Here's the scenario: You're delivering a high-stakes presentation that could lead to a large sale. You've successfully framed the issue and used a combination of storytelling and stats to prove the importance of your proposal. 

Here's the mistake. Right toward the end, in order to win their goodwill, you provide a series of links where your audience can go to get further value on this subject. 

Sounds good, right? The problem is, you may just have undone your sale. 


Consider: A good sales pitch follows a basic psychological pattern. The pattern is: set up the sense of a problem (or 'create a vacuum'), then, deliver the resolution (or, 'fill the vacuum'). 

By providing this so-called extra value at the end, you may inadvertently 'fill the vacuum.' You deliver what feels like a resolution. You give them a way forward, an answer, a solution - that isn't your solution. They in turn have an 'aha' moment, in which they believe that downloading those resources is your proposal. They perceive that as their next step. They lose their urgent desire to resolve the issue and switch off. 

Better to ensure that they perceive the answer to the problem in the simplest possible terms: It's what you're proposing, and nothing else. 

It's worth noting that there is proven psychology behind the notion that giving gifts creates a sense of reciprocal obligation. But that's the wrong type of gift. Better, for instance, to give an unrelated take-home gift pack, which does not dilute or sabotage your message. 

Lead them clearly toward your proposed outcome, and you could win more business. Win more business, and you could own your industry. 


Douglas Kruger is the author of two books on expert positioning, two on innovation, and several more. He is an international keynote speaker on the business circuit. To book him as the motivational speaker for your next leadership conference or event, visit