You’re ready to close the sale when suddenly your buyer stalls, giving you a list of common excuses.
- “I’m still waiting for approval”
- “We need to think about it”
- “It’s not in the budget”
- “I’ll get back to you”
If your conversation has advanced to the point of closing and your buyer still isn’t ready to purchase, then you need to figure out how to move this stalled sale forward.
Do not walk away and give them time to “think about it.” As a matter of fact, if you leave, you’ve lost the sale.
Your buyer had ample opportunity to “think about it”, when you invested time to qualify them, uncover their pain points, and make recommendations for their needs.
The conversation you have with them now, is to find out what’s driving their “NO.” Because that’s essentially what they’re saying to you.
Let’s look at some strategies to help with this.
Moving A Stalled Sale Forward
1. Smile and acknowledge what they’re saying.
Keep in mind that both of you are on the defensive. You’re trying to make a sale and they’re trying to push back on it.
To lower their defenses and show you’re listening, smile and acknowledge what they’re saying. Let them know you understand. This will allow them to relax so they can be more open with you.
In a non confrontational way, casually ask…but…if you don’t mind me asking, what other reasons are there for delaying the purchase?
Stop talking and listen to what they have to say without interrupting.
2. Make your questions specific and direct.
As they begin to explain the reason for their delay, start asking more specific and direct questions.
Determine if they’re already sold on the product and simply need a little nudge to make up their mind to buy.
Find out if all their issues were resolved or if they now have new objections that must be addressed.
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
What are some things that are causing you to hesitate?
Where is the push-back coming from?
Do you still have the budget for this?
Have there been any internal changes that’s impacting this sale?
Who else are you getting quotes from?
Did I address all your concerns?
What else needs to be discussed?
3. Get them to say yes to the small things.
Now that you’ve got some answers, it’s essential you establish common ground. One tactic you can use is to get your buyer to say yes to the small things.
It could be as simple as stating their address and asking if it’s still the same or mention where the product is supposed to ship to and confirming it hasn’t changed.
The idea is to have them say yes without committing to purchasing anything. Once they start saying yes to a few things, you can begin using your sales skills to move this stalled sale forward, towards a close.
4. Speak with all the decision makers.
To avoid any other setbacks, make sure you speak with all the decision makers. Especially if it’s not the buyer that needs convincing, but the decision maker who might still be sitting on the fence.
You can also confirm that funds are already in place for when they’re ready to sign off.
5. Bring in the heavy hitters.
Get help from everyone on your team to move this stalled sale forward.
Whether it’s management, tech support, or strategic vendors, use anyone willing to assist you with closing this sale. The knowledge and expertise they share with your customer shows the added value you and your company can offer. This will also set you apart from your competitors.
Be as authentic and transparent as possible so they can trust you. It helps them see that you’re interested in building a long term relationship and not just looking for a quick sale.
6. Know when to walk away.
If price is a concern for them and you’re not able to come to a mutual agreement, then be prepared to walk away from the sale. Business should be profitable for you but still competitive enough for the customer, so it’s a win-win.
Of course, sometimes you just can’t please everyone. There are customers who want things for next to nothing.
Know when to walk away so you can use your time and energy pursuing serious buyers.
Plan Your Strategy
People do business with those they know, trust and like.
It’s usually new clients that can sometimes be the hardest to close because they haven’t made that emotional connection with you yet like your established customers have.
Here is a recap of things to keep in mind the next time you run into a stalled sale:
- Uncover the real reason why they’re not ready to purchase.
- Ask specific questions and remove any objections.
- Find common ground by asking questions they can say yes to.
- Speak with all the decision makers.
- Involve your team to help close the sale.
- Prepare to walk away from a bad business deal.