Sales Reps Must Isolate Problems and Solve Them, Especially in the Closing Sequence.

No matter how hard you try.

No matter how much effort and work you put into the deal.

No matter how much your prospect might like you.

No matter how much he or she might trust you in the sales process.

No matter how many hours you work. 

A deal is not won until you have the order in. You must remember this. You have not won a deal until it is in. You need to remember this if you want to help yourself close more deals. 


You are always going to get no’s that make you wonder WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? What did you do to make them not want to go with you? You thought everything was going correctly and then somehow, someway they decide they are not going with you. How you respond to a “no” in the sales process is just as important to the whole process leading up to that moment.

Sales is an art that I don’t know if I will ever master. If you work hard to master or perfect parts of the sales process then you will improve your skills and those skills over time could help you close more deals.

Your sales process will end at some point with either you winning the deal or not winning the deal.  The one’s that end up as a no are hard to take. You can learn from every experience you have in sales. If you think about the most common reasons that you get a no then you can start to analyze and break apart things that you should work on in the future leading up to closing a deal.

Let’s take an example scernio where you get a no from your prospect. I want to dissect that and give you ideas as to how to respond and learn from this situation. 

You have been working a deal for a while now and you have worked really hard on it. You are working with an influencer who needs to talk to the decision maker and needs to basically close the deal for you. The influencer is bought in but you don’t have direct contact with the end DM.

He or she is going to be thankful for your hard work you have put in with them. They will be thankful for what they have learned as well but for some reason or other they can’t buy and was given a no to buying. For this scenario let’s just say timing was off for some reason on top of the fact that you have never really gotten to the DM but the influencer was bought in. You had no reason to believe that the DM would have a problem with the approval on the deal either. The influencer has told you that timing is off and that she cannot move forward with you at this time but in the future they still would like to work with you. Timing is just off…


  • When timing is off or someone claims that the timing is bad you need to think clearly and look back at your notes as to why they might be saying this. Does anything at all explain or point to why the timing could be off? Why they won’t be going with you now? Really think hard about any red flags that were raised that could help you isolate the real problem. Timing is not the real problem.
  • Make sure that you have thought through and explained all the reasons as to working with you now is the right move. ****If it is actually not the right timing for them to move forward with you then you shouldn’t be trying to close this deal. A good sales rep will not close a deal where timing is off. But, if you have no reason to believe timing is off and that they are capable of using your product or service now to meet the goals you have talked about then you have a right to understand and then respond.
  • If you did a good job at assessing their pain points and challenges and why this is timely now you should use this information to go back over these things and explain why timing is actually good now to your prospect. They have a lot going on, their main priority is not going to be buying your product (most likely won’t be). Remember that you are not the only thing on their mind. Help them understand why now is the right time.
  • If they are hesitant about the timing then you probably didn’t address something and you might not have shown enough value. Respond that way. Ask them if they fully understand your product or service and see what you can do to explain better. You might have done something wrong, put that on yourself as the sales rep and see how you can help.
  • When they tell you they want to revisit in a few months you need to ask why and make sure that you understand. If you have built up a good relationship with them and they trust you and want to listen to your advice, they will hear you out.   Either way they know you care and that you actually want to help them regardless of them deciding on this now or 3 months from now.

What should you do when someone tells you no. 

  1. Pick up the phone right away. Start calling them and talk to them on the phone about it. Don’t just take their no through an email. You need to talk to them to make sure you understand and have answered all concerns.
  2. Your job is to isolate the real problem. You need to become a problem solver and ask good questions, listen carefully and attentively to make sure you can actually pin point what the real problem is and not the lot of them. There will be one underlying challenge or problem that actually is the one you should be addressing.
  3. Don’t stop reaching out until you reach them. You have put in a lot of effort up until now and you deserve to find out why they are deciding not to do this now. That takes a conversation and not just an email or a vmail from them. Make sure you talk it  through and understand what you are going to do from here to help them either now or in the future.
  4. If someone is telling you it is because of timing but that feels like it is out of left field then it probably is. Ask questions and make sure you figure out why and what is really triggering them to say this.

This last tip is the most important thing you need to do. Really this is what makes a good sales rep.

You need to isolate the problem that they have with getting started right now. 

Your job is to solve their problem. You need to figure out what the real problem is and figure out how to solve it with answers, information, acknowledgement of the issue and figure out what to do from there to address it. 

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