Persuasive Selling Format

Friday, February 20, 2015
Persuasive Selling Format

Okay, you're probably thinking why do we need to have communication tool that assists in the selling process to the trade. That's easy. Your selling teams need a consistent selling tool that is made for performance and the Persuasive Selling Format (PSF) is the perfect choice.


The Persuasive Selling Format (PSF) was developed by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the 1980s. P&G, which is a consumer goods company known for brands such as Tide, Crest, and Pampers, was looking for a way to improve their sales and marketing efforts. They wanted a system that would help them communicate more effectively with their customers and sell more products.

To create the PSF, P&G worked with a marketing consultant named Neil Rackham. Rackham was a researcher who had studied the behaviors of successful salespeople and identified common characteristics and techniques they used to sell products.

Together, P&G and Rackham developed the PSF as a framework for creating persuasive selling messages. The PSF was based on the idea of creating a customer-centric message that focused on the benefits of the product or service being sold, rather than just the features. The PSF consisted of five key components: Summarize the Situation, State the Idea, Explain How it Works, Reinforce the Benefits, and Suggest Easy Next Steps.

The PSF was initially used by P&G in their sales and marketing efforts and proved to be very effective in improving their sales performance. It was later adopted by other companies in a variety of industries, and today, the PSF is widely recognized as a valuable tool for creating persuasive selling messages that resonate with customers.

In summary, the PSF was developed by P&G in collaboration with marketing consultant Neil Rackham in the 1980s as a customer-centric framework for creating persuasive selling messages. It was initially used by P&G and later adopted by other companies in various industries.

Other Companies Selling Format

While the PSF was originally developed by Procter and Gamble (P&G) in the 1980s it has since been adopted by many other companies. Here are some examples of companies that use the PSF in their organization:

  1. IBM: IBM is a technology company that uses the PSF to sell their products and services. They have developed their own version of the PSF, which they call the "Situation-Complication-Implication-Need-Payoff" (SCINP) framework.

  2. General Electric: General Electric (GE) is a multinational conglomerate that uses the PSF in their sales and marketing efforts. They emphasize the importance of using the PSF to focus on the benefits of their products and services, rather than just the features.

  3. Johnson & Johnson: Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a healthcare company that uses the PSF to sell their products and services to healthcare professionals and consumers. They have developed their own version of the PSF, which they call the "Selling Knowledge System" (SKS).

  4. Pfizer: Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company that uses the PSF to sell their products to healthcare professionals and consumers. They emphasize the importance of understanding the needs and concerns of their customers and tailoring their PSF message to meet those needs.

  5. Nestle: Nestle is a food and beverage company that uses the PSF to sell their products to consumers. They focus on using the PSF to communicate the benefits of their products, such as their nutritional value and convenience.

Overall, the PSF is a widely used selling tool that has been adopted by many different types of companies in various industries. Its effectiveness in building strong customer relationships and improving sales has made it a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes.







The first thing we need is a system to logically organize our thoughts. Here are the 5 PSF steps in order.

1. The Situation.
What conditions (problems) have arisen? Only include information that everyone agrees upon.

2. The Idea.
What are you proposing? This is typically one sentence.

3. How it Works.
The details. Just an overview. Try to be brief.

4. Key Benefits.
This is the “Why?” These should reinforce the overall strategy and confirm a path to profitability.

5. Next Steps.
Who has to do what and by when for this to happen?

The PSF “Persuasive Selling Format” is also called “The 5 Steps of Selling”. P&G's salesforce among others uses the Persuasive Selling Format (PSF) in their sales presentations. Developed using a simple presentation style of a one page format used for maximum effectiveness. Imagine a two minute presentation where everything is easily presented and easily understood.

The five steps in more detail:

1. Summarize the Situation:

First, start the conversation by sharing information that gets the listener interested and that makes them receptive to what you have to say. It is best if you talk about things your customer said were important to them the last time you spoke. You can also share key facts, information or industry trends that help set up the discussion.

2. State the Idea:

Now that you have their attention, don’t beat around the bush, get right to the point and tell them a brief statement of the idea. Just provide a headline of your recommendation stated in a way that makes it compelling.

3. Explain How It Works:

Once you’ve clearly stated the proposition, now is the time to provide details of the recommendation. Typically this includes more information about the product, pricing, and execution of the proposal such as timing and logistics.

4. Reinforce Key Benefits:

Now that they understand the detail, time to hit home the key reasons they should agree to move forward. It is easy to try ‘win over’ the customer with a long list of why they should agree. Considering we all have a limited attention span it is best to focus on a few of the more important key benefits.

5. Suggest Easy Next Steps:

Every sales process needs a "Close". Practice your pitch by naturally “suggesting easy next steps”. Make it easy for them to say “yes”. Remove barriers and show them a path to agreement that fits easily into their specific situation.

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