Make it Come from the Heart (Writing a Business Plan - Products and Services)

Have you ever noticed that two salespersons selling the same product or service can have totally different results? One might be the superstar top representative, and the other could be selling a fraction of the amount as his impressive counterpart.

Over my years of sales experience, it has occurred to me that the biggest difference is usually not just experience and systems, but also the simple variable of enthusiasm about the thing they are selling.

Let me give you an example: insurance. At a typical networking event, where everyone is asked to give a one-minute overview of who he or she is and what he or she does, it is not uncommon to have two insurance people in the crowd.

One may say, "Hi, I'm Joe, and I sell insurance for ABC & Associates. We are independent agents, so we will give you a competitive quote and more than likely reduce your costs for a similar coverage plan. Our slogan is: At ABC & Company, we're all about saving you money."

Not bad, but not good enough - there was almost no emotion in the words he delivered.

Now let's take another insurance sales rep, selling essentially the same thing but using more emotion in her service description.

"Let me tell you what gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps me up late at night. There are simply too many friends and family members I know I can help, yet not enough hours in the day for me to serve all the people I want to help. Just yesterday, I showed my cousin that she could save $200 a month on her personal health insurance by moving to an HSA model. I can't tell you how much that means to her and her family right now. I really want to do the best I can to make a meaningful difference for you and your family, too, so please take my card, and let's schedule an appointment. My name is Jane, and I just love to serve insurance justice."

Do you see the difference? The former is almost removed from the effect of the sale of the service. The latter is focused on the emotion of the transaction's result.

The second example is exactly what you want to focus on in your description of your products and services. Go for the emotion. In sales, emotion trumps logic about 10 to one. In other words, rely on logic if your product is at least 10 times more useful than your closest competition, but use emotion if you are dealing with a close competitor, as in the case of the two insurance sales representatives.

If you don't feel the emotion for your product or service, you need to either switch products or "fake it till you make it." If you need help with the latter, I'd recommend the following motivational books, all of which deal with the sales mindset that has been proven over the course of time. Some were written nearly a hundred years ago and are just as true today as they were back then. Use these resources that are available to you - they work:

"The Magic of Thinking Big" by Dr. David J. Schwartz
"The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How to Be One (aka: The Blue Vase)" by Peter B. Kyne (71 pages and available for free at Amazon for Kindle download)
"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

I have yet to meet a successful entrepreneur without a heart the size of the moon. Want to know how to make your product or service stand out? Make it come from the heart! 

Tim Peterson is the President of Sales Automation Support, Inc., in New Berlin, WI. He can be reached through the company website at or at 262-754-8712.

You can learn more in the ProficiencyBench curriculum.