Clear, Persuasive Communication = An Equation

The trick to having persuasive communication is to have a message that is extremely clear. The elevator pitch. Summing up your product in a condensed way so that anyone listening to you for half a minute would understand what the core function of your product is. Summing up what you want to do so that the benefits are obvious and the choice between undertaking what you want to do or not is a no-brainer. With complex products, this becomes increasingly hard to do: there are nuances of functionality that need to be explained, and some of the functionality requires background knowledge to even understand why it’s useful to begin with. But the best salesmen find a way.

Take the introduction of the first smartphone. That’s a difficult sales pitch. How do you even start to describe all the different things it can do? All the apps it can utilize. What its core functionality would be. Yet Steve Jobs managed it – he even created a story around the sales pitch, incorporating twists in the story when he initially misled the audience into believing it was three products instead of one.

“A widscreen iPod with touch-screen controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. A breakthrough internet communication device.”

And then crystalizing his sales pitch out completely:

“An iPod. A phone. An internet communicator.”

There’s an art to this. But the area in life where I think this art is most advanced? My views might surprise you. I don’t think it’s sales or management. I think it’s science.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been attracted to science. I don’t have to spend any effort trying to see through the fluff. I don’t have to spend any time trying to get to the crux of the problem vs. working out which bits of the poor, unclear communication I need to ignore. Because science is naturally set up as the best sales pitch in the world. The equation.

F = m.a

You can’t condense it down any further than that. No fluff. No nonsense. Just telling you the relationship between specific properties.

Maybe that’s the formula to the perfect sales pitch. To put it into an equation.

iPhone = iPod + phone + internet

All you need to do then is describe it in a sentence that makes it sound like it’s not  an equation.

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