give ’em the “why”

How many people do you know who floss their teeth on a regular basis? Do you? You know a generic “we” (people other than you) “should” (it’s a good idea, but really – who actually does it?), but you probably don’t really understand the benefit of flossing, so you skip it.

I floss every single day. You know why? A million years ago, when I was about 24,  my dentist said to me, “Debbie, you need to take care of your gums. We can always replace a tooth, but if your gums go, there’s nothing protecting your teeth, no way to anchor a bridge. Nothing we can do. You’re sunk.” I like my teeth, I need my teeth, and if one or two has to go, I want to know they can put in a reasonable facsimile, so I floss. Every day. My dentist was a pitching genius. He knew, in order to get me to floss, he needed me to understand the benefit – he gave me the ‘why’.

Sometimes in a persuasive (pitch)  presentation, you must provide the audience with the “why”. Your product or service absolutely solves a problem for them, but it’s a problem they don’t know they have. If you explain to them first what their problem is, or could be, you’ve got them eating out of your hand when you get to proposing your solution. Not only that, they’re grateful to you for seeing the oncoming train which would have run them over  if not for your alerting them of its coming. Now they not only see the value in your product or service, they see the value in their relationship with YOU.

As you prepare your next pitch presentation, ask yourself, does your prospect know why they need what you are pitching? If they don’t, that’s where your presentation must begin. They’ll never buy what you’re selling if they don’t believe they need it. Give ’em the ‘why’ and you’ll be heard.  And win the pitch.

Oh, and floss, will ya?

Share this post