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10 visual storytelling examples to help you close a sale

Kyjean Tomboc

Content Manager, Piktochart

Examples of visual storytelling for sales header

Are you struggling to make more sales lately?

Pitching your product or service to a prospect and closing a sale is almost always a nerve-wracking experience.

Unless you hear the prospect say yes and make the payment, there are still a hundred possible reasons why the deal may not pan out. For example, a prospect might reconsider a competitor or postpone their decision for another quarter.

Aside from making sure that your product or service is a perfect fit for what your prospect needs, you should be able to keep your prospects engaged when making your sales pitch.

How exactly do you do this?

Visual storytelling, or sharing your story through visual content, is one of the tried-and-tested ways to get your audience's attention, keep them engaged, and eventually help you close a sale.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at:

Why visual storytelling matters in sales

If you're still unsure of how visual storytelling can improve your sales productivity, it's okay to be a bit skeptical.

Here are 5 reasons why visual storytelling can help you close a deal, whether you're in the business of specialized pet food diets or enterprise software.

1. It helps you simplify complex concepts

No matter your industry, keeping your business pitch simple and relatable to your potential customers is one surefire way to keep them engaged. If you're pitching to a prospect, you have limited time to explain how your product or service works.

As one visual is worth a thousand words, it's way easier for you to do a quick, 3-minute pitch while sharing your screen if you use eye-catching visuals like an infographic or a video during your sales call. With Dialpad Meetings, you can easily do that without having to download any software:

Screenshare in Dialpad blog size

Visuals also help you paint a picture in your prospects' minds while helping them retain more information in contrast to spoken and written text.

For example, if you want to share how blockchain technology for business works with a prospect, an infographic like the one below will help get your message across more quickly.

Blockchain infographic

2. It helps you build rapport by appealing to your audience’s emotions

When was the last time you retweeted a hilarious cat video? How about sharing a poem that really resonated with you?

Chances are, you’ve likely shared a video of a cat vibing to a street musician than share a poem by Rumi in the past year.

Visuals are more likely to resonate with humans. In a Smashing Magazine piece about using illustrations to elicit emotions, art director Blair Culbreth explains how icons and illustrations can help humanize an app or website and build emotional connections with users.

Your prospects go through the same experience when you employ visual storytelling in sales. Science even backs it up, with research showing more positive emotional responses to visual art stimuli.

3. It can help highlight your unique selling proposition more effectively

Your unique selling proposition or USP is a statement that explains why your prospect should choose your product or service over competitors. It answers this question: what makes you different from the competition?

Using visual storytelling tactics in sales means you can communicate your unique selling proposition with more impact because of the “at-a-glance learning” nature of visuals.

Take Salomon Running, for example. Their USP is to enrich people’s lives by enabling them to play outside. Their Instagram feed reflects their USP. As you can see below, their feed is filled with pictures of people doing what they love to do outdoors instead of product photos.

Salomon running visual storytelling blog

Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/salomonrunning/

4. It helps you answer the question, "What's in it for me?”

When you approach a prospect and start talking about your product or service, chances are they're already asking themselves, "What's in it for me?" (or WIIFM).

This boils down to what your prospect gains from purchasing from you.

Data visualization tools that can help you create graphs and charts as well as videos, gifs, and memes are your allies in answering your prospect's WIIFM question.

5. It can help you persuade your prospects to take action

You might not know it, but visuals can heavily influence how we act, choose, and make decisions.

A Michigan State University study found out that our brain's visual cortex (or the part of the brain that processes visual information) is more powerful than previously believed. It turns out that it can make decisions, just like your brain's traditional "higher level" areas.

10 examples of brands who got visual storytelling right in driving sales

If you're ready to take the plunge and use the power of visual storytelling to drive more sales, here's a list of brands that have successfully improved their sales numbers through the thoughtful and strategic use of visual elements.

The next time you schedule a sales training session with your team, keep these examples in mind and take a leaf out of these brands' books.

1. Patagonia

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia's mission statement says, "We're in business to save our home planet."

As part of this long-standing commitment, they launched Worn Wear online in 2017. Worn Wear online is a resale program that aims to create a market for used and second-hand Patagonia apparel. It also encourages customers to have their Patagonia garments repaired or recycled.

In Mending Life, the Patagonia content marketing team did a great job in showcasing photographs that resonate well with their target audience who want to revel in the "joy, meditation and quiet rebellion" of fixing their clothes by hand.

Patagonia example blog

Image source: https://www.patagonia.com/stories/mending-life/story-113746.html

It turns out that this kind of visual storytelling is effective in spreading Patagonia's brand story and boosting its sales numbers. As of 2019, Patagonia's sales quadrupled over the past decade and recently surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

2. Ventana Surfboards and Supplies

Selling high-ticket items can be challenging because the hefty price tag usually means more sales objections.

Ventana Surfboards and Supplies found a way to get past this hurdle by sharing behind-the-scenes photos and video clips on Instagram.

Ventana surfboards storytelling

Image source: https://www.instagram.com/ventanasurfboards/

"We've sold a $15,000 surfboard when someone just saw a post on Instagram," shares David Dennis, cofounder of the surfboard brand. They've sold not just one but 80 of these surfboards as of 2019.

When asked about why it worked for them, Dennis explains:

"I think people want something that's unique. They love the stories… In a world where you've just got mass-manufactured products that don't have a soul, people are longing to know where their products came from, to know a little bit about the person who created them."

3. Dialpad

Telling prospects about how spam calls impact their business bottom line isn't exactly an exciting thing to do.

For this reason, Dialpad turned to infographics and used visuals to share the story of how spam calls are more than just workplace annoyances.

Spam calls infographic

Image source: https://www.dialpad.com/infographics/spam-by-the-numbers/

What makes this infographic a visual storytelling win?

