Are you doing enough in the sales process to close the deal?

Salespeople are always quick to say, “My price was too high, that was the reason the customer didn’t buy.” That’s garbage. I want you to take that off the table. 

I want to share 11 reasons salespeople can’t close. Don’t look at these as excuses! Instead think: what do we need to change?

1. Failing to uncover priorities that are keeping their attention focused elsewhere. 

We may think that we have the only opportunity, or the only decision they need to make, but there’s plenty of other things going on in the customer’s world. 

I put great proposals in front of customers all the time, but because of other priorities—which I haven’t done a good enough job of uncovering—the deal stalls. 

2. Lack of perceived value by the customer. 

In other words, we did not do a good enough job of demonstrating why the customer is going to benefit from buying from us. 

Lack of perceived value is what trips price. When the customer says your price is too high, it’s because they haven’t seen enough value. 

3. The sales proposal has merit, but not enough for the customer to risk making a decision.

It looks good, but we’re comfortable with what we have. We’re just not going to change. 

It’s the same reason we keep going to the same restaurant when great, new ones open all the time.

It’s not enough just to be better. Does your sales proposal have enough for the customer to risk making the decision? You have to overcome that perceived risk of making the wrong decision which is what so often paralyzes prospects.

4. The customer lacks authority to buy. 

Just because the customer is willing to have a conversation with us, or is willing to share information. No matter how much they like us, dialogue with us and say how great our product or service will be in their company, if they lack authority to buy, they don’t. 

5. The salesperson didn’t know enough about the customer’s customer and how to leverage this information.

We need to understand downstream, and it’s the same in B2B or B2C. 

The customer may buy something because it helps them serve their customers. That’s easy to see even in B2C. 

6. Changes in the industry are making the value proposition lack relevance. 

An industry might’ve had one way of producing something, but now due to regulatory changes, a technological change, or AI, the production process has changed and what we provide them is no longer relevant. 

What’s happening in the industry that is making our value proposition lack relevance? You’ve got to stay focused in your niche to understand all the changes that are happening and how to leverage it. 

7. Failing to see how the solution could create a competitive advantage. 

Everybody’s got competitors; B2B, B2C, but the customer has to see that the solution’s going to make a competitive advantage, or they won’t make a move.

8. The customer has a low level of trust in the salesperson. 

In the absence of trust, price becomes everything. 

The value of the value proposition goes up or down based on who is giving it. So believe me, everything starts with the salesperson and the level of trust they’re creating. 

Read How to Build a Foundation of Competence and Customer Trust

9. A sales proposal that is confusing to the customer.

A confused customer does not buy. 

Oftentimes we are so enamored with our product. We know our service so well. Then, we put this proposal on the table that is going to bring world peace, solve hunger, solve every problem in the world, but all it does is confuse the customer

We have to keep it absolutely simple for the customer to do business with you. This is where putting too many options on the table can actually work against you. Never offer more than two or three options. That’s it, period. 

I like putting out a couple of options. I want the customer to feel like they’re in control by having a choice, but I don’t put out a menu of options for them. 

10. The salesperson has not demonstrated competency in the selling process.

If the salesperson stumbles through the presentation, and can’t answer every question that comes up—why should the customer trust you? They’re not going to. 


11. Failing to articulate the benefits or outcomes in a way that fits the customer’s needs. 

If we have some outcomes, but I don’t share them in a manner that the customer can see value in, they’re meaningless. This is why I can’t even begin to talk about my product until you first tell me where you’re coming from and where your head’s at. 

Debunking the ‘Dumb Customer’ Myth 


This episode is a wake-up call for sales pros who’ve caught themselves pointing fingers at customers instead of refining their approach!


Find Ep. 207 on The Sales Hunter Podcast now.

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Copyright 2024, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

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