Closing a sales deal isn’t something you should do at the end of a linear process. If you wait and ask your customer to make a purchase commitment after you’ve been working with them for a while, they’re likely to give you a socially acceptable rationale, such as price, which may not be the real barrier to buying. It’s better to hear any objections early on, when you can still do something about them. So ask your customers to make small, incremental commitments along the way. Periodically prompt prospects to confirm that they agree with the data or objective you’ve cited, and then ask them if they’d be willing to act on that agreement through some small action, such as sharing the information with others in their organization. If the person commits, you can move on; if not, you should identify the objection or barrier and deal with it. As a general rule, the earlier you can identify objections, the more likely the sale will occur.