Four Reasons That Sale Isn't Closing... Yet

Last Updated Jul 15, 2010 2:34 PM EDT

Top sales people know that delays in a sales process do not necessarily mean that the sale will not take place. Here are the four main reasons that an opportunity might not be closing as quickly as you'd like:
  • Unfamiliarity. It generally takes more than one (and often several) meetings before a customer will feel comfortable working with a sales professional and the professional's firm.
  • Bureaucracy. Many organizations have a complex decision-making process that involves more than one buyer. Often even the CEO wants consensus with other executives before a major purchase.
  • Competition. It might first be necessary to unseat a competitor. That can take time, especially if the competitor is internal to the customer, as when you're selling outsourcing.
  • Priorities. As important as the sale is to you, it may not be all that important to the customer. People can only focus on a few things at once and your offering may not yet be at the top of the stack.
When you encounter an unexpected delay, your challenge is to figure out which of the above four reasons is relevant... and then either take action (like reposition to make your offering more of a priority) or change your forecast to reflect the reality of the delay.

If you're interested in sales process, here are two posts that a lot of Sales Machine readers have found useful:

BTW: The four reasons come from a conversation with John W. Asher, CEO of Asher Training, Inc. Very smart guy.