Many salespeople act hastily to rectify stalled deals; they might ask for too big a close or fail to address the client’s needs. Acting in this manner is a surefire way to take your deal from stalled to cold.
Here are a few ways you can revive a stalled deal:
Gain a micro-commitment
One of the easiest ways to get a stalled deal going again is to solicit a micro-commitment from your contact. As every salesperson knows, it is very easy to get carried away when making a sales pitch. This usually results in you asking for too much too fast and turning off your contact. This could very well be the reason why the deal stalled in the first place.
You cannot win the game in the first over, so pace yourself. Make a small ask and get a micro-commitment before you jump into the heavy stuff that will require firm and possibly financial commitments. Instead of attempting to close your contact again as a way of getting your stalled deal to restart, you could ask for a phone call to catch up, touch base and take everyone’s temperature.
Starting with a small ask will help you in a few ways. First, you get a chance to shake the rust off your sales pitching. You do not want the first ask you make to be the big one. The second way you will benefit from this tactic is to gauge your contact’s mood. If your contact is ready to restart the negotiation, something small like agreeing to a phone call could be the indication, instead of asking them directly whether they wish to restart the conversation. It is essential that you get a stalled contact used to working with you and saying yes to you again before making any big asks.
Have a conversation that focuses on the prospect, not you
One of the reasons why deals stall in the first place is that the client does not feel like they are the focus of the sale anymore. This feeling could emerge from myriad things. For instance, the client could feel like you are merely pushing to make a sale and that you are not interested in them or what they need. Clients usually feel this way when you forget personal information about them or continuously push the products with the highest margins on them and many others.
If you realise that this might be why the deal stalled, then the best approach is the personal touch, but one that is customised to the needs or interests of the contact. It is relatively easy for you as a salesperson to game this process. Ask yourself if you know certain details about the deal pertaining to the contact and their organisation. Ask yourself questions like;
- Do you know why the client requires this product?
- Do they really need it, or do you want them to have it?
- Why did they leave their last supplier?
- Why did the deal stall in the first place?
All these are questions you should have answers to, and if you do not, that means you have not spent enough time thinking about your client and their needs. The best way to remedy this problem is to start conversations where you listen to your client instead of running through your list of pre-determined incentives to make the sale. The client might not be interested in the discount you offer, but they are apprehensive about your service after making the sale. You cannot know this without having conversations where you allow them to share their position.
Create urgency around your customer’s priorities
When you are trying to resuscitate a stalled deal, it is vital that you identify your customer’s priorities and make them your own. It is very easy to focus on your own need for haste and urgency as the sales agent once a deal has already stalled for too long. This urgency is understandable at that point since you are probably receiving pressure from your boss to close the deal as soon as possible.
However, while your need for urgency is understandable, it is not significant to your client. It is terrible to rush a client to close a deal because you need to get your numbers up for the quarter or because you are expiring the discount you offered. The best approach is to understand your client’s priorities and to make them urgent and essential. With this approach, you will move the deal along much faster than when you focus on your priorities.
Understanding what is holding the deal up from the client’s end and committing to resolve that will get the deal to move along much faster than any pressure you create with expiring discounts. For instance, if the deal stalled because of the price, then genuinely commit to getting your client a better deal. Make that your priority and put effort towards that. Make sure to document the effort so that even if you fail to get the better deal, the client knows that it was not due to a lack of trying.
Rethink your assumptions and commercials
Do be afraid to revise your offer and send a new contract to your client if you suspect that the deal stalled because of financial reasons and you have some wiggle room left in your negotiation. A simple email saying that you have pushed with your superiors to get a new offer and that you have been successful could help the client get excited enough to resume talks, which is what you need. The most important thing when reviving a stalled deal is that you get the client to re-engage. That is more important than trying to get a firm yes or no.
Furthermore, if you come back after the period of silence with a better offer, you will give your contact the impression that you are on their team and that you took their concerns seriously. It will also make your contact feel like you put yourself on the line for them and that you are risking your position and reputation with this offer. They will want to do something proportionate for you, and the easiest thing they can do at that point is to get back to the negotiation table.
It is important that you do not make the mistake of negotiating against yourself with this tactic. You have to clarify that this new contract was a big deal for the company to accept and that there will not be another offer other than that one. You may also give the new contract a duration after which it will be taken off the table. Otherwise, your contact might think that going dark on you is a viable strategy to get you to keep lowering the quote. So think tactfully. You can only deploy this strategy once.
Resonate can help you revive stalled deals
Resonate is a B2B sales and marketing agency that can help your business achieve a commercial result through leads, opportunities, and closed revenue. Part of this strategy is working with you, or your sales team, to bring stalled deals to a close.Please get in touch to learn more about our approach to B2B sales.
RK (Rahul Kumar) is the Founder & CEO of Resonate.