Winning Sales Messages

A speech has two parts. You must state your case, and you must prove it

—Aristotle

Oratorical power does not come from passionate declaration only. On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln demonstrated the equal power of using simple, yet eloquent words, quietly spoken, to convey a message.
In the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, In July 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed in a battle that brought enormous casualties. in three days of hard fighting, the Union army suffered over 23,000 casualties, the Confederate army 28,000. Later that year it was decided to dedicate a portion of the battlefield to become a National Soldiers’ Cemetery. Although President Lincoln was invited to speak, the main address was delivered by the former President of Harvard, and noted orator, Edward Everett. Everett spoke for over two hours. At the conclusion of Everett’s address, Abraham Lincoln rose to deliver a few remarks, the rest is history.
The Gettysburg Address contains all the elements of a successful presentation and is a blueprint for sales and non-sales presentations alike. Like all successful presentations, it contains a strong introduction, powerful content and memorable conclusion. To create winning sales presentations, sales people need to incorporate the following elements:

  1. Logic and Content
  2. Pain and Problem Resolution
  3. Competitive Differential Advantages
  4. Proof
  5. Key Transitional Phrases
  6. Conciseness

Logic and Content
In a winning presentation, the body of the presentation deals with logos, the logic and content of a message. Logos has to do with the substance and rationale of a presentation. It is the overriding message and provides the details and reasons buyers should procure the presented service or product. Because buyers make purchases based on emotions that are then justified with logic, providing logic is extremely important.
Pain and Problem Resolution
The most intense emotion buyers experience is pain. People take action to avoid, prevent or overcome pain faster than anything else they do in their lives. The primary reason people buy is to reduce or eliminate pain—physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, even spiritual. Eliminating pain and resolving problems is the primary motivating factor in any sale. Addressing buyer’s pains and problems should be the central message of the presentation.
Competitive Differential Advantages (CDA)
The primary objective of a sales presentation is to convince buyers that your product or service will address and resolve the needs, pains and problems they are experiencing. However, there is an equally important purpose, and that is to demonstrate that your product or service will do it better than your competitor’s. Categories of differentiation include:

  • Product Uniqueness
  • Distribution
  • Customer Service
  • Specialization
  • Market Dominance

Winning presenters know that some basis of favorable differentiation is imperative to delivering a successful presentation.
Proof
Buyers want hard evidence to confirm and substantiate claimed product or service benefits. There are three types of proof that can be used in a sales presentation:

  1. Demonstrations
  2. Testimonials
  3. Logical Argument

Use these three types of proof judiciously, especially when addressing a key CDA.
Key Transitional Phrases
Winning presenters provide participants with clear presentation transitions called key transitional phrases (KTP). Key transitional phrases provide audience members with recognizable breaks between major points of discussion. Examples include:
“Enough about us. Let’s dive into the software.”
“We have demonstrated how ABC feature can streamline the ordering process, now let’s look at…”
“That concludes our demonstration of ABC capability. Let’s talk now about customer service.”
“We have addressed the primary benefits associated with X product, let’s conclude by reviewing…”
Use KTP to keep topics clear and understandable.
Conciseness
Excellent presentations get to the point, never dragging out or elongating a point unnessarily. As Abraham lincoln demonstrated, a concise message can be extremely powerful. Consider that his Gettysburg Address is just 272 words in length. Out of those 272 words, 185 have only one syllable. Keep your presentation as concise as possible.
By integrating Logic and Content, Pain and Problem Resolution, Competitive Differential Advantages, Proof, Key Transitional Phrases and Conciseness into a presentation, sales people will find themselves delivering power presentations and winning more sales.