Don’t Get Caught Long — Use SALES

I was working with a team of technology professionals yesterday and turned them onto my tool, SALES. I designed SALES to help clients quickly organize their thoughts so if they found themselves having to report on something quickly, they could do it easily.


SALES stands for

State your main message (objective)

Add key points

List benefits

Examples, stories, metaphors, etc.

Summarize and specify next steps

For fun, here’s what SALES might look like if you were leading a meeting at your company on the topic of offering lunch to employees as a new perk:

S: I think we should provide lunch to the employees.

A: People are going out to lunch and it’s taking well over an hour. Also, because they have to drive, it increases the energy usage of our employees and we’re trying to encourage conservation.

L: There are a lot of benefits: It will keep people at their desks more, they’ll be more productive, it’ll increase morale and help us to hire the best and brightest as well as aid retention, we’ll be able to provide healthy foods and it’ll limit employees’ energy consumption.

E: Google does it and look at them.

S: If you agree, I’ll look into caterers and get some prices and you can mull it over. We can meet again next week to see whether we should proceed.

If you really need something in a hurry, just use S-L-S – no vowels. SALES is especially useful for that dreaded moment when you’re stuck in the elevator with your boss and s/he wants a quick update or status report. It’s also great for email and voice mail.

Works like a charm every time.

Ruth Sherman • Ruth Sherman Associates LLC • High-Stakes Communications • Greenwich, CT