B2B: Responding to Sales Delays


So, you've given your pitch and have been talking to the prospect for what seems like a long time. It can be frustrating when you put a lot of time into a prospect only for them to lead you on, especially if all the stars align and the deal is beneficial for both parties.

So, you set dates, call times, the whole 9 yards. Just as you're about to close the deal, your prospect says something that is hard for any salesperson to come back from. It’s usually a bid for more time and goes a little something like this:

"Can I get back to you on that? It's not really a good time for us right now."

Cool. Now you’ve wasted a ton of time and resources on something that seems like its bound to fail. It’s important to keep in mind that a client that REALLY wants to buy but actually has restraints will let you know and tell you exactly what the issue is.

The prospect that keeps delaying you is the one that feels rushed or doesn’t see the value in what you have to offer just yet.

That being said, here’s the route you need to take in order to salvage the sale.

Find Out What’s Wrong

Start by getting to the heart of the issue in a way that’s not too intrusive. There IS a problem, somewhere, you just need to find out what it is. Try asking the client “If money and resources were out of the equation, would you still want to buy?” If they say yes, then you can assume that they don’t see the value in what you’re offering yet. At this point, you might want to walk them through it carefully. Many times, a client will actually save money in the B2B industry, they just need it charted out in a simple, easy to follow way.

Figure Out Their Goals

The next step is to figure out the client’s long-term goals. Maybe they're trying to expand by adding another location and they want to cut costs anywhere they can for now. This will help you get a better understating of what they’re trying to do as a business owner and if your product or service can help them achieve these goals. If you can help, show them the value of what you’re offering as a part of that future goal.

Explain the Logical Conclusion of the Deal

Start by asking them when a good time to buy would be. They will typically give a vague answer, maybe a few months or so. Then, say “Okay, if you buy on this date, then X would happen, followed by Y, and finally Z. In most cases, whether they buy now or 6 months from now, the result would be the same. It’s up to you to show them why it wouldn’t make a difference and reinforce how it benefits them and their goals.

At the end of the day, some people want to buy and people that don’t. However, if they’ve entertained you for a considerable amount of time, there’s usually something there. It just might take a little extra work to land the sale.

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