Humans are visual beings, and as such your sales should leverage this visual bent in the course of selling. Sales people tend to be verbal creatures, which is why the best sellers use visuals wherever possible to not only improve how they communicate with buyers, but to accelerate the sales cycles.
Everyone has heard the expression that people buy based on emotion, and then rationalize that. This is based on the research showing that people usually make decisions with their primitive brain, and then rationalize with their neocortex, (no more science, I promise). The same is true for visuals, they communicate directly to the primitive, where decisions are made. As a result, whenever you can link a visual to a decision, it is more likely to resonate, you will still have to help with the rationalizations, which why I guess we are in sales.
But visuals go beyond simple pictures, and given the body count of buyers who have been victims of death by PowerPoint, you may want to stay away from going that route. There are plenty of other means of achieving things, while being different from the pack.
One truly easy type of “visual” many sales people overlook is the power of stories. As a successful salesperson, you are a subject matter expert, and have seen different ways your clients have used your product to deliver a positive impact on their business, and to achieve their objectives; and you have likely seen many failed attempts. All of these make for good stories to “illustrate” key points you want to make. Stories are naturally visual, and allow you to help the buyer see themselves in successful outcomes based on how you position what you deliver. The power here is that rather than “selling” you sharing experiences of other similar scenarios, and helping them see the possibilities.
You can take this even further when you are in a live selling situation with either a group or individuals. Most boardrooms and even offices have a whiteboard. I often stand up in a meeting and “would it help if I draw this out, I’m a visual person and like to see the whole picture”. There is always a smile, because they would like to see that as well. Invite the prospect to come up and contribute, have them draw out their vision or plan, ask them to make changes based on their goals and objectives. It is great what can happen when you put a marker in your prospect’s hand.
Instead of long dreary proposals, why not consider using graphics for time lines, aspects of the deliverable and other element; a blend of text for legalese and graphics for impact will make your proposal stand out from the others, especially creative use of colors.
Finally, follow ups, I find it strange how few people send a thank you note after meeting with a prospect, but if you are one who does, why not add a video delivering your thank you. You can add pictures of products discuss, schematics, etc. It allows your personality to come through in a vivid and personal fashion.
Those are a couple of ideas, take them on, and see what else evolves.