Sales Presentation: D.R.A.M.A.


Zig Ziglar, one of the most well known sales authorities of all time defined selling.  Zig said, “Selling is the transference of feelings.  If I can get my prospect to feel about my product or service the way I feel about my product or service, he will not only want it … he will demand it.”  To persuade someone, it is not nearly enough to get them to think as we think, it is imperative that we get them to feel as we feel.  Getting a person to feel the way we want them to feel is the purpose of drama.

In this lesson we will describe five great sales techniques for persuading a prospect to buy.  Another of the great sales trainers of all time is Larry Wilson.  Larry put these five techniques into an easy to remember way.  He says we must give our presentations with “D.R.A.M.A.”  Each of these letters in the word drama represents one of the techniques and they are in the order of their level of effectiveness.

When it is possible to do so, the single most powerful sales presentation technique is to get the prospect involved with the product.  Demonstrating the features, advantages and benefits of a product will create the best potential “buy in” from a prospect.  A “test drive” in a new automobile is to Demonstrate what it would be like to own that automobile.  A “showing of a home” is done to Demonstrate what it would be like to live in that home.  The “trying on” of a new suit or dress is done to Demonstrate what we will look like in the new clothes.  Anytime we can get our prospect involved with our product or service we dramatically increase our chances of making a sale.

When it is not actually possible to get our prospect personally involved with our product or service the next most powerful sales technique is the use of Recommendations.  The most powerful Recommendations are those given personally to the prospect by someone they know or respect that is a current user of our product or service.  An example of how we can use this powerful sales technique would be when we are getting referrals from our existing clients.  Read our article on asking for referrals.  We suggest that we ask our current client to call the referral he has given to us and introduce us on the phone.  We could ask our client to tell his friend how satisfied he is with our product or service.  That would be a strong Recommendation.  Another way to present Recommendations is to use “Testimonial Letters” in our presentation.  In my last sales role, we actually had thousands of “Testimonial Letters” we could use.  We had them categorized into Industry type so when we called on a prospect, we would use “Testimonial Letters” that were from the same industry as our prospect.  To get a prospect to buy, one of the feelings we need to create is that of trust.  If we cannot actually have our prospect get involved with our product or service, the next best way to create the feeling of trust is through Recommendations from others that they trust.  In another article here at we have suggested word tracks to use with existing clients that will help secure written “Testimonial Letters.”

Sometimes a prospect finds it difficult to come to a decision even after a Demonstration or a Recommendation.  Often this is due to the prospects struggle in trying to understand how all of the features, advantages and benefits all come together for his well being.  This is a good time to use the great sales technique of Arithmetic.  Here we are going to employ the four basic math processes.  We are going add, subtract, multiply and divide.  We will structure a presentation for the prospect that will do the following: Add up the features of the product, Subtract the problems that those features solve, Multiply the value of the benefits that the prospect will gain from his problems being solved, and Divide the investment over the lifetime of the benefits.  Following is an example of using the Arithmetic technique:

Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, allow me to do a summary of where I believe we are in the process of determining if this is the right product for you.  As you will recall you were very interested in your heat pump system having the following abilities.   (Add up the features)  You wanted it to run quietly yet efficiently.  You wanted your system to be programmable and control the humidity in your home.  And you wanted your system to be as maintenance free as possible with a good warranty.  Does that accurately describe your interests?”

Prospect: “Yes, that is a good summation.”

Salesperson: “Well, since our CustomAire system has each of those capabilities you can be assured of the following problems being solved for you. (Subtract the problems) It will be quiet because the decibel level or our system is only 20 as compared to our competitors being at 45.  It will be efficient because it draws only about 60% of the electricity of our competitor’s similar model.  Because of our ProTemp feature you will be able to not only tell the system what temperature setting you want whether you are home or away … but … you will be able to increase and decrease the humidity.  Historically our system is an install and don’t come back type system because it is so maintenance free.  However, in the case that something does need adjusting or replacing, you have a life-time warranty on parts and a ten year warranty on labor.  Are those the problems that you want solved with your system?”

Prospect: “Yes, those are the problems I do not want to face.”

Salesperson: “Well, Mr. Prospect, because our CustomAire system is able to solve all of those problems you will get the following results. (Multiply the benefits) You will sleep better because of the quiet, healthy and comfortable atmosphere.  You will not be bothered constantly adjusting the settings.   And you will have more money to spend on your grandkids because of the savings you get with the improved efficiency and the non-existent maintenance costs. (Divide the investment over time) When you calculate the reasonable investment over the many years of service you will find that you can have all of this for only about $2 per day. (Close) We could have our crew out here as early as Thursday of this week, or would you prefer a day next week?”

To use the Arithmetic technique, it is obvious that we must know our features, advantages and benefits extremely well.  Additionally, we must have practiced putting them together in presentations that are accurate and make sense.  Assuming we are that well versed with our product or service, we have passed Arithmetic.

Now there may come times in every salesperson’s life when we run into a comparison shopper.  This would mean that, even if we gave the prospect a Demonstration and perhaps provided Recommendations and followed that with the Arithmetic summation, we may have a prospect that wants to know how our product or service compares to our competition.  Now is the time to use the Measurement technique.  For this example, let’s put ourselves in the role of a salesperson selling transportation services.  The dialog in this situation could sound something like this.

Prospect: “How does your service compare with the Acme Transport Company?”

Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, if in a fair comparison of services we showed you that we are your better choice, will you give us an agreement today?”

Prospect: “Yes, if you can show me how you compare more favorably.”

Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, because we pick-up in your area once per week rather than twice per month as Acme, you will not need to use so much storage space and time to hold your deliveries.  Since our transports actually hold 24% more cargo than the transports of Acme, you will be able to be more efficient in the organization of your deliveries to you clients.  Our transports have the latest in hybrid engineering so our transports use much less fuel.  This will allow us to always have a minimum of 5% lower charges per shipment to each of your clients.  Because we have a national hub system for our drivers, we will consistently be able to deliver to your clients 20% faster than Acme.  So, Mr. Prospect, can you see how much more beneficial it would be to ship with us than Acme?”

Prospect: “Yes, your service would be what we need.”

Salesperson: “We can schedule our first pick-up for this Thursday or would you want us to start next week?”

It is easy to see, this technique once again requires the salesperson to be very knowledgeable of his product or services … as well as those of his competition.  We will never know when we will be required to provide a Measurement.

Finally we come to the last letter in drama.  This technique is not necessarily last in the order of power of persuasion because it is a weak technique … not at all.  It is last because it need only be used when dealing with an insecure decision maker.  This technique is called Assurance.  This is to be used when a person may see the value in our product or service but is truly concerned about something unforeseen going wrong.  So we need to give this person a stronger sense of security in buying this product or service from us.  We as salespersons must be very familiar with the warranties and guarantees that we may offer our clients.  These protection options should be mentioned during the initial presentation of our product or service.  However, they should not be emphasized at that time.  If at any time during the sales process we uncover a sense of concern on the part of our prospect, we should be prepared to review the warranties or guarantees.  Immediately after a review of warranties or guarantees it is imperative that we ask for the order based on the Assurance that our product or service will perform per our prospect’s expectations.

As Professional Salespersons we are to be superior communicators.  Our livelihood depends upon it. is dedicated to putting exceptional communication tools into your hands.  Whether you choose to accept or adapt these tools, whether you choose to practice, drill and rehearse these skills is up to you.  However, if you do choose to use our suggested word tracks or others that you find to be successful for you … be sure to make your presentation with D.R.A.M.A.

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