How to successfully sell your product? Watch and learn

Original author: Andy Raskin
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Three weeks ago, the marketing director of a startup in San Francisco, in which well-known investors invested, wrote to me about her presentation.

“The presentation lacks some zest,” she said. “There is enough information, the slides look great, but all this does not add up to an exciting story. Could you help? ”

I love helping entrepreneurs to create the best presentations for raising funds, sales, attracting new staff - anything. I was working on another project and could not immediately fulfill the request of my girlfriend, so I just sent one link to a guy from the marketing department named Zak, who created this presentation.

Five days later, the marketing director wrote to me:

“Andy, what did you send to Zach? His presentation has become much better - it’s just heaven and earth compared to what it was. ”

What I sent to Zach

And I sent him a link to the presentation of Elon Musk (Elon Musk) of the Tesla Powerwall project (full video at the end of the post). I also pointed out the important points that I will share with you in this article.

Musk does not have unprecedented eloquence. He is embarrassed and nervous. But in the end, the audience perceives his speech “with a bang” and rewards applause. And all this - for the "some" battery.

And all because Musk did the right five things that you should strive for in each of your presentations. Here they are:

# 1: Show the public the enemy.

The villain in the presentation of the Mask: fossil fuels.

Never start your speech with a story about yourself, your team, your project or target market. Instead, talk about what stands in the way of the happiness of your customers. Do this by creating a colorful and emotional picture of how shitty your customers live, and who / what is to blame and why. When Musk shows photos of smoking pipes of thermal power plants, you almost feel the sinister breath of Darth Vader.

# 2: Give an answer to the question “Why right now?”

Killing graph: an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration exponentially.

The audience - and especially investors - is skeptical. They think: “People lived like this all this time, what has changed now?” Musk answered this question by showing that we are at a critical stage of increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, and if we do not take action now, the situation will worsen significantly. When Ilon says: “We all must do something together,” the audience supports him with exclamations.

# 3: Show the Promised Land before starting your story about how you are going to get there.

Before starting to talk about batteries, Musk described his version “happily ever after”: a civilization that receives electricity from “this convenient thermonuclear reactor in the sky, which we call the Sun.” Talking about the defeat of the enemy, without first explaining how you are going to achieve this, may seem like a wrong move, especially for those who are new to presentations — it’s like giving a climax without telling the joke itself. When your listeners know where you are going, they are more likely to follow you.

# 4: Indicate the obstacles, and then explain how you are going to overcome them.

Now, after you share your vision of the future, tell us about the problems that stand in your way, and then show how your company / product / services will cope with each of them (it is better that these are huge terrible obstacles. Otherwise, who needs what are you selling?)

Musk examined three problems in a world that receives energy from solar panels:

(I) The amount of energy produced by solar panels varies during the day and night (and so does the need for them):

(II) Most people think that to set and a sufficient number of solar panels needed territory epic proportions to save the US from fossil fuels (but, according to Mask, it's just a tiny red dot in Texas)

(III) Currently, existing solar panels leave much to be desired, with seven very specific jambs:

Modern solar technology is not yet suitable for your living room.

At this point, the audience practically drools on the product video, which explains that not everything is so bad - for each of the seven indicators. But do not be mistaken: cool graphics and exciting music work only because Musk presented Powerwall not as a battery, but as the salvation of all mankind.

# 5: Provide evidence that you're not just chatting for nothing.

Mom, look how: there is no power supply!

And again: the audience is skeptical. Therefore, you must provide her with evidence that a happy future is attainable. In order to do this, Musk reveals a secret to his audience: Powerwall batteries provide electricity to the hall in which he made a presentation. (As proof of this, he zooms in on the camera on one of the meters located above, which records that there is no power coming from the network.) For companies and products that are in the early stages of development, such a demonstration can serve as excellent evidence, although the feedback from the first users (or those who have tested the beta version of the product) are more convincing. Less convincing - but still better than nothing - recommendations from potential customers explaining why they would like to purchase the product.


This is the full video of Mask's talk about the launch of Tesla Powerwall. A few weeks after I sent it to Zach, I started working with him and the marketing director in order to finalize their presentation. It was much easier, since we had a complete understanding regarding the elements that make up a fascinating story. Now I’m thinking about asking all my clients to watch this video before I start helping them, and thus make it a quick way to convey my vision of a happy future for them.

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