Sale Seem Dead in the Water? Should You Stay or Go?

What to do When a Sale Seems Dead in the Water

Your once promising sales deal suddenly seems dead in the water. You are probably wondering should you stay or go? What's holding you back is, without a hard “No,” from your prospect, you know your sale hasn’t actually fallen through just yet. But how do you proceed when the sale still seems to have fallen through? Jeff Hoffman, writing for HubSpot, says that taking these actions can breathe new life into a sale in critical condition.

Should You Stay or Go?

Use a New Close

Sometimes, the answer to should you stay or go ends up being to just leave. However, the act of leaving this particular sale doesn't mean you won't reach back out in the future. If you left a sale with an enthusiastic prospect who seemed willing to buy from you, don’t reuse your previous close when you reach back out. Something is stalling the prospect and asking the same question from your previous close will seem pushy. Hoffman recommends working from where you left off on your last interaction. “For example, if your prospect was supposed to introduce you to someone in procurement, but they never followed through, your follow-​up question might be, ‘When do you want to start implementation?’ This is an easier ask that doesn’t require action.” The first step to closing a dying sale is reinstating engagement, and a fresh take on that engagement could get this new sale further along than your last one. Hopefully, to a sale this time.

Offer Your Prospect More Control

Maybe the last time you asked should you stay or go resulted in going your separate ways. You and your prospect may have been trying to set up a date to run through a training, but the prospect was having trouble finding a free day and the sale never came to fruition. This time around, instead of reaching out in an attempt to force your prospect to pick a day and commit to it, reassure them that the ball is in their court. They can pick a day they think works at the moment, but let them know that it will be easy to reschedule via phone or email if something comes up. Flexibility will make the prospect feel more comfortable with you and the sale. But make sure that as soon as the client says they need to reschedule that you set another date. If you leave the future meeting hanging with a, "Sure, we can reschedule! No problem at all," with no call to action, it could be more difficult to set up at a later time. That way, "Should I stay or go?" won't be a question you'll likely have to ask yourself.

Be Careful of Your Language

Until you official close the sale, there is no “we.” Don’t scare the prospect off by implying a partnership that hasn’t yet been established. Hoffman recommends that, instead of saying something like, “When should we meet up?” ask, “When are you free to meet?”

Don’t ever assume the sale is dead in the water.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.