Using analogy to level-up your Sales & Marketing

Whether you’re in marketing or sales, the use of analogies in your material or pitches can have astronomical impact on the understanding and adoption of whatever it is you’re pitching.

a·nal·o·gy (noun): a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

One of the most challenging things a founder, marketer, or sales rep can ever get their minds around is the fact that the folks you’re selling to are often way less educated or way less passionate about the thing you’re solving.

Using comparative analogy can help close deals in three main ways:

  • Explain why your customer needs something (value proposition analogies)
  • Explain how your customer could use your product (use case analogies)
  • Explain technical complications to a non-technical audience

Alyce is a Boston-based startup that combines AI, direct mail, and gifting to delight prospects and expedite the sales cycle.

Their marketing team has done a fantastic job understanding their marketplace and the areas of education required to interest new buyers.

In addition to calling out use-cases and social proof with testimonials, they’ve sprinkled their site with comparative analogies; demonstrating the tried and true sales methods that their target audience is bound to understand, set directly next to the more frictionless Alyce method.

A less elegant, but still powerful use of analogies, can be found in the sales cycle. When selling something that requires technical buy-in but your key buyers aren’t technical, analogy can be that saving grace that prevents you from diving into the weeds and adding lots of complexity to your sales cycle.

Let’s take Drift for example. Their conversation marketing platform has the ability to identify chat users either prior to or during a conversation depending on a variety of technical factors. On the left, you’ll see the technical explanation, on the right the analogy:

drift.identify() – This is a javascript call your application can make to Drift in order to pass identity of your logged in usersImagine you walk into a restraunt and see a person you’re trying to identify. Drift.identify is essentially like your application already knowing the person!
Marketing Automation Platform – If your application isn’t able to identify the user, Drift can integration with your MAP’s cookie history if available and make an API call to retain identity on the stored cookieIf you don’t already know the person, but you’re with a friend who does, well that’s as if the user was already known by a 3rd party system, like Marketo.
Reverse IP Lookup – If a MAP isn’t in place, a reverse IP lookup can be used to enrich information on the company levelSay your friend didn’t know the person, but they say they have seen them in the building at 222 Berkley Street in Boston, MA so they must work at Drift. This is an example of company enrichment based on address.
Question skill – If a reverse IP lookup is unsuccessful or not available, a question skill or email capture skill can be used to request the user’s identity.When all else fails, we can do the old school thing and just ask the site visitor who they are!