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Your Prospect Is Stalling. Now What?

Top producers know a weak prospect when they hear one, and they would much rather know ahead of time who is leading them on and not likely to buy, and who might actually be a deal.

We’ve all been there. You’re on the phone with a prospect, you’re asking for the deal, well sort of asking for the deal, and your prospect is just giving vague answers and mild brush-offs.

Prospects brush you off by saying things like:

  • “Well, we haven’t had a chance to go through everything yet, but when my V.P. gets back from Europe, then we’ll…” or,
  • “You know we’re still looking at a couple of different options on this, but I do like how yours…” or,
  • “I haven’t yet heard back from the owner on this. He won’t be back in town until Friday and then we’ll have a meeting and I should have an idea…”

Sound Familiar?

I’ll bet these objections all sound familiar, don’t they?

Prospects have been using them since the beginning of time to stall or put off sales reps. And when they use them, nine times out of ten it means they really aren’t going to move forward.

While this is bad enough, what’s worse is how most (like 80%) of sales reps handle this. Instead of taking the direct approach (which we will go over in a moment), they will allow themselves to be put off and strung along.

They reason that the prospect isn’t saying no yet, and that there might still be a chance for the deal. Heck, one out of 25 or so actually do sometimes end up buying so they’d better play along.

Well I don’t know about you, but for a Top producer, chasing and following up with 20 non-buyers is too demoralizing to go through.

How Top Producers Spot Weak Prospects

Top producers know a weak prospect when they hear one, and they would much rather know ahead of time who is leading them on and not likely to buy, and who might actually be a deal.

Now I’ve written a lot of techniques you can use to isolate objections and get your prospect to reveal the truth, but here is the one question that works the best.

Now I’ll warn you – most sales reps would much prefer NOT to ask this question because they might get a negative response – in other words, the prospect might tell them why they aren’t ever really going to buy. But that’s exactly what the Top 20% want to know.

And wouldn’t you really like to know now rather than after chasing and following up and wasting all that time and precious energy?

Find Out Why Your Prospecting Isn’t Buying— Just Ask!

So here’s the golden question that will always get your prospect to reveal exactly why they aren’t ever going to move on your product or service:

“(Prospect), from your viewpoint, what do you think might stand in the way of your company (or you) moving forward with this?”

Now hit your mute button, shut up and take some notes. If you deliver this question in the right way, and then really listen to your prospect, I guarantee they will tell you exactly why they aren’t going to buy.

I use this question all the time, and I’m never surprised by how a prospect will immediately reveal the truth as to what is holding them up and what is going to stop them from ultimately moving forward.

Some of the more common answers I hear are:

• They were just in the information gathering stage and weren’t ready to make a decision in the first place.

• Once they found out how much it cost, they decided to go elsewhere or do it in-house.

• They were just looking to compare quotes and have someone who can do it cheaper.

• They aren’t the real decision maker and the one who is has something completely different in mind.

Now I’m sure you can expand this list by at least three or four, but I’ll bet this covers much of what you eventually hear.

My question  for you is, when you get a prospect who is stalling, wouldn’t it be better to know this as soon as possible and move on?


INKED levels the playing field by giving you the strategies, tactics, techniques, skills, and human-influence frameworks required to become a powerful and effective sales negotiator. Download your FREE chapters of INKED here.

About the author

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…

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