Don’t ask for money without showing the goods

People rarely buy a product without seeing it first, so it’s poor salesmanship to ask for money without showing the goods.

If you’re selling a product it’s straight-forward. A customer can see the product in person, or if not (e.g. selling online) you do everything you can with photos to make a person feel as if they’ve seen the product fully.

But for a product they can’t see or hold (a service for example) you need to help them see it in their mind.

Start with visual imagery

The place to start is with visual imagery. Rather than words and concepts, you begin describing situations and scenes, made up of people, places and things. These images allow the customer to see your service in their mind’s eye, and it becomes more concrete.

For more vivid scenes add some of the other senses. You could talk about texture, smells, sounds, tastes, and feelings/emotions. Including these elements allows a person to experience your service, or your finished work, or the painful situation you’re offering to fix.

You get bonus points if you can use people, places and things they already know well, because those images will be even more vivid, carrying their own set of inbuilt emotions, feelings, sights and sounds.


  • “3 day delivery” becomes:
    • Package will arrive on your doorstep 3 days from now
    • Have it in your hand by 5pm Friday.
    • Enjoy your first smoothie this Thursday night.
  • 8pm start becomes 8pm kickoff (you get a mental flash of the stadium, the cheers, and so on).
  • Instead of listing dates, you can name the departure time and airport, so they can imagine that feeling of taking off.