In my previous post, we talked about how BMW uses the triple threat of luxury, performance, and efficiency to sell their product, and likened it to the combination of UX, UI, and Visual Design. Now, let’s explore these concepts further and draw some insight into how Visual Design is the unlikely, often-overlooked salesperson for your team.
Selling With Design
When it comes to selling a BMW, the salesperson isn’t so concerned about explaining to the consumer why a BMW is such a great car. Their number one goal isn’t to rattle off the luxury automobile’s premiere features. Their number one goal is to get you behind the wheel for a test drive. What sells the BMW isn’t the BMW itself. It’s how you feel when you’re driving one. The low hum of the engine. The way the vehicle seems to gently glide around that tight curve. The details of the interior. The fresh, luxe smell of top-quality leather. The silver trim that runs along the various controls and panels. And of course, that blue and white logo staring proudly back at you from the center of the steering wheel.
If you went to the lot with no intention of purchasing a BMW, do not take that test drive. You will feel like a million bucks once you’re behind the wheel and that’s a feeling you will want to chase all the way to the bank. You were sold on the feeling and that feeling impacted your purchasing decisions. The car’s designers get paid their ridiculous salaries for that very reason. BMW knows that design, even down to the aesthetics, matters. And if aesthetics can sell a $60,000 car, they can certainly help close deals for your online transactions.
The Online Reality
Here’s the deal, the vast majority of consumer’s first contact with your business and/or product is online. Even the average consumer’s largest purchase, their home, has been scouted out online. Long before talking to a Real Estate Agent, the homebuyer has already done most of their reconnaissance on their mobile device or laptop. And if that’s the case at the high end of the spending spectrum, you can certainly expect the degree of consumer-to-salesperson interaction to decrease in proportion to the cost/commitment of the purchase.
Most goods and services can be purchased completely devoid of all human contact. I’m not suggesting that the role of the individual salesperson has vanished completely. And I’m certainly not suggesting that you fire all your salesfolk. In fact, I’m proposing that you expand your sales team. I’m suggesting that you employ Visual Design as an additional member of your sales force.
Typography. Iconography. Color-choice. Photography. The devil is in the details. And those details are what can help tempt a potential consumer into adding that last item to their cart or filling out that submission form. A good Visual Designer knows how to leverage those details to craft a compelling picture for your target audience.
Putting Aside Personal Preferences
That’s who all this is for. Your audience. Our personal preferences take a back seat when it comes to Visual Design. For example, red with black happens to be one of my favorite color combinations. But there are very few instances where this works in a consumer driven, web-based environment. As a Visual Designer, I have to think about the psychology of color choice and brand consistency to strike an effective balance that will have the user feel like they’re ready to tap the “submit payment” button. That’s just one example.
Font choices, as well as how to format them (bold, italicize, etc.), and carefully selecting imagery that will create an immersive, compelling experience are also key components to the Visual Design process. Get these right, along with excellent UX and UI, and your web application can do the heavy lifting for your sales team. They will get your potential consumers excited about your product long before they pick up the phone.
Your consumers are already online, just a click away from your product. You need to make sure that their first experience with you and your company is one that compels them to move forward. Visual Design can be the virtual salesperson that gets them to do just that. If you want to find out more about how Visual Design can help you craft immersive experiences that close leads for you, give our team a shout.