Making Deals When the Sale Goes Sideways

Making deals is tough work.

I get very frustrated when prospective clients put me off or go radio silent. In my opinion, here are a few of the most common reasons why:

  1. The prospect over-committed. They thought it was a good idea to reach out for help at a time when they were particularly overwhelmed, or they were too hasty in soliciting a proposal.
  2. They don’t want to say “no” for fear of being the bearer of bad news.
  3. Bad timing. This is similar to over-committing, but something unexpected came up, or the prospect’s priorities changed and making deals with you is no longer one of the top of their list items.
  4. I’m at the wrong level and my prospect is out of the loop. A competitor is dealing with the decision-maker directly and has turned the focus away from my company.
  5. I messed up somewhere. Something I did or said put the prospect off and they don’t want to offend me or don’t want to get into an argument by letting me know how they feel.

Making Deals When the Sale Goes Sideways: What to Do Next

If any of the above have happened to you, you’re not alone.

Time after time I’ve learned that pushing harder to make a deal work isn’t the solution. Instead it’s time to let closing the sale run its course and begin making deals—NEW deals that is.

The truth is, I should never stop making deals.

But like many of us, I get sidetracked with other priorities…

Or I engage in fire-fighting existing client problems…

Or frankly I just slow down.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly sales go wrong when I take my eye off the ball. When I catch myself, I know it’s time to begin making deals happen.

Making Deals… New Deals!

So how do I start making new deals?

I go to my Sales PlayBook. Why?

Because I want to waste as little time as possible thinking about what to do, or where to start.

The Sales PlayBook helps me target, plan, and execute immediately.

Here is a quick summary of my process:

  1. I set annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals that I review frequently so I can decide if what I am doing “now” aligns with my goals.
  2. I reach out on social media, especially on LinkedIn. I have a process for finding connections of my connections that can introduce me to new people.  In this case, I have templates already defined in the PlayBook on how to ask for introductions, how to respond when introductions are willing to engage, and how to track this activity so I can stay focused on it.
  3. I time block using my calendar. I choose specific times during my week to conduct prospecting activity.
  4. I track interactions with Suspects, Prospects, and Clients through my CRM system, Salesforce.com. I know what I need to do, when, and with whom.
  5. In the “Selling” section of my Sales PlayBook I am guided on what to say, what questions to ask, and how to respond to new opportunities. This section also guides me on negotiation and all aspects for closing the sale.
  6. Lastly, I don’t let my “head trash” dictate my actions. When I follow my head trash vs. following my system, I’m in a world of hurt!

So, when the sale goes sideways… follow your system, not your head trash!

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By | 2016-10-17T16:47:42+00:00 August 18th, 2016|Sales Success|1 Comment

About the Author:

Charles Bernard is the CEO at Criteria for Success. He writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others make sales success a habit.

One Comment

  1. Barry Hall August 19, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Great post Charles keep up the great work. – Barry.

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