There are four “P’s” that will help you get people to buy into any big idea you have — say, for example, an idea for a new product or a strategy to improve your business.
1. Describe the PROBLEM. Start by presenting the problem — the way things are now. Don’t just describe those things in abstract terms, draw a picture of them. Provide details so that your listener can see, hear, feel, and even smell the problem. The more you can bring the problem to life, the better your chances of having your listener want to do something about it.
2. Make a PROMISE. Next, present your solution. You can do this in one of two ways: (1) by making an assertion about how things can be better, or (2) by asking an enticing question, such as “Wouldn’t it be great if one day we could …?” Be sure your promise is expressed in a way that pleases your listener.
3. Draw a PICTURE of the Solution. After you have made the promise, turn it into a pleasing picture by drawing in all the beneficial details — all the specific reasons why things will be better when the solution (your objective) is realized. As you present these benefits, try to get affirmative responses from your listener (i.e., “Yes, that would be nice.”).
4. Make the PITCH. Only after you have your listener emotionally hooked and he is verbally “yessing” you (see above) do you make the actual pitch. The pitch should begin with a strong, simple statement of what you propose to have done. Make the statement and then provide plenty of specific, logical proof to back it up. Use data, authoritative sources, anecdotes — whatever it takes — to make an irrefutable rational case. Then, restate your proposition simply and strongly. Effective selling is a combination of pulling the heartstrings and putting forward irrefutable logic. The buying decision is made in the heart, and the heart doesn’t respond to logic — it responds to imagination.
That’s why you draw the pictures first (of the problem and of the solution) and provide the logic later. Note that the structure of this is very different from the way most people sell their ideas. The common way is to begin with the pitch. The problem with this is that it often provokes some kind of negative “we tried that and it didn’t work” reaction. This puts you behind the eight ball from the start. Editorial Note: These are the types of selling techniques you will learn from my accelerated copywriting course offered by the American Writer & Artists Institute click here.