How to deal with a lead delaying decision?

hey guys,

so been a while since I posted.

these days focusing on b2b enterprise sales.

I am able to get them excited, find my software is a good fit. I even do a demo or send them more convincing materials that the software works and easy to use.

they even mention they are ready.

however, something always comes up, like they are busy and need to talk in a few week again.

what am I doing to cause this? is there any possible reason why they would object to the sale by delaying? I know 100% if they delay the chances of them buying is reduced to slim.

how do you deal with this? it’s frustrating because it looks like everything is going great, sales going to get booked and something like this always happens.

was my demo weak? are they really busy because they work at a large company? are they not able to make the decisions?

Super tiring and need some of your inputs to see if you ever run into the same situation, and what was your cause and how did you go about managing it?

I feel like I’m so close, on the verge of finally breaking out of the 9-5.


Feel for you - this frustration is why many of us deliberately avoid these types of sales (not that its a necessarily a bad strategy - just takes time and persistence).

Have you been as blunt as asking them (preferably via telephone as its too easy to stall by email) “So are you ready to buy? Whats stopping you? What would need to happen next?”

Bookmarked this site for “Enterprise Sales” - not read it yet but looked like a good set of resources

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Have you tried giving a discount if the deal closes within your preferred time frame?

At some places I worked, near the end of each quarter and/or year the purse strings would tighten to make the numbers look as good as possible. Perhaps you’re hitting those periods? If these companies have annual reports, you should be able to find out their financial calendar and try to target the beginnings of their quarters/years.

Is it possible you don’t have the people involved in the deal who can say yes and spend the amount of money asked? Different people in a company can have different discretionary spending limits.

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@Rhino’s got it right – you need to clear away the objections. I’m quite a fan of’s blog, and they’ve got a post on “going back to the future”, where they encourage you to ask the question, “What else needs to happen to make you a customer? What will make you buy from us?”, with a great example conversation between the prospect and the sales rep.


I’d suggest watching this YC “Sales School” taught by Steli from He covers this very topic in there:

Great suggestion. I think it helps to as some “diagnostic questions” to find out what is going on with them: are they just politely saying no, or just not ready.

I got an email from someone (at the end of a good 10 part email ‘course’):
What can we do to win your business?

They will sense if you are focusing on THEIR NEEDS rather then “how can I make this sale”.

you could confirm asumptions by exploring their current need, essentially addressing all possible objections by ASKING about them.
So, we sell speech therapy software, I might ask:

  1. Is the patient getting speech therapy? And how much more will they get? (people assume it’s unlimited, it never is)
  2. Do they feel like they are improving?
  3. Do they want more improvement?
  4. Do they want more practice than they are getting?
  5. How soon would you like them to start making more progress?

Sales people do spend quite a bit of effort qualifying leads, making sure they are talking to the people who can say yes.

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If you’re just having trouble getting an answer, I’ve found this line to work well:

“If I don’t hear from you by DATE, I’m going to have to close this opportunity.”

Gives them a deadline, and lets you move on if they don’t respond.