"Why should someone spend time with you?” That was the question I asked the six sales people who were the subjects of an intense week-long training session.

The response? Blank stares. Some uncomfortable fidgeting. Nothing anywhere close to a coherent, persuasive response.

That experience made me realize the need for what I call a "value-added proposition,” and what many people refer to as an "elevator speech.” It is a well-thought-out, meticulously prepared, and memorized set of ideas that ultimately answer the question above. It should exist in several different versions:

1. There should be a one-page (250 words or so) description of
• who you are
• what you do
• why your customers and prospects should care.

2. That should be reduced to a 30 word version that should be memorized by everyone who has contact with the customer.

3. Finally, that should be further reduced to a four-to-eight word version that can accompany every communication, from web site advertising to face-to-face interactions.

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He's written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Heart of a Christian Sales Person.” For more information, visit www.davekahle.com