• February 24, 2015

Stuck Deal? This Is How You Fix It.

Stuck Deal? This Is How You Fix It.

You know the feeling. You have been working on this deal for what feels like ages but it is not going anywhere. The deal feels “stuck”.

Is the deal dead? Should you stop wasting your time and move on to other prospects? I’m a fan of killing your low priority opportunities as a way to increase focus.

Often the right answer is to buckle down and try to get it going again. If so, how do you actually go about getting this stuck deal unstuck?

Here are 5 ways that I would recommend getting your stuck deal unstuck:

Call Additional Contacts

Stop calling your one contact at the account. Instead branch out and start seeking out other contacts in the organization. This may piss off your primary contact who you have been communicating with, but who cares. If they are not willing to push the deal forward then start seeking someone else who is willing to take action.

Recently I was talking with a great salesperson who fell into the trap of relying on his primary contact at a deal with a large pharmaceutical company. He didn’t want to alienate him, but it turned out that he was talking with the completely wrong person and wasting his time.

Align With Your Prospect’s Needs

Try and determine what the prospect’s need for your product really is. Did you get ‘happy ears’ when listening to your prospect because you could envision exactly how your product would fix their needs? Then try to write and explain exactly why they need your product or service.

What would happen if they bought the service? How would it improve their lives and their business? What would happen if they did not buy? Get crystal clear and use this to drive your message home.

Check Your Prospect’s Priorities

Of course you should always be asking your prospect questions like “What else is going on?” or “What other priorities are you facing right now?” But when a deal is stuck it might just be that you have a great solution and it just isn’t a priority for them right now.

First, start by understanding what their priorities are. This will give you clarity on where your project stands in the prospect’s mind right now. Second, start figuring out how to raise your project in the prospect’s priority list. What can you do to make this a priority for them?

I remember a deal we were working on with a multinational hotel chain. Our sponsors loved the product, but they couldn’t get funding until we worked with them closely to align the solution with one of their corporate initiatives. A deal that was stuck in limbo for months quickly pushed through the sales process.

Be Patient With Your Customers and Prospects

You are an eager and excitable sales guy. Maybe the deal is not really stuck, maybe you are just inpatient. Maybe you just need to give it some time for the company to feel comfortable buying from you and your company. Buying takes a lot of trust, so be patient and build the relationships and build trust. It may take time but eventually that deal will become unstuck.

Try out Spiro’s sales automation CRM to help remind you who to call and when to call. This way you are on a regular schedule of staying in touch with your prospect via phone or email. Send them an interesting blog or company update. Don’t always expect a response, but know that your outreach is keeping you on their radar.

Try The Negative Close

If the deal really is stuck, then you might need to kill it and move on to other opportunities. Before moving on, try the negative close. Tell your prospect something like “Well, this seems to be a low priority for you…” See if they disagree with you. Sometimes the negative close will jolt a deal back to life, other times it puts the nail in the coffin so you can move onward.

A stuck deal can drain your energy, so use these ideas as a plan of action on how to move them forward.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Britt-knee.