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BizTrends 2018

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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

A salesman that never sleeps: the persuasive power of video

In a global marketplace where people are bombarded with a neverending stream of information from hundreds of companies every day, how do you stand out from the crowd and make sure you're understood?
Anyone who's listened to a world class sales pitch knows the persuasive power of a polished, prepared and dynamic salesperson. If you're lucky, you may well have one of them on your team. There is, however, one major drawback: salespeople tend to be, well, people! The rockstars of the sales world are expensive, and just like the rest of us need their off days, holidays and - every now and again - they've got to sleep.

Taking sales online

Of course, it wasn't too long ago that websites were proclaimed to be the 24/7 salespeople, and this remains true to an extent - a slick, polished website is still a vital sales tool. But today's time-starved visitors are less likely to spend the time reading through pages and pages of text and infographics. Visitors to your website shouldn't have to dig deep to find out what you do or what makes you better than the competition. The company that answers the "why us?" question with the most speed and finesse is likely to win out.

In an age of fast broadband and short attention spans, one medium stands out in its ability to communicate what you do in a way that's quick, attractive and easy to share: video.

A short, animated "explainer" video combines all the qualities that make the perfect salesperson - eloquence, passion, knowledge and charm. It's a package that delivers the sales pitch perfectly, every time, without fail.

And it works!

The world's biggest companies are using video to add punch to their sales. When Dropbox launched, all they had on their homepage was a short, simple animated video. Within hours of its beta launch they had tens of thousands of sign-ups, and today have more than 300 million users.

This is the power of video - to tell potential customers what impact a certain product or service is going to have on their lives, using persuasive visuals and friendly dialogue to tell a story that people can relate to.

Less is more

Interestingly, Dropbox didn't attempt to overwhelm their audience with technical information. The further down the technical rabbit hole you go, the more diluted the real value of the product or service becomes.

Dropbox spent very little time talking about the amount of free space users get, or its referral system or its pricing structures. Instead they focused on a single, core concept: 'Have all your files wherever you go'. The sheer appeal of video means the initial hook is all it takes.

But I love my salespeople!

Of course, salespeople are still critical to getting customers and clients to sign on the dotted line. But a short, punchy explainer video gives them an edge that no dry Powerpoint presentation or whitepaper PDF can ever hope to achieve.

Being able to walk into a boardroom and bring everyone up to speed in under 2 minutes gives the sales team a great kickstart to work their magic, and brings them closer to closing the deal.

The bottom line?

Customers won't buy a product or service they don't understand. A slick explainer video is your always-on salesperson that pitches your product perfectly, every time, day and night.

About Adrian Burger

Adrian Burger is the creative director of Blink Tower, the South African -based global provider of animated explainer videos that counts companies and organisations such as Vodacom, Sanlam, Afrihost and the Shuttleworth Foundation among its clients. He uses the medium of animated explainer videos, combining hand drawn animation, classic narrative structures, and professional voice-overs to deliver a simple, memorable message that illustrates the human value of a specific product or service.