Systems Thinking and ROI LO13681

Dennis Keibler (
Tue, 20 May 1997 13:21:06 -0500

Replying to LO13649 --

Reply to LO13649:

> On Tue, 13 May 1997 wrote: (LO13601)
> > But lately we have begun to get questions along the lines of, 'Well, this
> > was certainly enjoyable but my manager will never buy this unless I can
> > show some hard dollar returns. I have to show some tangible benefit.

Very appropriate choice of words here .... "benefit"; and the mental
model of ..."dollar returns."

and Ed Brenegar responded in LO13618:

> >Michael, On how to answer the "bottom-line" question, particularly when
> >the charge is "show me the money,", I think of at least two responses.
> >First, no one really functions on that level .....
> >... everyone defines that bottom-line differently, even when they use
> >numbers. I'd be surprised if even all supervisors and managers accept
> >projections for improvement uncritically.

Eric Opp responded in LO13649:

> I would strongly beg to differ with Ed **and** give an example. I
> recently completed a class in the selling process at a local university
> with a very forward thinking professor. The basis of the selling process
> was **all** psychological and inter-personal.
> In terms of more generic problems, there will always be some quantity,
> that you can associate a cost with - lost labor hours, cost of borrowed
> money to cover inventory, lost sales due to lack of inventory etc. If you
> have created a real systems model ala iThink, then each of the levels in
> the model has the potential of having some kind of dollar amount
> associated with it.

I see no large disagreement here and find a common theme among the

> Even the levels that are intangibles such as "level of
> quality" or "good will" can be quantified. Any higher level manager, who
> understands financial models, will look closely at your analysis even if
> you could only make some intuitive stabs at cost factors for intangibles.

One of the fundamental of selling is:
Show the Features,
Describe the Advantages,
& Tell the Benefits.

People want to buy the benefits.


Dennis Keibler Health Sciences Biostatistics Center University of Louisville

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