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What are early warning signs that a deal isn't going to close?

Ideally we wouldn't spend our time working on deals that have no hope of closing. What are the signs you look for that tell you it's time to back away from an account/prospect and focus your efforts elsewhere?

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    • 1
      Profile picture of John Richardson
      @honestabe
      ( 945 POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      Great question! A red flag for me during the qualifying stage is a prospect who is unwilling to share info that you need to determine if there’s a reason to move forward. “We know what we need, just send me a quote”, is another lost cause. Having a prospect go radio silent after both parties agreed on next steps is another. Not being able to identify an impending event or hard time line is cause for concern as well. Most of these issues can be identified during qualifying if you’re not afraid to ask questions that may result in an unfavorable response. A mentor once told me that yes is good but no is okay too and the quicker you get to the “no / know”, the easier it is decide if its worth your time or not.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Colin Campbell
        @colin-campbell
        ( 14k POINTS )
        2 weeks ago

        Great examples, @honestabe. Thanks!

        Devil’s advocate on a few, though, just for the sake of discussion:

        1) “We know what we need, just send me a quote”.

        Buyers really are more educated/well researched now. What if they really do know what they want, and they’re just shopping price. That’s how I buy cars, at least. Obviously a lot less complex than business software/services, but still… How do you differentiate between somebody who’s well researched and doesn’t want a long sales cycle, and somebody who is truly just kicking tires?

        2) Not being able to identify an impending event or hard timeline.

        What if they do really have a need, but they just need help building the business case? How do you differentiate between somebody who needs your consultation and somebody who doesn’t have a clear enough need?

    • 1
      Profile picture of Pascal Ambauer
      @salespale
      ( 315 POINTS )
      1 week, 3 days ago

      Hey, thats a very good question! I made the experience in the past years, that if a lead doesnt share any information with you its a red flag. But also if the lead only wants to have an offer, or if the first question is: what makes your company better than all the others. The best is when the customer/potential customers shows interest to your product and tells you how he imagine to use it in his own company/workflow.

      Hope this help!

      • 0
        Profile picture of Colin Campbell
        @colin-campbell
        ( 14k POINTS )
        1 week, 2 days ago

        Thanks, @salespale.

        I’ve noticed there’s a divergence in how to interpret buying signals depending on the growth model. For example, in PLG (product led growth), asking for pricing first would be considered a buying signal. Or prospects might not have to ask for pricing at all! They might be able to self-serve their way into being a paying customer.

        Maybe this question is flawed?

    • 1
      Profile picture of Mark Fershteyn
      @markfer
      ( 405 POINTS )
      2 days, 23 hours ago

      If your champion isn’t willing to work with you on outlining how they buy, it’s a huge red flag. Not creating a mutual action plan or mutual success plan means they either don’t know how to get a deal across the finish line, or aren’t interested enough to do it. Either way it’s bad.

      • 0
        Profile picture of Colin Campbell
        @colin-campbell
        ( 14k POINTS )
        2 days, 22 hours ago

        Definitely agree it could signal a lack of interest. If it’s just that they aren’t an experienced buyer, then it’s more a signal of even more value you can provide by making their purchase easier, more organized, and planned out.

        Mutual action plans FTW.

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