5 Reasons Why You Didn’t Close the Deal

By Bob Pettke

October 24, 2023

Every salesperson has been at that point where they “didn’t close the deal.”  Perhaps the prospective customer went with a competitor instead or they decided to keep doing what they are currently doing. Why didn’t they move forward with your services or solution?  This is the million-dollar question that a salesperson asks themselves after losing a deal. So, what happened?  Here are 5 reasons why you might not have closed the deal.

1. You didn’t follow up (enough)

It takes between 8 and 12 contacts to close a deal. That said, most salespeople only follow up once or twice before moving on. Whether it’s because of time constraints, or laziness, lots of deals that could be closed are getting left on the table.

2. You tried selling to the wrong person

Not all prospects are created equal, but you wouldn’t know that if you polled a bunch of salespeople. They’re selling to the wrong person because they’re not the decision maker, whether it’s a husband without his wife, or the wrong executive at a large firm. Salespeople can also make the mistake of selling to someone who isn’t even in the market for their product.

All of this can be avoided by qualifying the prospect with the right questions up front, rather than just crossing your fingers and hoping for things to work out.

3. You made it about you

This might be one of the toughest mental shifts for salespeople to make, but when you’re talking to a prospect, you need to remember that it’s all about them. It’s not about you. Your goal should be to find out what they want, what makes them tick. Only then can you solve their problem.

Who you are and what you can do for them only comes secondary to who they are and what problems they have. Remember that the next time you pitch a prospect and you’ll get much better results.

4. You got defensive

As salespeople, we want to be liked. When someone isn’t receptive to our pitch or starts acting difficult, our immediate instinct is to become defensive or push back. But this is the wrong approach if you want to be a sales success. The saying goes “Win the argument, or win the deal,” and it’s absolutely true.

You take your ego out of the equation.  Salespeople need to take their ego out of the transaction and remember their only goal is to close the deal. It’s not about arguing a case in front of a jury.

5. You didn’t create enough value

When you put aside all of the tactical aspects of selling, you are left with the question of whether or not there was enough value created for the buyer. Price can be a consideration of course, but when enough value is created for the customer, it justifies a potentially higher price.

Always understand what the value of your product is, and, more importantly, where the value is for the customer, you’re talking to. Many salespeople forget that they’re not in the “selling” business as much as they are in the value-creation business.

Time to Close the Deal

As you read these 5 reasons, perhaps you realized where you went wrong on the last deal you lost. The good news is, there are many more sales to be won. By adjusting your approach and analyzing why they didn’t go with your services and solutions, you can set yourself up for success in closing the next deal.

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