In our last Tip, we talked about getting a closing forum scheduled and setting the stage for the closing question. In this situation, we have the most important thing in place - a meeting with the decision maker.
To best position yourself to get a "yes" from the decision maker, you need to do your homework.
First, take your knowledge of the customer's business to the next level. Utilize data (publicly available facts and figures), as well as information (the inside perspective gained through meetings with people who work for or are familiar with the company).
Organize your understanding of their business into these components:
Profile: Their heritage, what they do, who they do it for, their mission...
Objectives: Specific, timebound goals they are working to accomplish
Strategies: The things they are doing to attain their objectives
Issues: The challenges that could stand in the way of their success.
Next, make sure to do your homework on the decision maker. Look at their LinkedIn and professional social media profiles, and gain insight from people who know them. Try to understand their priorities, past accomplishments, social style, leadership style, and how they make decisions.
It may also be helpful to understand more about the formal and informal structure of their organization - who the decision maker is accountable to; who they look to for guidance; the people who have influence with them, etc.
Knowing these things will prepare you with the content you need to share and will help you prepare your request as effectively as possible for that specific decision maker. If they are an analytical person, you can deliver your message in a professional and competent manner, with all of your details ready to share. If they are an inspirational leader, you can position your message creatively in an enthusiastic style.
Doing this homework will dramatically increase your odds of success.