World Class Blog, Playing to Stalemate

Think World Class Logo

Most of the time we think of win or loose and all of the variables that exist in between. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the stalemate strategy. Lots of people find comfort in that “no decision” area. Never being definitive one way or the other. For some, it can be an almost passive aggressive strategy that keeps things hanging in limbo. Never making landfall and constantly dangling in the wind.

Ever had one of those clients where you feel like your making progress, the client is on board, just a few more details to be ironed out and it’s a done deal. Then it happens. You move to the next phase of the transaction only to find a small objection, one that shouldn’t be a stumbling block but for some reason it appears it is. It momentarily derails the transaction. Not an “NO” just a “not yet.” You tell yourself OK, a momentary setback but inevitably this one’s going to happen. I can live with that, I will solve this and run right back to finish the deal. After all it’s good for everybody ~ right?

It has happened to anyone who has ever tried to sell anything. My Grandfather used to say “the only NO that counts is the last one you are prepared to take”. And for the most part, he was right, often we give up too early.

Start by challenging the objection, understand what’s being said and maybe more importantly what is not being said. Always be ready to let go when the possibility is zero, and move on to the next opportunity. Cause there is always another opportunity. Keep the follow-up going, but stop counting this chicken until it’s hatched.

Know when you come to that point when it’s time to either fish or cut bait. Sometimes you just got to call em out. You know it in your gut, pay attention. Think it through and figure it out. The sooner, the better for both of you. If you have to, go back to prospecting this client, go to the protracted close.

This realization can hit you like a bolt of lightning. It’ an epiphany a cathartic moment opening up the heavens and allowing you to see. This prospect isn’t playing to win and certainly not playing to lose, they’re playing to stalemate. As long as you’re prepared to allow the stalemate to continue they’re ready to assume the position of running stuck. Progress gets mired in the emotional mud of the prospects making. Often these prospects are addicted to the stall; their goal is to keep things swinging in the air. The stalemate offers the security of not having to address issues, make changes, and often doing nothing just has a lot less risk. See it for what it is and position yourself accordingly.

If it’s not going to happen, ~ Think World Class