I found this formula many years ago but it's still relevant today. You need to focus on the "6 whys" - "The small strategic commitments of a sale" (certain commitments must occur more than others in the brain - to say yes what do we need).
The 6 commitments that every sales process should be focused on getting:
• Why should I change? - the foundation (we struggle the most with this one, status quo bias and if we don't solve this we're irrelevant). Focus on problems, the scope/ cause, consequences and provide provocative insights. Most sales people don't search for problems - they don't act as problem finders, but focus too much on the solution. They don't dig enough into the problems of the buyer. A psychiatrist study shows - 'The first problem the patient brings you is never the real problem'.
• Why now? - the longer someone takes to make a decision means they will not take a decision. You need to be clear on why it is important to do something now - this helps to speed up sales cycle, you need make it easy and less risky.
• Why your industry solution? - most don't understand your REAL competition, the broader market piece. What's happening in the market... we're too obsessed with our own proposition.
• Why you and your company? - Know your buyers will have multiple options. You need to be succinct in the solution and 10x differentiators you will deliver. Everyone wants to make wise decisions, everybody has lots of options whether you know it or not.
• Why your product or solution? - avoid cost leader. Look for distinct value, how are you different and does the buyer care. Competition is not static, look for distinct value. How can you make it matter to them, think about their journey. Connect the dots, make it about the person - no one cares about you or your company.
• Why spend the money? - 2 buying motives, desire for gain and fear of loss. We're very poor at the fear of loss, how to position to figure out what they'll lose. Addressing why spend the money. Reveal how the buyers avoid loss with you - when no clear connection to avoid fear of loss then you will struggle. Don't make a buying decision complicate, the human brain can only handle so much.
Science shows most effective way of closing is small incremental commitments - not a final big close.
If you base selling on science and the 6 commitments you will be more successful.