The Defensive Model

Understand Your Buyer > How To Convert > The Defensive Model


What is it?

When it comes to helping your buyer decide if they should choose you over the competition, a simple defensive model can highlight the most important factors and reduce the decision making complexity.


Why does it work?

It works because decisions are hard and regret is painful. As buyers, we are trying to compare different solutions to our problem, but the information is presented in different formats and in different orders. It’s hard to compare, line by line, the things that matter.

By creating a defensive model and picking the top (usually 4) elements that matter, you can remove the thinking and decision making complexity for your buyer.


How can you use it?

It can vary from business to business, but you need to pick 4 elements from this list (or others that mater to your buyer) and then arrange them in a matrix. The factors that your competitors fall behind on are colour coded in Amber and Red, whereas the factors that meet the expectation/needs of the buyer are in Green.


  1. Speed of result / delivery
  2. Longevity of result
  3. Proof of results / reviews / social proof
  4. Complexity of using the product/service
  5. Compatibility / integration with current setup
  6. Future proof considerations
  7. Free or paid for future updates
  8. Free or paid for support
  9. Any extras, bonuses, freebies or deals
  10. Loyalty programs and bonuses
  11. Cost / pricing to purchase
  12. Cost/pricing to maintain/run
  13. Does it do without something?
  14. Time investment required
  15. Track record & notable wins or clients
  16. Guarantees and warranties
  17. Your approach
  18. Your specialism
  19. The scope of your offering



In this hypothetical example, we can compare an airline such as British Airways who have a “higher price” ticket, but include lots of extras, with a budget airline that is cheaper… but includes less.



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