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Sell ’em with the Right Numbers

One of the moments when a sales cycle can be tough for everyone is when you start getting to conversations about numbers. It can be any set of numbers — results data, sales numbers, project timelines, reference numbers or prices — especially prices. If one person in the conversation is unable to convey what the numbers mean, it can turn into a downward spiral of awkwardness.

That’s why I like to think about presenting my numbers in a more visual style. People absorb visuals better than just a giant list of numbers, and an illustration can provide more context than a spreadsheet might. That’s why infographics are so popular — you get data and context.

Here are my three tips on how you can close deals using the right numbers in the right way:

  1. Keep it short: As much as you can, don’t bombard the reader with a massive list of numbers. If you’re talking about pricing options, don’t bring a list as long as your latest $100 Target receipt. Instead, keep it short and simple. Select the fewest numbers you need to convey the point you’re trying to make.
  2. Keep it engaging: If you want to sell a customer a pair of shoes, keep the numbers about the shoes. When you start adding in too many other elements (belts that go great with shoes, types of boots available that are similar to the shoes), you’re just going to confuse everyone. Get straight to the point about why those shoes are the best using numbers that are meaningful for the buyer.
  3. Keep it clean: Infographics can provide great visual styles, but the best don’t have billions of cartoons or animations cluttering up the message. When you want to convey portions, percentages or ratios, think about the easiest way to do that. Graphs or charts are still pretty effective for infographics because they’re clean and they work. Less is more.

When you use the right numbers in the right way, you’ll skip the awkward conversation and get straight to closing your deal.


Get connected to Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell oversees Business Development as a Partner at The Starr Conspiracy.

Connect to him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter to learn more about marketing in the enterprise software space.