Change is difficult. It’s hard to learn something new.
Yet there we are, standing in front of an audience, demonstrating with great zeal and gusto all sorts of new things and better ways and innovative solutions.
Get ready. Your audience is about to unleash a barrage of pointed, impatient questions.
It’s not that they don’t like what you’re showing. They simply don’t understand what you’re showing. They understand their world and what they do in a specific, familiar way. What you’re sharing is different, a something-new your product and technology make possible. Because it is new and unfamiliar, they don’t understand it. Yhey are trying to make sense of your something-new through their questions.
So help them. Give them an analogy that explains your product, your positioning, your solution in a way everyone can understand. Let the analogy apply a concept they do understand to their current challenges, helping form your unique solution.
I provided a day long session where I used the theme of a master-planned housing community with all sorts of related analogies: pick from one of four basic home designs, choose your own fittings and fixtures, landscaping is later, be the first ones on the block, etc. It was a huge pantry stocked with analogies*. In a follow up call months later, the customer didn’t remember our product’s features and functions, but she excitedly recalled “the house! The house!”
Mary Poppins was a great Pre-Sales Engineer:
In ev’ry job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game
And ev’ry task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake
A lark! A spree! It’s very clear to see that
A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way
*See how I did that?