What Would You Do Wednesday – The Forever Prospect

This weeks What Would You Do Wednesday is going to tackle the infamous “forever prospect.” You know, that prospect that says they want it. The one who is going to buy tomorrow, but tomorrow is always a day away.  I like to call them “Annies.” Like Annie from the broadway show.

Beth was working with the V.P. of technology at ShizzyBot.  The sales process went well. Beth had multiple meetings to understand what her buyer was looking for and why. She crafted a strong solution that met the companies specific needs. She was able to address his concerns about uptime, total cost of ownership and user adoption.  Beth executed a trial that exceeded her buyers expectations. Beth also developed a good implementation plan to minimize change and disruption.  It appeared everything was in order and her buyer said he wanted to close by the end of the week.  Beth sent him the contract, but no close.

Beth reached out and her buyer said some nothing had changed, he was just getting slammed and committed to get it done by the end of the month. The end of the month comes and goes, no contract signing.  Beth reaches out and has trouble getting a hold of her buyer.  After about a week, her buyer surfaces. He tells Beth, again, nothing has changed, they are just slammed and that he still wants to move forward.  He says he respects her time and that he needs to get through the next quarter.  He asks that the deal be put on the table until then end of q2.

The end of q2 roles around. Beth reaches out. Her buyer says things are good and that he is ready to move forward.  He says he needs to get the deal front and center again and that he’d like to close in the next few weeks.

A few weeks pass, nothing. Beth reaches out and asks if the customer is still interested. Her buyer responds emphatically, YES!  He apologizes again for the delays and says he wants to close by end of month.

End of month roles around.  Nothing.  This time her buyer calls her and apologizes again. He says they are starting next years budgets and everyone is slammed.  He asks her if they can table it till beginning of q4.  That way budgets will be done and everyone will be on board and ready to implement for next year.  Beth is now skeptical.  She looks for confirmation, again, that he still wants to buy. He says yes.  She asks if there is additional information he needs or if there are any unmet concerns with the solution. He says no.  He is very happy with what she has put together and wants to move forward.

Beth isn’t convinced any longer.  Regardless of how convincing her buyer is, his actions aren’t supporting his words. He has put off closing for over 6 months. Beth isn’t sure what to do next. She doesn’t want to waste anymore time on a deal that will never close, BUT, she doesn’t want to walk away from a good deal either.

What would you do if you were Beth?  Should Beth walk away?  Why?  Should she keep at it?  If so, what should her next move be to make sure the deal closes in q4?

This is a tough one, have fun!