How Tech Entrepreneurs can Better Communicate their Advantage
As tech entrepreneurs, you probably have experienced that moment where you have to explain your software, app or gadget and how it works to the uninitiated, whether it be to a potential customer or during an investor pitch. But how do you do that without patronizing them or getting too technical in your description? Here are a few suggestions to help you better communicate your tech product to others.
Compare to something your audience knows
“It’s like Amazon for Education” That is one of the self-declared analogies for the MetaMap software platform by Cabrera Research to relate to a potential user who has never heard of its product. A high-level comparison can articulate more in a few words than an executive summary or business plan. It brings something familiar to your audience and offers a framework for the rest of the discussion. It also shows that you can be focused and concise in conveying your differentiation, which Jayson Demers of AudienceBloom cites as being a key communication skill for entrepreneurs.
Communicate the user experience in visuals
Visuals and graphics can help explain how a user might interact with the product. This is probably about as technical as you are going to get with somebody who is not really interested in the HTML code or technical features; therefore, it is imperative to keep it very relevant and simple for that individual. Carolyn Edgecomb of Impact Branding & Design notes that these and additional optimization tactics can increase the conversion rate of your landing pages.
Phoenix startup eMoneyPool has a great infographic of the process by which a user engages in their online money pool service. It is clear, easy to follow, and has a strong call to action as well.
Speak in benefits, not features
It probably hurts every technological bone in your body to ignore the features that you spent days, weeks, and months agonizing over, but the cold hard truth is that most people have little interest in the specific feature set of your technology – they want to know the value it provides. How will their life (personal or professional) be improved if they adopt your product? What great benefit(s) does your software offer? These are the questions you need to answer for your customers.
Infusionsoft, a leading software company, is a great example of this, stating that their product has (4) tangible benefits: better organization; marketing automation; improved sales; and online e-commerce.
Elaborate on product superiority
If your technology is not uniquely disruptive, then expound upon the competitors in the marketplace. What is your competitive advantage? What truly differentiates you from similar products? Maybe it is price point or a specific technical feature or a benefit that no other product can match. According to Garage Technology Ventures, your advantage should be communicated in 3-4 points that demonstrate why customers would and should choose your technology, particularly in a crowded marketplace.
Let them see it in action
Name me a customer or investor whose decision making process would not be influenced by the opportunity to touch a prototype or partake in a software demo. It is the “try before you buy” method in action, and it works. CRM software companies (Salesforce, Sugar CRM) offer free demos or trials of their product along with screenshots to give potential consumers the chance to interact directly with the software. Kickstarter includes video submissions for crowdfunding campaigns, which give possible supporters of a project an exclusive preview of product functionality and design. This leads to better-informed individuals who are more likely to engage with your business.