The first thing we need is a system to logically organize our thoughts. Here are the 5 steps in order.
1. The Situation.
What conditions (problems) have arisen? Only include information that everyone agrees upon.
2. The Idea.
What are you proposing? This is typically one sentence.
3. How it Works.
The details. Just an overview. Try to be brief.
4. Key Benefits.
This is the “Why?” These should reinforce the overall strategy and confirm a path to profitability.
5. Next Steps.
Who has to do what and by when for this to happen?
The PSF “Persuasive Selling Format” is also called “The 5 Steps of Selling”. P&G's salesforce among others uses the Persuasive Selling Format (PSF) in their sales presentations. Developed using a simple presentation style of a one page format used for maximum effectiveness. Imagine a two minute presentation where everything is easily presented and easily understood.
The five steps in more detail:
1. Summarize the Situation:
First, start the conversation by sharing information that gets the listener interested and that makes them receptive to what you have to say. It is best if you talk about things your customer said were important to them the last time you spoke. You can also share key facts, information or industry trends that help set up the discussion.
2. State the Idea:
Now that you have their attention, don’t beat around the bush, get right to the point and tell them a brief statement of the idea. Just provide a headline of your recommendation stated in a way that makes it compelling.
3. Explain How It Works:
Once you’ve clearly stated the proposition, now is the time to provide details of the recommendation. Typically this includes more information about the product, pricing, and execution of the proposal such as timing and logistics.
4. Reinforce Key Benefits:
Now that they understand the detail, time to hit home the key reasons they should agree to move forward. It is easy to try ‘win over’ the customer with a long list of why they should agree. Considering we all have a limited attention span it is best to focus on a few of the more important key benefits.
5. Suggest Easy Next Steps:
Every sales process needs a "Close". Practice your pitch by naturally “suggesting easy next steps”. Make it easy for them to say “yes”. Remove barriers and show them a path to agreement that fits easily into their specific situation.