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Sharpen your Writing, Speaking and Persuasive Skills with the PBFA Model

While managing call centers in my corporate career, I developed a telephone presentation tool to help reps work with customers and prospects. Little did I know that I had created a useful content creation tool for written or spoken communications.

I eventually called it the “PBFA Model”—“P” meaning pain, “B” for benefit, “F” for feature and “A” for advantage. While sales people for years have used feature/benefit presentations, many of them missed discussing prospect PAIN. Instead of pain, you could also substitute need, want, desire or expectation.

In the first part of this blog post, I’ll briefly discuss the model. I’ll follow up in the second part with an example that better explains the PBFA. But I guarantee you if you use the PBFA structure, you’ll write and speak more clearly and increase your persuasiveness with people.

PBFA Model

Imagine that you’re shopping for a new bike. You find rows and rows of new bikes in the store—different colors, mountain bikes, road bikes, various handle bars, brakes and tires. How do you figure out which bike to buy? Fortunately, a trained sales person is there to help you. Read the words left-to-right in the boxes below (Sales person’s comments in quotes):

(P) Under the pain column, note that the sales person sensed that you were uncertain which bike was best for you. This is very common in retail stores where they’re many choices.

(B) So after confirming your uncertainty, the sales person immediately asked a question about your previous bike. The conversation conjures up memories of the bike you used to love riding and makes you more likely to tell the sales person what benefits attract you in a bike.

(F) As the conversation moves to features, you’ve now told the sales rep your preference for mountain bikes with strong brakes. That cues the rep to show you bikes that match the features you like.

(A) As you looked at 5-6 bikes, you told the rep about some mountain bike mishaps you had with your last one. That prompted the rep to make an advantage statement: how the bike he recommended with the super brakes would help you avoid further crashes.

In the next blog post, I'll go into greater detail how the PBFA will help you write, speak and even think more clearly.





Uncertain which bike to buy

“What bike did you really like before?”

Mountain bike! With super brakes

“Yes, that will prevent crashes and mishaps.”

Price/Cost – Doesn’t want to pay too much

“If you pay just a little more than last time, I’ll give you a free helmet & a better bike”

“The helmet is strong and sturdy & keep you safer than a cheaper one”

“You’ll have more fun riding down hills faster while feeling protected with a strong helmet”


Brian P.

Excellent Selling, Speaking & Writing Skills Grow Your Career