- Blog post
The Stall: They’re lying to you, but what’s it mean?
When prospects stall you, they’re often being less than truthful.
“I’ve got to run this decision by my team” might really mean, “I didn’t like your product but I’m too polite to just tell you.”
“I need to do the numbers again” might really mean, “I’m totally confused and have no idea whether your solution can help me.”
Where are you if you take their statements at face value? Nowhere. Your sale is dead until you can figure out the REAL reason you’re being stalled.
Here’s a way to find out. We call it the “1 to 10 Technique.”
When the prospect tells you, “I’ve got to run this decision by my team,” ask, “On a scale of 1-10, how convinced are you that our product quality is where it needs to be?” If the prospect says nine or 10, you know quality isn’t an issue and can ask the same question about delivery or service. But what if the guy says, “Oh, on quality I’d rank you a six or seven”?
Assuming he’s not lying to you to gain negotiating leverage (which in some cases will happen), he’s just told you that he’s not convinced your quality is adequate. He knows as well as you do that anybody who’s satisfied with “6” quality, “6” service or “6” delivery doesn’t deserve to be in business.
You still have a big problem, but at least you know what it is and you can clear up misconceptions about your product quality or figure out other ways to enhance your value proposition.
The reason the “1-10 Technique” works is that it allows people to tell you what their really thinking in an indirect way — almost as if in code. High scores signal that you’re golden. Low scores tell you you should dis-qualify the prospect. And those middle-range scores tip you off to the key levers you need to pull to overcome the stall.