Ever have trouble getting your ideas across to advertisers? Do you secretly think they may not be very bright? Most likely it has nothing to do with their intelligence, but everything to do with the communication style you are using.
There are four communication styles, all of which we adopt at one time or another. Most of us, however, favor one or two of them. If you present to me in what is my least favorite style, there’s a good chance your presentation will fail, in spite of your site’s fabulous features.
Here is a snapshot of each communication style. As you read through them, think of buyers you know who manifest traits of one or more styles. Think of how they behave, what they like, what their tempo is, and how different they are from one another. This will help you lock each style in your mind.
Remember: Styles are value-neutral. They are like the color of your eyes, neither good or bad – they’re all fine. But being able to identify the style or styles favored by the person you want to persuade will give you an edge in getting your message across.
Style #1: The Dreamer
These people like to see how your presentation fits in with the big picture, in the long term. They like synergies, challenges; they like to revolutionize and transform the status quo. Think Internet visionaries like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and DoubleClick’s Kevin O’Connor.
When you present to them, use their language: long-term… innovative… synergy… integrated… context… provocative…. Present your boldest, most creative ideas in the boldest, most creative way possible. Paint a picture for them that is big, exciting, unique, and new.
Presentation killer: Boring them to death with too many details and long explanations.
Style #2: The Friend
These people value feelings and relationships. They need to feel that what you are presenting is helpful, easy to implement, and safe. They decide by consensus, so you would be smart to present your ideas to them and the other decision-makers in a group setting. Think of Oprah’s television personality.
When you present, use language that appeals to them: feel… positive… loyalty… relationship… trust… together as a team/group/family… consensus… proven… easy… fail-safe… low-risk… helpful to others… upbeat… fun… positive…. Tell success stories.
Presentation Killer: Pressuring them for an immediate decision.
Style #3: The Computer
These people value information, logic, order. They need to feel that whatever you are presenting makes sense, has all loose ends tied together, is rational, objective and organized. Think Sgt. Joe Friday from the old television show Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.”
When you present, the language that appeals to them includes control… systematic… monitor… check… solid, research-based… evidence shows… proven track record… air-tight… factored-in components. Always bring more information than you think you’ll need. Have charts and graphs and sources clearly marked on visuals. Pace yourself to their tempo, which is frequently slower than yours.
Presentation killer: Coming in unprepared.
Style #4: The Bullet
These people care about results. They care about getting things done in the shortest amount of time… solving problems… reaching goals… winning. This is your Type A personality. Think Donald Trump. Think the general personality of many online sales managers!
When you present, the language they like to hear is bottom-line… net-net… the key point is… can be done quickly… done deal…. They like executive summaries and short presentations with brief bullet points. Keep your diagrams and charts simple.
Presentation killer: Wasting their time.
Now for some examples. Suppose you are trying to sell your site or a network of sites to an advertiser. You might say:
- To The Big Picture Person
Imagine the possibilities here. You can __________, which would really be cutting-edge.
- To The Friend
It is so easy to reach your target. With a simple __________, we can __________ any way you want quickly and easily. This has worked very successfully many times for all our advertisers.
- To The Computer
I’ll help you design the precise program to reach your specific target.
- To The Bullet
This is the turn-key. Tell me target, number of impressions, environment, region, time of day and unit, and I’ll take it from there.
Since people communicate in a mix of styles, just tailor what styles you use to what you determine is your buyer’s personal mix. With a little observation and practice, you’ll be styled for presentation success every time!