The 3 Subtle Red Flags a signal that your Deal is in Trouble
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The 3 Subtle Red Flags a signal that your Deal is in Trouble (And, Ways to Turn it Around)

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

Have you been diligently working on a deal, only to find it stalling? 

You make moves but the client shows signs of ghosting you or distancing themselves? 

This predicament is common…

But don’t worry – I’ll show you how to take control, get ahead and win more. 

In sales, it is very important to not measure progress by your efforts, but instead, assessing the strides your clients are making towards you.

Are they fully involved and eagerly striving towards an agreement?

How do they interact with you and your team, and are they taking you up their ladder?

Let’s dive into 3 subtle red flags indicating your deal might be on shaky ground, and how to fix it.

#1: Client Indifference

A red flag indicating your deal could be in jeopardy is when your client shows disinterest in meeting you or does not allocate enough time for you with decision-makers.

This could suggest that the client doesn’t perceive a unique or urgent value in your offering.

Ensure the client can easily grasp how your value proposition translates into their business outcomes and quantifiable business results. 

Remember, a useful way to consider your client’s perspective is by analyzing whether their “Cost of Inaction” outweighs their “Cost of Transformation”.

In other words, does maintaining their status quo cost them more than partnering with you?

Use this benchmark to chart your next steps. 

#2: Decreasing Deal Sizes

If you notice deal sizes shrinking, consider:

Does a compelling business case for change exist?

Is there financial validation for your project?

If these aren’t evident, the perception of risk heightens in the client’s mind and their instinctive response is to mitigate risk i.e. lessen their level of engagement with you.

While dealing with large projects, ensure that the business case, financial validation, technology selection, and change management are all addressed initially, else your client might downsize your deal volume and begin treating you like a “vendor”.

Think of deal size to be a metric of your perceived value in the eyes of your client. 

#3: Overemphasis on Cost

If the client excessively focuses on cost, it’s an apparent critique of your ability to create business value.

Keep in mind, when cost becomes the focal point of the conversation, what’s missing is the business value.

Creating value comes before claiming value. 

Aim to make your client calculate their return on investment, their total cost of ownership, and their payback periods.

There’s a saying: 

“When we say it, it is sold; When the customer says it, it is gold”.

In the dynamic landscape of sales, it’s crucial not to lose sight of the most vital aspect – your client. 

A deal’s success pivots around understanding and addressing your client’s concerns and priorities, rather than pushing a narrative of your own. 

Be attentive to red flags like client indifference, shrinking deal sizes, or overemphasis on cost as these are not mere obstacles, but opportunities for you to showcase the unique value and impact of your proposition, tailored to your client’s specific needs. 

Next Step 

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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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