You’ve been working with a client for weeks, maybe even months, to no avail. Just when you feel like you’re making headway, the client changes their mind or expresses their hesitation, and just like that you’re back at square one.
It feels like a waste of your time and theirs, but you persist anyway because you think that each minute you put into the sale, you are that much closer to the close.
In some cases, you might be right—the energy you put in will pay off. But if a client is simply not ready to make a decision one way or the other, you’ll be stuck in limbo for infinity—and that’s not a place you want to be.
So, how can you differentiate between when all of the hard work you put into a sale is helping or hurting a potential client? Here are some ways you can tell:
You get to the last step in the transaction and they get cold feet.
It’s normal for a client making a potentially big-ticket purchase to be a little nervous before the sale. Last minute questions and even asking for a bit more time is normal, but if they seem to back out immediately before the close (and have done so multiple times), pursuing them further is probably only making things worse.
You know that your product or service isn’t really right for them.
Hopefully you didn’t get this far pursuing a lead with an offer that you know isn’t right for them. But, if you started out with every good intention and realized along the way that for whatever reason this isn’t a good investment, it’s best to let this one go.
They aren’t ready financially.
The “I don't have the budget” objection is one of the easiest ways for a prospect to dodge you, and you’re probably used to the excuse. However, sometimes this isn’t actually an excuse, it’s simply the truth. In this case, you should consider holding off until they are in a better position financially.
You’ve been playing cat and mouse.
You’re busy, your client is busy, we get it. But if you feel like they are hiding from you at times, it might be a good idea to pursue other options. There are plenty of other prospects who are interested in what you have to offer (that will actually answer your calls).
The line between helping and hurting a client can be fuzzy. But, for your sake and theirs, it’s important to be able to identify a client who is ready for the sale from a client who maybe needs a bit more time.