This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, be sure to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

How many times have you submitted a slam-dunk proposal only to receive news that your competitor has won the project? The problem is probably not your value proposition or your presentation style, but it could be the order in which you present the proposition.

Communicating your value proposition in a three-step sequence of teasing, creating emotional attachment, and logical justification will dramatically increase your chances of winning business. This process does not require a large amount of information, but it does require following the step-by-step order of communication:

First step: teasing

The teasing stage takes place at the very beginning of an opportunity. The purpose of this step is to generate enough interest and curiosity to be invited to compete on the project. It includes two things:

  • Share a relevant story about how you helped another similar organization. If you’re talking to a hospital, ideally you share a story about another hospital, but that’s not necessary, as long as the story is relevant.
  • Create mystery and genuine curiosity about whether you can solve their problem. For example, you can state something like this: “We were very successful in solving Downtown Healthcare’s access control issue while minimizing the workload on their IT staff; however, your hospital is unique and I want to make sure we can solve your problems before we get too far ahead of ourselves. Can I ask you a few questions to see if we could be a good fit? »

Can you feel the difference between this type of conversation and the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” technique? You interact with your prospect with curiosity: “They helped this other group. I wonder if they can help us like that?

You won’t gain anything at this stage, but the anticipation will fully engage your customer for the next step.

Second step: emotion

The second stage is considered the “sales stage” by many people. This is the part of the buying process where you have the opportunity to present your solution. The key to this step is to make it personal. Greats push the value proposition deeper by creating an emotional impact with their prospects.

Understanding the value is important, but making sure they feel the benefits on a personal level is your goal. It’s not just about business ROI or your system’s resiliency, it’s about the reduction of stress and free time that your touchpoints will benefit from.

Make it personal. When you can exemplify these personal results, your customers will be emotionally attached to your offer and ensure that you win – if you succeed in the last step.

Third step: logic

Think about the last time you really wanted something. You had to provide a logical justification, didn’t you? Whether it was your spouse or yourself, someone had to be convinced that it was a wise choice.

No matter what level of emotional attachment you create with your touchpoints, they will hit a snag if you don’t provide logical justification. The two best ways to provide logical justification are:

  • Numbers – If someone wants your solution and you can provide a specific cost analysis that shows a positive outcome, you’ll win almost every time. Examples are ROI calculations, TCO comparisons, and hidden cost breakdowns.
  • Testimonials – There is nothing more powerful than a reference. If you can make it easier to visit a referral site, great. Otherwise, phone calls are also powerful.

Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (, a sales consulting and training company specifically designed for the security industry. Use “Security Business” as a coupon code to receive a 10% lifetime discount at To request more information about the company, visit