Make a sale or create an outcome?


The two least understood words in sales are also the most powerful.

  • Both words are related.
  • Both words have nothing and everything to do with the sale.
  • Both words have more power than any other fact or figure about your product or service.
  • Both words determine your understanding of the selling process and how it relates to success.
  • Neither of the words currently appears in your slide or sales presentation.

The words are “ownership” and “outcome.”

When someone comes into your place of business, or you call on someone, or someone calls you to buy, or someone goes to your website to buy, it’s based on the same reason: They want to take ownership.

And after ownership, they have an expectation of how they will use, enjoy and profit from the purchase. That’s called outcome. And customers have an expectation of itbefore they purchase.

I don’t go into a car dealership to buy a car. In my mind, I’ve already bought the car. The reason I’m there is to get back and forth to work. Or show my neighbors how cool I am. Or take vacations with my family.

Those are outcomes.

What happens after I take ownership of whatever it is you’re selling is one billion times more powerful than the sale itself. Salespeople who focus on “trying to sell” miss the opportunity to engage the customer emotionally about how they will enjoy, produce more and profit more from the purchase — from ownership.

NOTE WELL: In the sales process, it’s broken down into: What’s the real need? What’s the real urgency? What’s the real desire? Who is the competition? Does the prospect have the money? Do I understand the customer and his or her business? Have I emotionally engaged them? Do they have confidence in me? Am I good enough to gain commitment?

That’s a pretty complete list. But those answers pale in comparison to “ownership” and “outcome.”

What will the customer do after they take ownership? What does the customer want the outcome of their purchase to be? As a salesperson, that needs to be your focus.

The best news is: Neither ownership nor outcome has anything to do with price. They have everything to do with the emotion of the sale. And your main job as a salesperson is to find out why they want to take ownership and what they expect the outcome to be after they take ownership.

It is a visualization process. You paint a picture of what you believe will happen to the customer once they possess what you’re selling.

I don’t want to pay an annual maintenance fee. Rather, I want peace of mind that if my air conditioner needs repair, someone will be there to do it in a heartbeat. Terms and conditions are one thing — that’s the cost. Peace of mind is another thing — that’s the value, that’s the outcome and that’s what I am buying.

Here’s what to do:

  • Review your entire sales presentation. See what percentage, if any, focuses on pride of ownership and outcome of ownership.
  • Allocate presentation time to outcome. If, as I suspect, there is little or nothing about ownership and outcome, then I recommend at least 25 percent of your presentation focuses on it.
  • It begins by asking questions. Questions that will get you to the motive of why the customer wants to buy, when they want to buy, and why that’s important to them. Questions about their history as it relates to your product or service. And questions about how they intend to use your product or service once it is purchased.
  • Questions will generate dialogue. Emotional dialogue trumps price. Once your customer or your prospective customer understands how they win, how they will enjoy, how they will benefit from, how they will produce from and how they will profit from what it is you’re selling, then you can get down to buyer urgency.
  • Get to their urgency. The more emotional the dialogue, the more “urgency” will become evident. And the less important price becomes.

Key point of implementation: Visit customers who have already purchased your product or service. Discover how they use and benefit from ownership of your product. Document everything you find.

Visit at least 10 customers. At the completion of those visits, you will have all the information you need about ownership and outcome. You will have a new and more powerful presentation. You will also make more sales. And that’s an outcome you can bank on.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website,, has information about training and seminars, or email him at

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