Dealing with indecisive prospects who keep postponing- Heres what you can do
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Dealing with indecisive prospects who keep postponing: Here’s what you can do

As a salesperson, one of the most frustrating situations to be in is dealing with indecisive prospects who keep postponing the buying decision. According to a study by HubSpot, 37% of sales professionals reported that prospecting was the most challenging part of their job.

In many cases, sales executives spend a significant amount of time and resources trying to convert a prospect, only to have them delay or even cancel the sale altogether. The worst cases are those that give a sense of false hope and end up ghosting or canceling the deal unexpectedly.

The good news is that there are strategies that salespeople can use to manage these situations effectively. In this article, we will discuss some effective ways to deal with indecisive prospects who keep postponing deals and wasting your time.

Understanding the reasons behind postponements

Before diving into strategies, it’s important to understand why prospects may be postponing their decision. Some common reasons include:

  • The prospect is not fully convinced: Sometimes, prospects may need more information or clarification before making a decision. In such cases, it is essential to provide them with the necessary information and address any concerns they may have.
  • The prospect is waiting for a better offer: In some cases, prospects may be holding out for a better deal or offer from a competitor. This can be challenging to deal with, but it’s important to communicate the value of your product or service and how it can benefit them.
  • The prospect is not the decision-maker: In some cases, prospects may not have the authority to make the final decision. In such cases, it’s important to identify the decision-makers and ensure that they are involved in the conversation to avoid time delays due to escalations.
  • The prospect has other priorities: Sometimes, prospects may have other priorities that take precedence over the buying decision. In such cases, it’s important to stay in touch and follow up at a later time when the prospect is ready to move forward.

An inspiring real-life example

Dinesh is a sales professional who works for a software company. He had been in touch with a prospect from an Indian company for several months. The client seemed very keen to buy the software Dinesh was offering but kept delaying the final call due to various reasons. Dinesh soon realized the prospect was interested in their software but kept postponing the decision to buy with baseless excuses.

Dinesh later understood that the prospect he was in touch with was not the primary decision-maker and that other priorities needed to be addressed first. For example, the company was worried about the recent recession and wished to keep delaying the deal till they had their budget finalized.

This could have been addressed directly, but the company chose to keep evading the topic to ensure they didn’t look desperate. Dinesh identified the core decision-makers and ensured that they were involved in the conversation. He also provided the necessary information and addressed any concerns they had. Most importantly, he never made the team feel desperate or in the wrong for their response.

He always treated them with respect and ensured that they felt anybody would have acted in the same way. “It is literally like parenting. A kid is more likely to open up to a parent that listens patiently to him and comforts him saying he isn’t wrong. The kid would most likely keep evading a parent that confronts him head-on and punishes him or belittles him for his mistake,” said Dinesh. Finally, after a few weeks of follow-up, the client decided to purchase the software and a high-end budget was finalized!

Strategies to deal with indecisive prospects

Every case is different but here is a list of solutions to at least direct you in the right path! Maybe one or more of them might resonate with you and click in the long run with some prospects.

Set clear expectations:

At the beginning of the sales process, it’s important to set clear expectations with the prospect. This includes the timeline for making a decision, the steps involved in the process, and any other relevant details. This will help manage the prospect’s primary needs, deliver beyond their initial expectations, and ensure that there are no surprises later on.

Understand the prospect’s needs:

To effectively manage indecisive prospects, it’s important to understand their needs and priorities. This includes identifying their pain points and how your product or service can address them. By focusing on the prospect’s needs, you can build trust and establish yourself as a valuable resource.

Provide value:

One of the most effective ways to convince a prospect to make a decision is by providing value. This includes offering a demo, providing case studies or testimonials, and offering a trial period. By providing value, you can demonstrate the benefits of your product or service and help the prospect make an informed decision.

Address concerns:

If a prospect is delaying the decision due to concerns, it’s important to address those concerns head-on. This includes providing information and addressing any objections they may have. By providing clarity and addressing concerns, you can help the prospect feel more confident in their decision.

Identify the decision-makers:

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to identify the decision-makers in the prospect’s organization. This will help ensure that you are not lost in the corporate ladder and the right people are involved in the decision-making process. This will also ensure that your budget isn’t cut by individual people and that the decision is made promptly. By building relationships with the decision-makers that matter, you can increase the chances of a successful sale.

Follow up at regular intervals:

Consistent and timely follow-up is crucial when dealing with indecisive prospects. This includes regular check-ins and providing updates on the product or service. By staying in touch, you can remain top-of-mind and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Create a sense of urgency and the fear of missing out:

Creating a sense of urgency can help motivate the prospect to make a decision. This can include offering limited-time discounts or promotions, highlighting the potential benefits of the product or service, or highlighting the consequences of delaying the decision.

Offer alternatives:

If the prospect is hesitant to make a decision, it’s important to offer alternatives. This includes offering different pricing options, customized solutions, or alternative products or services. By offering alternatives, you can help the prospect find the right solution for their needs.

Stay positive:

Dealing with indecisive prospects can be challenging, but it’s important to stay positive and maintain a good attitude. By staying positive, you can build rapport with the prospect and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Know when to walk away:

In some cases, despite your best efforts, the prospect may still delay or refuse to make a decision. In such cases, it’s important to know when to walk away. Continuing to pursue an uninterested prospect can be a waste of time and resources.

In conclusion, dealing with indecisive prospects who keep postponing is a common challenge faced by sales professionals. According to a study by Gong, the average sales cycle length has increased by 24% over the last two years, and more than 40% of deals end up being postponed or never closed.

However, by understanding the reasons behind postponements and implementing effective strategies, sales professionals can manage these situations and increase their chances of success. As demonstrated by Dinesh’s example, it’s also important to stay persistent and positive, as some deals may take longer than others to close.

Ultimately, building strong relationships with prospects is key to converting them into loyal customers. By consistently providing value and addressing their concerns, sales professionals can establish themselves as trusted advisors and create long-lasting partnerships. With the strategies outlined in this article, sales professionals can navigate the challenges of indecisive prospects and close more deals. For better qualification, reach out and plan better with us.

Meenakshi Girish is a professional Content Writer who has diverse experience in the world of content. She specializes in digital marketing and her versatile writing style encompasses both social media and blogs. She curates a plethora of content ranging from blogs, articles, product descriptions, case studies, press releases, and more. A voracious reader, Meenakshi can always be found immersed in a book or obsessing over Harry Potter.
Chandrani-datta-Content-Manager-Tripura-Multinational-Singapore-our-team 2
Chandrani Datta works as a Manager-Content Research and Development with almost a decade’s experience in writing and editing of content. A former journalist turned content manager, Chandrani has written and edited for different brands cutting across industries. The hunger for learning, meaningful work and novel experiences keeps her on her toes. An avid traveller, Chandrani’s interests lie in photography, reading and watching movies.

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