How to Write a Why-Buy Presentation

Product Marketing

“Why should I buy your product?”

Ask your sales team, and they’ll tell you that they can’t be successful without a concise answer to that question. You need a why-buy presentation.

The why-buy presentation is the most important part of your capital equipment sales kit. These are the slides that tell your value story and set the framework for everything else in your marketing arsenal.

The why-buy presentation is your top-level case for why a customer should buy your product at your price.

Unfortunately, why-buy presentations are often poorly constructed – or worse, they never even get developed. Instead, many companies live with a collection of product features-and-benefits slides that never answer the most important question, “Why should I buy your product?”

Don’t Educate, Motivate

Product-overview presentations are often organized as a summary of key features and benefits. It feels natural to organize them this way. Plus, this approach does a fine job of educating your customer about the key capabilities of your product.

The problem is that this leads to a presentation organized much like a tour through an art museum. You walk your customer through the system architecture, pointing out key features along the way, just as an art-museum tour guide educates visitors about the paintings on the wall.

The result is also similar.

After a museum tour, you know a lot more about the paintings but feel no compulsion to purchase the museum. A product presentation organized in the features-and-benefits tour format educates your customers but doesn’t motivate them to buy.

The solution is to abandon the features-and-benefits-style product overview. Instead, create a why-buy presentation organized around the customer’s problem and your unique ability to solve it. See below.

Typical Product OverviewWhy-Buy Presentation


Why-Buy Presentation Flow

The why-buy presentation makes the case for buying your product by accomplishing these three things in this order:

  1. It makes the problem-solution connection.
  2. It establishes a unique ability to deliver that solution.
  3. It translates your unique ability into customer financial value.

This can be achieved with as few as ten to fifteen slides using the framework shown below:

Problem1. Customer Problem
2. Implications for solution providers
Solution3. Positioning statement
4. Position proofs
Financial Result5. Comparative financials

To illustrate how to use this framework, let’s walk through an example using Mr. Melty. Mr. Melty is the fictional piece of capital equipment that will be used to demonstrate the principles of the Why-Buy presentation.

Mr. Melty is a multicrystalline silicon ingot growth furnace sold to silicon-wafer manufacturers who sell these wafers to photovoltaic (PV) solar-cell makers.  An ingot growth furnace turns polysilicon feedstock into PV-grade multicrystalline ingots. The polysilicon is melted at over 2,000°C. Then, it is slowly cooled to precipitate out contaminants and form a multicrystalline ingot. These ingots are later sliced into wafers that are used in manufacturing PV solar cells.

Connect Problem to Solution

For the Mr. Melty example, the three slides shown below create a direct connection from the customer’s problem to your solution. This three-step process entails stating the industry problem first, then its implications for products like yours, and finally how you uniquely address those implications.

Notice that these three slides have line-by-line alignment. There’s no mistaking that the 5kW rhenium heater provides the fastest cycle times to address the industry problem of implementing the most productive factories.

When constructing your own why-buy presentation, you’ll want to achieve the same obvious problem-solution connection.

If you find this difficult, try creating a worksheet like the one below before you build your presentation. You can start anywhere in the worksheet; just make sure that you can make the challenge-implication-advantage link for each position.

Industry ChallengeSupplier ImplicationMy Advantage
Implement the most productive factories.Produce large quantities of multicrystalline silicon quickly.5kW rhenium heater produces the fastest process times.
Achieve the highest-possible yields from every kilogram of feedstock processed.Achieve high percentage of waferable materials from every run.Closed-loop temperature control ensures the highest yields.
You know my problem.You know what to do. And you did it.

When you make this well-constructed problem-solution connection, your customer hears:

  1. You understand my problem.
  2. You understand what you’re supposed to do about it.
  3. You did it.

Making this clear problem-solution connection establishes the importance of your solution to the customer, makes him receptive to hearing more, and provides context for your unique value.

Establish Unique Ability to Deliver the Solution

It may be tempting in this section to fall back into a features-and-benefits tour approach, but don’t do it. You must now establish that each position in your “Advantage” slide is unique and true. You can accomplish this with just two slides for each position. The first slide establishes the source of the advantage, and the second provides the data to prove it.

The first of these two slides establishes your solution as unique by comparing your approach with your competitor’s. It’s not enough just to describe your solution. You need to draw direct, side-by-side comparisons of your superior solution with that of the competitor. Don’t assume that the customer will figure out the important differences on his own. Remember, your objective is not to educate the customer; it’s to convince him to buy your solution. See below for an example source-of-advantage slide supporting Mr. Melty’s “fastest process time” position.

The second slide contains representative performance data supporting your claim. Whenever possible, show data that compares your performance with that of your competitor. The best data is always that from real customers showing head-to-head competition in the customer’s environment. A reasonable substitute is customer data for your product with the competitor’s specification overlaid. See below for an example data slide supporting Mr. Melty’s “fastest process time” position.

Work really hard to create the clearest evidence that your advantages are unique and demonstrable. On each slide, stay on message and don’t add extraneous facts, data, or figures, as they will only distract your audience.

Translate Unique Ability into Financial Value

Remember, value is a financial expression, and the only reason an organization buys capital equipment is to make a profit. This final element of the why-buy presentation is where you tie it all together and relate your competitive advantage to increased profit for your customer. Your comparative financials go here.

In our ingot growth furnace example, Mr. Melty is positioned on fastest cycle time and highest yield. So, our comparative financials must demonstrate how those advantages produce the 15% savings claimed in our value proposition. See the sample slide below.

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