There’s still hope when a potential deal stalls; its revival just requires some savvy on the part of the sales rep. In a recent article, HubSpot contributor Jeff Hoffman notes that, when confronted with stalls, many reps commit self-sabotage by making common mistakes. He hopes to put reps on the right path by sharing six steps that can revive interest from the prospect. “These [tactics] keep your prospect the focus, give them option and escape routes, and help you avoid becoming your own worst enemy — the stereotypical pushy salesperson,” he explains.
The first suggestion is to not repeat a close. Faced with silence from a prospect, do not follow up with the same close. Instead, go for a softer ask, which may put less pressure on the prospect. Even though your first attempt wasn’t met with a clear “no,” further pushing could lead to that result. “Your goal for every email or phone conversation is not to get a yes or no — the goal is engagement,” Hoffman writes. “When a deal is stalling, your focus is singular: Get your prospect on the phone talking.”
He also recommends not putting the prospect into a corner. Present more opportunities for communication, allowing for an exit opportunity so the prospect doesn’t feel trapped. As mentioned before, the goal is to reignite conversation. Whatever your request (an in-person meeting or a formal pitch), offering flexibility gives some control to the prospect. It also emphasizes that your request is an option rather than a demand.
As Hoffman notes, stalled deals are incredibly frustrating. But he believes his six strategies will “turn stalled deals from frustrating to promising.” So, the next time you are facing a dead end with a prospect, try one of his tactics to get back on track.