Secrets to Soaring Sales

Be Vivid, Paint Mental Pictures

By for Secrets to Soaring Sales

Being vivid shouldn’t increase your credibility, but it does. Let me elaborate…

In a 1986 study by Shedler and Manis, they had participants role play the part of a juror. They had to decide whether a neglectful mother, Mrs. Johnson, was fit to tend her son.

Here’s the catch: they added vivid details to either the prosecution or the defense in separate experimental groups. For instance, the defense’s case would read: “Mrs. Johnson sees to it that her child washes and brushes his teeth before bed time.” The vivid condition added: “He uses a Star Wars tooth-brush that looks like Darth Vader.” The prosecution’s case would read: “The child went to school with a badly scraped arm, which Mrs. Johnson had not cleaned or attended to. The school nurse had to clean the scrape.” The vivid version added: “The school nurse had to clean the scrape, and in the process she accidentally spilled mercurochrome and left a red stain on the breast of her nurse’s uniform.”

Although it’s wholly irrelevant to the case what the toothbrush looks like (it only matters that the child was brushing his teeth) or where the nurse stained her uniform (it only matters that the child came to school with a scraped arm), it turned out it made a difference. When vivid details were added to the prosecution, the “jury” found in favor of the prosecution. When vivid details were added to the defense, the “jury” found in favor of the defense.

How can you add vivid details to your sales presentation?

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