What’s Missing From Your Value-Added
By Paul Reilly
Pascal is claiming that people do things for their own reasons, and those reasons don’t have to make sense. Humans are not purely rational, we’re emotional
too. Think about it … If we were purely rational, nobody
would engage in high-risk activity like speeding, texting
and driving or bungee jumping.
Since people are rational and emotional, our decisions
are logical and emotive. If robots made buying decisions,
logic would be the only factor, but humans make decisions.
The content of our presentation appeals to the rational, logical side of buying. The context appeals to the
emotional side of buying. Value-added salespeople understand that buyers are rational and emotional. Therefore,
a value-added presentation is rich in content and context.
Here are some tips to appeal to the buyer’s logic and
emotion in your next value-added sales presentation.
In John Pollack’s book, Shortcut, he emphasizes how
analogy helps us spark innovation and sell our great
ideas. Pollack shares research suggesting that analogy
may lie at the core of all decision making. Analogy is the
comparison of two things based on similarity for the pur-
poses of explanation.
Humans are lazy thinkers. We look for previous associations and parallels when making decisions. We do this to
simplify decision making. We analyze previous situations
and determine if they are similar to the current decision
we are trying to make. If the previous situation is similar,
we decide in a similar way.
Analogy is an effective way to draw a parallel to another aspect of the buyer’s business. Make a connection
to other areas of the buyer’s business where they have
made a decision based on value and not a cheap price.
Analogy simplifies the decision-making process. Use an
analogy that is familiar to the buyer and draws a parallel
to another aspect of their business.
Make It Sound And Look Familiar
Presentations are about the buyer, not the seller. Buyers
are more likely to accept a solution if it’s familiar. When
a presentation sounds familiar and looks familiar, buyers
are more likely to buy.
In a recent seminar, one salesperson explained that he
likes to use buyer buzz words in his presentation. Buzz
words make the presentation sound familiar. He also uses
fonts from the buyer’s website and the company logo.
These extra steps make the presentation look familiar.
The salesperson explained that his goal is to present a so-
lution that is familiar to the buyer. The familiarity reduces
the uncertainty associated with an unknown solution.
Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this sales presentation look and sound familiar to the buyer?”
Show Common Ground
Imagine going on a first date. As you look across the
table, you’re probably asking yourself, “What do I have
in common with this person?” Wouldn’t it make sense
to ask this same question while courting a prospective
“The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand.”
— Blaise Pascal, Mathematician and Scientist