Why Deals Get Stuck


Deals get stuck for one reason and one reason only. Someone doesn’t believe what your selling is worth the effort, time or money at the moment.

Deals get stuck because they lack urgency. Yes, your product or service solves a problem. It may make your customer’s world easier. It may help them launch a new product, reduce profits, minimize waste or whatever, but regardless of all that the buyer or someone else just doesn’t think that’s enough.

Deals get stuck because the sales person did something wrong. Thumb in the air guess is that 90% of deals that are stuck are stuck because the sales person missed a step in the selling process, did a shitty job articulating value or worse don’t have a clue what problem they were trying to solve for the client. When this happens, you have to go back and figure out what went wrong.

As buyers when we aren’t compelled to buy and we don’t say no, we are stuck. We let the deal sit out there waiting for it to die on it’s own or for the environment to change in away that makes what it is we were thinking of buying more attractive.

For sales people, waiting for this to happen is silly.

To keep a deal from getting stuck make sure the problem you are solving is painful and big enough to warrant your product or service. Don’t waste two minutes on small problems that buyers can live with.

  • Know what the problem is you are solving
  • Know why they need the problem to go away.
  • Know what happens if it doesn’t
  • Know how much pain or negative impact is created by the problem
  • Know how many people it affects
  • Know how big the problem is compared other problems in the organization

If you don’t understand the problem at the deepest of levels you’re headed for trouble.

If the deal is stuck already, go back. Go back and find out what the problem is. Find out why they wanted to talk to you in the first place. Go back and get the answers to the the 6 questions above. Without the answers, you aren’t going to any deal unstuck.

Deals get stuck because sales did something wrong. So fix it.

Like my Dad used to say, “You got it stuck, you get it unstuck.”