Show me the value, or I’ll show you the door


How do you make a sales presentation?

No I don’t mean warm up, probe, present, overcome objections, close.

I mean: What’s the big picture of your sales presentation? What’s the content of your sales presentation? And most importantly, how are you certain you engage your prospect in your presentation? What makes your sales presentation different and compelling?

Consider this: In order to engage your prospect, or your probable purchaser, or even your customer, there must be some form of interest or perceived value on their part. If there’s no interest or perceived value, there’s no engagement.

There are many obvious customer-based values. For example, they need what you’re selling, you have it in stock, or no one else has it in stock.

But that’s too easy. And that situation hardly ever exists.

Consider this: If you had a customer-based value proposition every time you went into a sales call, and that value proposition had real value for the customer, it would give you a consistent approach, a consistent engagement and a consistent competitive advantage that takes price off the table as an issue.

If you do it right, it can even eliminate or level the playing field of “three bids.”

Most companies have created the mythical term “added value.” It’s a term I have never understood. It usually is a bunch of gibberish containing very little value, and if I asked you to describe or define what added value is, you probably couldn’t.

What is a value proposition? Let me define each element. Once this value proposition is broken down, you will clearly see how your sales presentation needs to be restructured so the customer will know what’s in it for him or her.

And, by the way, if you’re using a “system of selling” or trying to “find the pain,” and you’re not comfortable with it, this may be an alternative to win the sale without any manipulation whatsoever.

The value proposition is broken into 5.5 strategic parts. Each part stands alone, but each part is critical to the others because they build momentum, reduce perceived risk and ultimately create a buying atmosphere.

Here are the components of a value proposition:

1. The value your company provides.

This is an opportunity for you to talk about your company in terms of what they stand for, how they partner, how they have produced for others and how they serve others. It’s a chance to talk about capability and loyalty without mentioning the words “integrity” or “ethics.” In my opinion, if you have to say those words, you probably are just the opposite.

2. The value your product or service provides.

The best way to present product value is through the technique known as “similar situations.” This gives you the opportunity to talk about how your product or service has performed successfully in other environments. Be aware it’s not yet time to use testimonials. Similar situations are: you telling a story about other successful users. Testimonials can be used at the end of your presentation to close the deal.

3. The value you, the salesperson, provide.

If you understand the first sale that’s made is the salesperson, the first sale that’s made is you, then you can understand the impact this piece of the value proposition can play. If you bring no value to the table, then your price will dominate the discussion and the outcome. Your value are things like industry knowledge, product knowledge, customer knowledge, desire to serve, timeliness, and an overall understanding of how your customer can best utilize your product or service for their benefit. You have to go beyond salesman to consultant. You have to go beyond salesman to business friend. You have to go beyond salesman to being a resource. By combining those three elements — consultant, resource, friend — you achieve the most coveted business position possible: You become a trusted advisor.

4. The value in a short-term incentive.

Everyone wants to feel like they get a deal when they buy something. Every infomercial on television ends the sales presentation with some form of “Ginsu knife,” or buy two for the price of one. Short-term incentives are designed to create a greater sense of buyer urgency. In your case it may be six months of free service, a starter kit of supplies, a factory rebate, an added piece of equipment at a reduced cost, or something that enhances your offer on a one-time basis to get that customer to buy now. The danger in any short-term incentive is the customer will want it again. Your job as master salesperson is to make certain you have spent enough time communicating the fact that this is one-time-only.

Well, I’m out of space for this week, but not out of value. The rest will appear next week. Please tear this out and save it for part two. I promise you the value will be there.

Want the list of 5.5 value proposition elements? Go to, register if you’re a first-time visitor, enter VALUE in the GitBit box, and you’ll get the list.Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. His real-world ideas also are available as online courses at For information about training and seminars, visit or, or email Jeffrey at

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