When Deals Drag On, You Must Change The Game

I had a call today from a client who was struggling to keep a deal moving.

That’s not unusual if you’ve been in sales for longer than…say…3 hours, is it?

What was unusual is the prospect always agreed to see James when he called, BUT nothing moved.

Lots of social visits – but no movement. Been there?

And James was getting fatigued.

He had to keep telling his manager that the deal was still alive. But his manager was growing skeptical, as he should have been.

What He Did

With a little of my guidance, but most of all his ‘detachment’, he made the move. Here’s what he told his prospect:

“Bob, I really appreciate you seeing me whenever I come in town. I love the dinners we have and our conversation. I really like working with you. Here’s my problem. I’m afraid if we don’t get Julie and Steve (executives) involved, I see us still doing this 5 years from now. I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’ll make a suggestion (always have a remedy): Why don’t you invite Steve and Julie to dinner with us next time I’m through town, which is scheduled to be next week. Then, we can all decide if it makes any sense at all to continue or, abort the process. I’m good with either answer. I want to do what’s best for your company.”

Sounds a little tough, doesn’t it. But if you knew James, he is quite artful in how he frames things, so it worked fine.

What Happened?

Well, as you might guess, the deal is back on track. Actually, James’ contact was waiting for him to push the process a little. He wanted Julie and Steve involved, but was wimpy (my words, not James’). He knows this because Bob called him after t he dinner and thanked him for his suggestion.

As part of my 2X Group Mastermind, the2Xgroup.com, of which James is a member, there is an accountability section. If you commit to something, you MUST do what you say you’ll do. After we brainstormed the correct verbiage, James committed to us to make the move. And he did.

They are now moving ahead…with a CLEAR FUTURE about the next few steps.


If you feel it, you must say it. Never let fear (of judgement, in this case) drive your behavior. A new poster in our studio has the quote: “Never let your emotions get in the way of the sale.” Another quote you should have on your desk is, “Deals never resurrect on their own. Change the game.” And change it James did.

What about you? Do you have some deals that are stuck – or stagnant?

Try the James move. BUT, you must have no emotional attachment to whether your prospect says, “Yes” or “No.” Once you get to that point mentally, the words will flow like a river.

Try it. You’ll find it liberating.