The New Relationship Selling: How To Nudge A Stuck Deal Back To Life
By Brian Cervino
5 minute read
It happens all too often in the sales process: a prospective client comes in, you give them the pitch, a contract is in the works, and then… crickets. What seemed like a highly qualified lead has now gone quiet, and it looks like you might be facing a stalled sale.
If this has happened to you, don’t worry! You are certainly not alone. In fact, one study from SellingPower showed that 72% of deals stalled in the middle to late stages of the pipeline process. On the plus side, your prospect seems to be interested in your product or service, but on the downside, for one reason or another, they are not ready to buy right now.
On top of all this, getting a deal unstuck can be further complicated by the fact that your prospect has become difficult to reach via phone or email, making all of your nudges meaningless.
That is why relationship-led sales is now becoming one of the most important elements in today’s sales cycle. Leveraging networks and existing connections are key to building the trust required to get stuck deals moving forward.
What are nudges, and how are they used for relationship selling?
Nudges are a tactic commonly employed in the sales motion to get deals unstuck. Stuck deals are not dead deals, since your prospect has already expressed interest in your goods or service. There is just something blocking them on their end from closing the deal. Oftentimes, a gentle “nudge” or reminder can help get a stuck deal back on track.
Depending on where you are in the sales motion, nudges can be anything from a simple reminder to a reframing of the solution or even a reevaluation of the contract and pricing. The key is to identify how the deal may have gotten stuck so that when you have your prospect’s attention again you can be ready to move things forward.
A nudge may also not necessarily be with your original contact. Sometimes you need to establish an additional point of contact from a different discipline to get momentum back. For example, you might find that establishing connection through an internal executive with contacts at your prospective company, a mutual connection with your prospect, or one of your existing customers can provide the next intro that leads to more conversation.
What are the reasons that sales deals get stuck?
It is not uncommon for deals to get stuck during the various stages of the sales motion. While many times these deals can be unstuck, failure to act risks losing the prospect entirely. Here are just a few reasons why deals stall:
- The prospect isn’t convinced: You might have a great product or solution, but the client doesn’t believe you yet. This can often occur when the pitch focuses too much on the product but does not include important elements like social proof and industry reports, or there is a lack of perceived value.
- You don’t have the right stakeholders: Someone you are talking to within the organization has a problem that your product solves, but they don’t influence buying decisions.
- There is a lack of trust: Bringing in new software or processes into an organization is a huge undertaking that often includes huge benefits like productivity boosts and better alignment, but also introduces high risk. Going too big on a first deal might give a prospect cold feet once they realize the setup and implementation factors.
Analyzing whether your current deal has any of these hang-ups can help you re-establish yourself with your prospect, or even get your foot in the door with someone new at the company.
Why aren’t the old nudging techniques working anymore?
Pre-pandemic, getting the attention of a prospect was different. Many office workers had dedicated office phone lines, and in some sales markets it wasn’t uncommon to simply drop in or propose a lunch meeting.
Now, with so many people working from home, it’s hard to make sales visits, and unknown callers on personal cell phones are all too often going direct to voicemail.
Even email, which has always been one of the most effective sales and marketing tools, is no longer a reliable channel for nudging a stuck deal. There’s simply too much noise. In fact, a recent study showed that our inboxes are flooded. According to recent data worldwide, the number of emails sent and received per day in 2023 is a whopping 347.3 billion—a 4.3% increase from the previous year, when the number of emails sent and received per day registered at 333.2 billion.
With traditional channels to reignite a deal drying up, relationship-led sales is becoming a leading driver in getting access to prospects in order to turn stuck deals into sales wins.
How do nudges help with relationship selling:
With relationship selling, a nudge email can easily become an operationalized executive sponsorship email. Why? When you leverage clout and warm relationships, people are far more responsive than from cold outreach. Networks and connections become entirely new communication channels when we empower positive relationships towards mutual benefits.
Hifive makes it even easier to tap into your networks to nudge stuck deals. Hifive is a Chrome extension that you can install on your LinkedIn in order to leverage your connections. Using templates and AI, Hifive makes messaging a mutual connection, or Connector, between you and your prospect a breeze. It then takes less than a minute for a Connector to review your email request, make small edits, and hit send, reopening communication with your prospect through a vetted and trusted nudge.
So don’t let a deal slip by without attempting to re-engage the prospect using relationship selling techniques. By digging into the potential reason for the slow down, then leveraging your connected network, Hifive can help you get your foot back in the door and re-activate a relationship to take it to a done deal.
Posted November 2, 2023
Join the relationship-led movement
Get introductions with our relationship-led Chrome extension