The playfully tongue-in-cheek Spam (like the canned food) illustrations capture the viewer's attention. As you scroll down, a section of the infographic highlights Dialpad's key features and benefits. Finally, the toll-free number at the bottom is also strategically laid out.

When planning an infographic, you can utilize Dialpad’s Miro integration to collaborate with designers on a virtual whiteboard to decide on what the infographic should look like.

Dialpad miro integration blog size

4. Zuora

Zuora is in the business of subscription revenue management automation.

Andy Raskin, a highly sought brand positioning consultant, published a piece on Medium (The Greatest Sales Deck I've Ever Seen) in 2016. The sales deck they’re referring to is Zuora's. In their post, they wrote about why Zuora's sales deck is a stellar example of a visual narrative in sales.

Zuora sales deck presentation

They also described how the sales deck helped their friend Tim, a salesperson, craft their own storytelling strategy through their sales presentation. It turns out that Tim closed the largest deal in their company's history using the sales deck they created after studying Zuora's slides.

Aside from the well-thought-out copy, Zuora's sales deck slides also have one thing in common — the powerful images supporting each text in the presentation.

5. Scrub Daddy

Scrub Daddy is a reusable, smell-resistant sponge in the shape of a smiley face.

In 2012, the smiling sponge product received $200,000 from Shark investor Lori Greiner. As of 2020, it has made $209 million in sales since its launch.

Apart from the highly visual smiley etched in the sponge, the Shark Tank pitch was a perfect example of “Show, Don't Tell” in visual storytelling.

As you can see in the video, Scrub Daddy CEO Aaron Krause demonstrated how the super scrubber tackles tough stains, giving the Sharks a glimpse of how their product does what it promises to do.

6. Nikon

In 2018, Nikon wanted to promote its new mirrorless camera, the Z7, as an alternative to the commonly used DSLR cameras.

As part of their marketing strategy, they asked renowned photographer Joe McNally to trade their DSLR for the Z7 for a week of hunt-and-seek photography in Manhattan, New York.

Nikon visual blog

Image source: https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/nikon-2018/areas-of-focus/3016/

For a week, Joe tested out the camera's latest features in his signature style while exploring various locations across the city. Consequently, the photographs were showcased in an interactive photo gallery published in The Atlantic.

While Sony won the mirrorless camera race the following year, Nikon still did great in terms of the number of Z7 models they sold in the same year.

7. Brilliant Business Moms

Beth Anne Schwamberger started Brilliant Business Moms in 2014, intending to sell products for mothers who are just starting in business.

While reviewing their site traffic and metrics, they noticed that Pinterest brought tons of referrals to her website, especially to her Brilliant Life Planner. From this discovery, they decided to focus on Pinterest selling.

Brilliant business moms visuals

"I took some of my planner photos. I turned them into some beautiful collages, so the types of pins that would do really well on Pinterest and then I created another that kind of … It had a headline at the top announcing the Brilliant Business Planner," shares Schwamberger.

As a result, they were able to build an organic brand community and an email list that drove $15,000 in sales.

8. Fresh Relevance

Another steller visual storytelling example for sales is Sam Kean's prospecting video for Fresh Relevance.

Sam reached out to a prospect who sells weights online with a video content of them lifting weights.

According to Kean, they have gotten the best results with video as a means of sales prospecting, including meetings with three of the UK's top 5 retail brands.

Their email open rates have also soared to 95%, while their reply rates have increased 3x higher than text-based emails.

If you're setting prospect meetings, follow in the footsteps of Sam and find ways to create relevant video clips for your prospect.

With Dialpad Meetings, you can quickly record and send these short video clips alongside other files before the meeting in the same messaging channel. This approach helps set the tone of your discussion with your prospect.

9. MassMutual Trust Company

The MassMutual Trust Company, a wealth management company, wanted to make the concept of trust services easy to understand for its prospects. They also wanted to inspire the need to establish trust but felt that instilling fear into their prospects (the usual marketing tactics of wealth management companies) wasn't the right approach.

After thoughtful deliberation, they realized they needed to tell the story of passing on a legacy to their prospects. They created a video that shows a father passing down a magic coin trick to his daughter. The coin trick represented the family's values while the coin represented the family's wealth.

"The video is a hit with investors and employees. People have commented saying it's the nicest work we've ever created," shares Joe Rokowski, President and CEO of the company in a digital marketing case study by Umault, the creative agency behind the wealth management company's video content.

10. Thorne

Thorne is an online wellness brand specializing in supplements and at-home health tests.

Thorne's visual storytelling efforts in the form of downloadable, ungated wellness guides are filled with high-quality visual media like photographs, illustrations, charts, and recipes. These visuals have contributed to an increase of 51.3% in Thorne's gross profit for 2021.

Thorne wellness guides blog

It's your turn to step up your visual storytelling techniques and efforts

As you saw in the best visual storytelling examples we’ve listed, successful brands start by focusing on one channel and visual storytelling format.

Another lesson: you'll discover the best format and social media platforms for your visual stories by doing initial research about your audience.

You can get started with your audience research by talking to your prospects, whether it’s over the phone or during a video conference.

With the call summaries feature, you get an email recap with a transcript and a recording of your meeting. Transcripts allow you to quickly search for keywords instead of having to watch meeting recordings multiple times to gather information about your target customer.

Use these insights to collaborate with your team to create the most suitable visual storytelling assets for your business. Once that's done, then it’s time to sell!

Take Dialpad for a spin

Sign up for a 14-day free trial to get phone calls, video meetings, and instant + SMS/MMS messaging in one place to help you close the sale. It takes just a few minutes to get started, and you'll be set up with a virtual phone number too!