Two main theories on this. AIDA and DIPADA. I was trained in DIPADA so we’ll look at that. This is essentially a structure to sell anyone anything. If you can stick to this, you cannot really fail to get a sale.
Definition – define your prospect’s need or problem
Identification – identify a solution to that need or problem
Proof – prove your solution solves their problem/meets their need
Agreement – get them to agree it solves their problem
Desire – instil a desire for them to have your solution
Action – close the deal
The main thing is to actually ask lots and lots of questions of your prospect. So you can get information that you can then ‘use against them’ when selling. So Paul Markham could call people up and say:
Where do you buy content from? What kind of content do you buy? What makes you decide which company to buy from? How often do you buy? What prompts your purchasing decision? Do you have an annual budget for content?
Etc. This is the definition stage. So you conclude the Definition stage with a little note book full of all the things you will use to sell to him. He buys content, price is his motivator, he buys once a year, he doesn’t care where it is from.
You then identify your product as a solution:
I sell content cheaper than anyone else, it’s very high quality but very low price because it has been sold many times, I have a blowout sale once a year and that it happening now.
So if I could prove to you that I had exactly the sort of content you have a budget for, and it is currently cheaper than anything else and I can deliver it all to you tomorrow, would you consider buying it?
How can the prospect say no? Of course he has to agree to that.
You then instuil desire. Paul could do this by bringing out all the famous publications that have printed his work.
Then finally you close. I always prefer the assumptive close. “So, how many gig do you want? 10 or 20?” This assumes the sale has been made and it’s now just the numbers.
Hope that was useful. If you want more on sales, let me know in the comments.