This sponsored post is produced by The List. 

Getting prospects to invest adequate time with you can be like pulling teeth. So how can you get straight to the truth with a prospect, and quickly define the path to a solution agreement?

You need to first establish trust.

Great sales professionals are able to establish trust quickly. Building trust comes from meeting and beating customer expectations repeatedly. The single greatest reason why someone buys from you is they believe you can deliver what they want or need.

To better understand their need (or their issue truth), we’ve found great success in asking these three questions:

  • What’s the issue truth and the root cause of it?
  • What’s the financial impact to the prospect and their company of not finding a solution to it?
  • What’s the importance of solving it now rather than later?

Don’t stop there. Demonstrate your true, sincere interest in helping them accomplish their objectives always above your own. Sometimes this means telling a prospect that you’re not a good fit for what they’re trying to accomplish. Yes, we said it.

If all you’re looking for is a close, more than likely your prospect is going to pick up on that and head for the door. Instead, put your prospect’s interest above your own. When both parties place trust in the relationship it allows for more open dialogue, ultimately leading to shorter close cycles and larger deal opportunities.

After you’ve diagnosed the issue and established that you’re genuinely looking to help them solve that issue, you’re now on the right path to winning their business.

Next, it’s important to establish constant checkpoints and milestones around that issue truth. This will help prove the advancement of the dream, while keeping you and your prospect connected — just in case the deal starts to veer off track.

About this time in the sales cycle, sales professionals often miss out on a prime opportunity — asking who does what and by when in order to get a signed agreement to consummate the deal. Don’t shy away, be direct and ask the question. Clearly defining the path to signature will help you avoid heartache later.

Establish trust with your prospect, clearly define the issue truth (and the dream of what they’re seeking to accomplish), then set checkpoints and milestones to help them achieve that dream. Do that and you’ve earned the right to close the deal.

Learn more on how to get to the truth with a prospect. Check out The List’s webinar, “Let the Truth Set You Free,” as I and Scott Bleczinki, CRO at Docurated, cover the topic in more detail.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact