How to Close Any Deal With the Triangle Selling Framework
Triangle Selling, dubbed “the five-minute framework system for phenomenal B2B sales growth” by authors Hilmon Sorey and Cory Bray, is a sales methodology that can be used as a stand-alone framework or to augment what companies already have in place.
Keep reading to learn what Triangle Selling is and how to use it to win more deals.
What is Triangle Selling?
Triangle Selling is a sales methodology that takes a triage approach to close deals. The three “corners” of this triage are: Reason, Resources, and Resistance.
Here we’ll go over each step in detail, including what it means and how to do it.
(Or, download a free PDF checklist of the Triangle Selling framework for your sales team!)
Why will the prospect buy?
According to Triangle Selling, there are two reasons a lead would buy your solution: to avoid pain or because they’re seeking a reward.
There’s a difference between problems and pain. Problems are experienced by organizations as a whole, whereas pain is experienced by individuals. So the questions you ask during this step are for the benefit of the prospect, not the salesperson—remember that.
Types of questions you can ask are:
- Probative: Can you be more specific?
- Socrative: Why did you ask X? Is there a particular reason?
- Qualifying: What are your top priorities right now?
Your goal here is to uncover the pain or reward, understand how your solution can help, and communicate that to the lead.
What needs to happen in order to buy?
To sell to your prospects, you need to understand them. And to understand them—according to the Triangle method—you need to know their willingness and ability to invest in seven resource types:
- Emotional: Is your solution going to cause pain or reward to your lead? In other words, what’s in it for them?
- Intellectual: Does it make logical sense in terms of ROI, opportunity cost, and benchmarks?
- Human: Are there people in place to provide implementation, training, change management, support, and continuous improvement?
- Technical: Do they have the infrastructure and IT resources to support your solution? Does it integrate with their existing tech stack?
- Financial: Can the lead afford your solution? Who approves the budget?
- Political: Who are the different stakeholders involved and what are their roles? (E.g., champion, economic buyer, executive sponsor, administrator)
- Energy: Is your solution really needed?
Resources can be uncovered through questioning the lead about things like previous experiences and social proof. For example, “Can you walk me through how you’ve made similar purchases in the past?”
What obstacles will be encountered during the buying process?
Triangle Selling takes a psychological approach to resistance. By understanding why a lead is resisting against your solution, you can rebut objections with tailored responses.
Dr. Eric Knowles, an Associate Professor of Psychology at NYU, identifies three types of resistance in his book, Resistance & Persuasion, referred to by the Triangle framework:
1. Reactance: The lead is resisting to the sales process itself.
Handle objections by: Sharing customer success stories, asking them to do as little work as possible, validating their feelings/concerns, and asking qualifying questions to help determine their needs for a solution.
2. Skepticism: The lead is skeptical of your solution.
Handle objections by: Creating a satisfaction guarantee, reframing the offer, and creating a future focus (e.g., “In three months, you’ll see an improvement in X, Y, and Z with our solution.”)
3. Inertia: The lead is resisting change.
Handle objections by: Acknowledging the resistance to change, disrupting and reframing (e.g., “I’m not sure if I can help you yet, but here’s what we can do and you can tell me if we should keep talking.”), and taking a deep dive into Reason to uncover the problem the lead is trying to solve.
Before Starting with Triangle Selling
The point is, you don’t have to commit to one methodology like Triangle (even if your corporate trainer says otherwise). To get the most out of Triangle Selling, you might use bits and pieces from various frameworks to create a sales process tailored to your unique team, your buyers, and your business model.
We’ve put together several guides that break them down for you.
Here’s a list of recent posts:
- Customer-centric sales
- Sandler Sales System
- Target Account Selling
- SPICED Sales Framework
- MEDDIC Sales Process
- MEDDPICC Sales Process
- Question-based Selling
- Value Selling Framework
- GAP Selling Framework
- SNAP Selling
- Challenger Sales Process
- SPIN Selling Questions
- Champ Sales
- BANT vs. GPCT
Start using Triangle Selling today
Triangle Selling empowers salespeople, managers, and executives to quickly adopt the building blocks necessary to drive continuous growth within their organizations.
You can easily create your own Triangle Selling (or even MEDDIC, MEDDPICC, or SPICED) note templates with Weflow’s powerful notepad. Once you sign up, simply head to the note section and follow our step-by-step guide.