December 15, 2011

You’ve put in the work and followed your sales process diligently. The seeds of a potential sale have been sown by establishing contact, making a connection, and helping the prospect understand your offerings. But when do you know if all the effort may not bear good fruit? There are, unfortunately, times when you need to simply call it off. While it’s hard to imagine not pushing for a close, or wrapping up the process, a red flag buyer could eventually be more grief than the sale is worth.
There are ten signs you need to look for in a potential buyer relationship that could signal trouble. Ask yourself honestly, “are any of these issues present”?

* The time and energy you are putting into the sales process is not worth the potential sale. Evaluate your ‘return on investment’… does the benefit from the sale outweigh your effort?

* Price is the sole reason the buyer is interested in making the deal. What does this tell you about the buyer and their long-term, or repeat potential, or even their abilty to offer a positive testimonial?

* The prospect is looking for you to make an “up-front” investment, but is not willing to reciprocate. Look for some ‘quid pro quo’.

* There are requests for making many changes to your offering that you aren’t comfortable with.

* Buyer will burden your fulfillment team with excessive demands. This could ultimately have an impact on performance, create ill-will, or destroy enthusiasm for the client.

* Your product or service is fantastic, but it simply isn’t the right thing for the customer. Buyers remorse can damage your company’s reputation, especially if the buyer decides to blame the poor “fit” on being pushed into the sale.

* Margins will be low, or non-existent. This does not benefit your company financially, and it

could have bearing on future expectations of the buyer.

* The buyer wants a kick-back, or a bribe. Is this someone you truly want to conduct business with?

* The prospect does not treat you, your co-workers, or your company with repsect, or badmouths you and your offerings. Abuse is not a right of purchase, and could only get worse once the deal is sealed.

* You “feel it in your bones” that the relationship just won’t work. You may not be able to put your finger on what sends up this red flag, but sometimes your instincts are right, listen to them.

Remember, your sales process should feel positive throughout, and the potential of a less than favorable situation could be a waste of your time, the company’s efforts and reputation, and ultimately do more harm than good. For more information about recognizing sales to avoid, contact us now.