How to sell your vision as a product manager (Infographic)
I am just going to give you my honest opinion here:
If you don’t know how to sell your vision, you are not a good product manager.
But you can follow the infographic that I am about to present to you now and you will learn a systematic, reliable and proven method to turn your doubtful audience into one that is enthusiastic about your ideas.
This does not only work for clients, but it also can be used to convince your internal departments of your vision.
Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine called Kevin to show you why it is so important to be able to sell your vision:
Kevin is by far the most hardworking individual I have ever known. Always customer-obsessed, always looking to take his skills and products to the next level.
But when his company got a new super-huge client, a big fortune 500 company, he was not sure if he was ready for that. He never felt so much pressure in his life.
When his CEO saw how crazy Kevin was sweating before the first meeting, he just told him: “The key to success is to start before you are ready.”. Kevin says that he will never forget these words in his life and even though he was afraid to fail, he took the challenge.
For the next weeks, he worked 15 hours per day on his roadmap for that project, analyzing the market and customers to find opportunities. When it was finally finished, he felt an ecstatic rush. He knew that he had created something good.
He presented it to the client and while he was standing in front making his pitch, he could sense that something was wrong. They were sitting there, arms crossed, with doubt on their faces.
In the end, they told him to revise the roadmap.
Kevin was devastated, he knew that he was very close to costing his company this valuable deal. He came home to tell his wife about it. She asked him to pitch her the roadmap. He did and his wife was quiet for some time, thinking, unsure how to convey the message gently. Then she said: “It was good, just a bit boring”.
At that moment, Kevin realized something: He focused so much on the content, that he totally forget about how to present it.
So he kept his roadmap exactly the same, but spend days reading and learning about presentation techniques and storytelling.
When he held the presentation a second time, his clients actually started clapping in the end and he landed the deal.
Steve Jobs was the best-known product manager in the world. Do you know why?
Because he had a vision and he knew how to present it.
Now that you understand why it is important to present your vision in the right way, let’s get to the fun part:
How to storytell your vision
Sparkline Storytelling is a technique that is widely used in successful speeches, for example in Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream”. King shows the contrast between what society is today and what it could be ideal in the future, a place of equality.
Furthermore, you can find the exact same structure in another famous speech: Steve Jobs iPhone launch in 2007.
In Sparkline Storytelling, it is all about presenting contrasts.
First, you are describing the Status Quo. This will give your audience something to identify and capture their interest with.
In Act 2 you are constantly switching between what is now and what could be tomorrow.
For a strong ending, you close the presentation with the tomorrow you envision and list up the benefits that this would bring to your audience.
Now implement this, get out there and start telling everyone about your vision!
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