Make a sale or create an outcome? One has more power

The two least understood words in sales are also the most powerful.


• Both of the words are related.
• Both of the words have nothing and everything to do with the sale.
• Both of the words have more power than any other fact or figure about your product or service.
• Both of the words determine your understanding of the selling process and how it relates to your sales success.
• Neither of the words currently appear in your slide presentation or your sales presentation.

The words are “ownership” and “outcome.”

When someone comes into your place of business, or you call on someone, or someone calls you to buy, or someone goes to your website to buy, it’s based on the same reason: they want to take ownership.

And after ownership, they have an expectation of how they will use, enjoy, and profit from the purchase. That’s called outcome. And customers have an expectation of it BEFORE they purchase.

I don’t go into a car dealership to buy a car. In my mind I’ve already bought the car. The reason I’m there is to get back and forth to work. Or show my customers how cool I am. Or show my neighbors how cool I am. Or take vacations with my family.

Those are outcomes.

What happens AFTER I take ownership of whatever it is you’re selling is one billion times more powerful than the sale itself. Salespeople who focus on “trying to sell” miss the entire opportunity to engage the customer emotionally about how they will enjoy, produce more, and profit more from the purchase – from ownership.

NOTE WELL: In the sales process, it’s broken down to: What’s the real need? What’s the real urgency? What’s the real desire? Who is the competition? Does the prospect have the budget or the money? Do I understand the customer and his or her business? Have I emotionally engaged them? Do they like me? Do they believe me? Do they have confidence in me? Do they trust me? And am I good enough to gain commitment?

That’s a pretty complete list. But those answers pale in comparison to “ownership” and “outcome.”

What will the customer do after they take ownership? What does the customer want the outcome of their purchase to be? And as a salesperson that needs to be your focus.

THE BEST NEWS IS: Neither ownership nor outcome have anything to do with price. They have everything to do with the emotion of the sale. And your main job as a salesperson is to find out why they want to take ownership, and what they expect the outcome to be after they take ownership.

It is a visualization process. You literally paint a picture of what you believe will happen to the customer once they possess what it is you’re selling. And please do not misinterpret this lesson as only for a “product” sale. Service is sold exactly the same way.

I don’t want to pay an annual maintenance fee. Rather, I want peace of mind that if my air conditioner, or my heater, or my copy machine, or my roof needs repair that someone will be there to do it in a heartbeat. Terms and conditions are one thing – that’s the cost. Peace of mind is another thing – that’s the value, that’s the outcome, and that’s what I am buying.

And more often than not, it is NOT what you’re selling.

Here’s what to do:
Review your entire sales presentation. See what percentage, if any, focuses on the pride of ownership and the outcome of ownership.
Allocate presentation time to outcome. If, as I suspect, there is little or nothing about ownership and outcome, then I recommend at least 25 percent of your presentation focus on it.
It begins by asking questions. Questions that will get you to the motive of why the customer wants to buy. Questions that will get you to the understanding of when they want to buy, and why that’s important to them. Questions about their past history as it relates to your product or service. And questions about how they intend to use your product or service once it is purchased.
Questions will generate dialogue. Emotional dialogue. Emotional dialogue trumps price. Once your customer or your prospective customer understands how they win, how they will enjoy, how they will benefit from, how they will produce from, and how they will profit from what it is that you’re selling, then you can get down to buyer urgency.
Get to their urgency. The more emotional the dialogue, the more “urgency” will become evident. And the less important price becomes.

KEY POINT OF IMPLEMENTATION: Visit customers who have already purchased your product or service. Discover how they use and benefit from ownership of your product. Document everything you find. Don’t try to remember anything. Write it all down.

Visit at least 10 customers. At the completion of those visits you will have all the information you need about ownership and outcome. You will have a new and more powerful presentation. You will also make more sales. And that’s an outcome you can bank on.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His forthcoming book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, will be available on Sept. 3 and will feature a national public seminar tour. Get the details at It will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at

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Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books, including “The Sales Bible,” “The Little Red Book of Selling” and “The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude.” His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at For information about training and seminars, visit or

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