor in your big picture may seem like a good idea at first, but they often drag down the image with too much superfluous detail that distracts from your core idea and makes it harder to remember. Seriously, we don’t want to see another company claim to work like a “pit crew” to make sure their customers succeed and then proceed to draw a detailed analogy of a pit stop.
- Catalyze Action – Remember, you are messaging for a decision, not just to inform. How does your picture inspire your customer to want to take action? What are you doing to show a clear path moving forward, away from the status quo and toward you? And, did you remember to make it look really simple? Make sure your customer can redraw it after you leave so they can inspire their team to move forward.
Use a big picture whenever you need to make abstract ideas more concrete, and complex concepts more simple.
It can be the breakthrough you need to communicate your solution story in a more remarkable, memorable way that will be retold and sold by your customer – even when you’re not there.
- Tim Riesterer
CMO and SVP Strategic Consulting and Products
Corporate Visions Inc.