Alice and her prospect are really hitting it off. The prospect expresses clear interest in Alice’s product. So Alice asks, “When can we move forward?”

The prospect doesn’t miss a beat. “Alice, I’m very impressed with what you have to offer. It’s a lot to digest … it looks good … I’ll just need some time to think it over.”

Alice thinks she’s done a good day’s work. She made a strong sales presentation, established rapport and got a strong buying signal. In the parking lot – well out of sight of the customer – she allows herself a little fist pump of victory.

Not so fast, Alice.

The truth is, the only signal Alice received is that the buyer’s not going to say yes today. He might say yes tomorrow. Or next week. Or never. Alice doesn’t really know. Because she doesn’t really want to know.

Why do we let prospects stall us? Here are several reasons:

  • We don’t like hearing the word no.
  • We want to avoid confrontation or are afraid to be pushy, or
  • Like Alice, we’d rather convince ourselves that the prospect really said yes.

The problem, of course, is that by the time “yes” reveals itself to be a “no,” we’ve already invested tons of time and effort that could have been spent more productively. Or, worse, we’ve missed an opportunity to find – and fix – whatever it is that’s holding the buyer back.

Never settle for a stall. You work hard, and you deserve better. You deserve to know where you stand.

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