The ability to close a deal is a crucial skill for any salesperson, but sometimes things do not always work out the way you had planned. There are a number of variables and unavoidable circumstances that may be out of your control that can impact your ability to close a deal. Having the foresight to see that a deal is falling apart can be very beneficial because it gives you the opportunity to figure out the next steps in advance. The ability to notice these important warning signs can help you decide whether to try a different strategy and push forward or choose to pull out altogether. Here are a few telltale signs that your business deal is collapsing.
1. Long Pauses Between Communication
If you notice that a potential client is taking a long time to respond to your calls and emails, that’s a pretty good sign that things might not be working out. Most people that are really interested are eager to answer questions and communicate so a lack of responsiveness could be a sign of lack of interest.
2. Slow Response Time
When someone is eager to do business with you, they prioritize getting back to you quickly. If you are waiting on a client to provide important information, for example, they should be quick to respond with that information. If you find that you are waiting days or weeks for a response or they keep delaying their response, this is a warning sign that the prospect is not very interested.
3. You Can’t Get Clear Answers
If you are working with a prospect and you find that they cannot provide clear answers and accurate information to simple questions, this could be a warning sign that the prospect is not being upfront and honest. It’s not worth wasting your time on a prospect that is not honest and upfront right from the start.
4. They Make Things Difficult
One of the easiest ways to tell if a business deal is going south is when the other party squabbles over everything. Agreeableness is a very important quality of a business partner and if the person is difficult to deal with, the deal may not be worth your time. If the person is complaining about every little detail, chances are they will never truly be satisfied with your deal.
5. Making Excuses
Closing a deal requires the help of both parties. If your prospect fails to follow through with their end of the bargain and they keep making excuses for why things aren’t done, that’s the sign of a bad relationship. Failure to follow through or complete tasks is definitely a red flag.
A huge warning sign is when a prospect wavers on every decision. If they can’t make up their mind or they use the “I don’t have the authority to make that decision” trick then you are probably wasting your time. A serious prospect knows what they want and they are ready to commit.
7. Failure to Ask Questions
It’s never a good sign when your prospect fails to ask any questions or voice any concerns. Quality partners do their due diligence and seek to get as much information as they can before making a sound decision. They look for any possible roadblocks that could hinder their business and they bring up these concerns. Be wary of business prospects that don’t ask questions.
8. You Have Conflicting Values
It’s tough to do business with someone whose values don’t align with yours. If you find that your prospect doesn’t hold the same values as you and your business, this is your first real sign that the relationship is not compatible.
9. A Bad Gut Feeling
Your instincts can tell you a lot and should not be overlooked. If your gut tells you that things are not looking good, chances are you are right. Your instinct is a powerful tool so don’t be afraid to listen to it.
10. Pushy and Aggressive Behavior
A prospect that just wants to push the deal forward is a warning sign that they aren’t paying attention to your needs or the important details of the negotiation. Someone who is aggressive and pushy can pressure you into making poor decisions and this is not the kind of person you want to do business with.