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Selling Innovation the Steve Jobs’ Way

Selling Innovation the Steve Jobs’ Way

By Karan Cushman, June 14, 2012


Whether it’s a pitch to potential investors, your sales or leadership team, here are a few tips from the late master presenter Steve Jobs to help sell your latest biotech brand innovation.

Inform, educate and entertain – those should be the goals for every presenter and your next biotech brand pitch according to BusinessWeek.com columnist Carmine Gallo who uncovered the techniques that turned former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, into one of the world’s greatest corporate presenters.

Here are a few helpful takeaways from Gallo’s book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs that should add punch to your next biotech brand pitch.

Start with Pen and Paper.
Jobs spent his preparation time brainstorming, sketching and white-boarding before he created his presentation. All of the elements of the story he wanted to tell were thought through, planned and collected before any ‘slides’ were developed.

Lead with Benefits.
Your audience only cares about how your biotech service or product will make a difference for them or the end-user in the case of investors. Focus on the direct benefit(s) upfront.

Short and Tweet.
Create a single sentence description for every new service or product. The description (think tagline) should be concise enough to fit in a 140-character Twitter post. As example, Jobs’ intro of the MacBook Air was simply, “The world’s thinnest notebook.”

Stick to the Rule of Three.
Almost every Jobs presentation was divided into three parts. You might have twenty points to make, but your audience is only capable of retaining three or four points in short-term memory. Give them too many points and they’ll forget everything you’ve said.

Create a Villain.
The ‘villain’ doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct competitor. It can be any problem in need of a solution. By creating a villain you allow the audience to rally around YOU (or your product/service) as the Hero.

Sell Dreams, Not Services.
Jobs didn’t sell computers. He wanted to create a better world through technology – that was the promise that he sold. “In our own small way we’re going to make the world a better place,” said Jobs when he introduced the iPod. Where most people saw the iPod as a music player, Jobs saw it as a tool to enrich people’s lives.

Create Visuals, Not Slides.
Jobs’ didn’t use bullet points in his presentations. Instead he relied on photographs and images for visual impact. When Jobs unveiled the Macbook Air, Apple’s ultra-thin notebook computer, he showed a slide of the computer fitting into a manila envelope. Keep your presentation that simple.

Make Numbers Meaningful.
Jobs always put large numbers into a context that was relevant to his audience. The bigger the number, the more important it is to find analogies or comparisons that make the data relevant to your audience.

Use Plain English.
Jobs’ language was simple, clear and direct. He rarely used jargon that clouds most presentations.

Practice More.
Jobs made a presentation look effortless but that polish came after hours and hours of practice. He rehearsed every facet of his story, staging each presentation like a theatrical experience.

With so much time and effort spent in R & D, it’s natural to think your next biotech brand innovation might sell itself. For visionary Steve Jobs his role was to “think different.”

Click for a downloadable copy of Carmine Gallo’s, “How to Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way.”

Tagged: Branding

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