News & Research Archive

The Top Reasons Why You Can't Close Deals

Aug 11, 2015

Why You Can't Close DealsAs a salesperson, our special sauce is the ability to close deals. Yet close ratios for most of us are less than 50/50 chance. Why is this? If a customer has a need for your product or service, why is the ability to close not statistically higher?

We have to look at Sales 101. Sales is about finding new business, servicing that business, and closing that business. However, often times what is preventing a close begins with the first phase of finding new business.

You Go After The Wrong Opportunities

Years ago, an agent of mine told me that the worst thing you can become is the salesperson that does the "occasional deal." What he was referring to is when salespeople create lines of business that they may not have strategically thought out. They don't put a plan in place to effectively continue producing and instead, they will take on new clients has they cross paths. When this happens, new salespeople will work on deals that may require a skill set that they haven't acquired yet.

For example, suppose you work in commercial real estate and specialized in office space. You have a friend that you take on as a client who works in the restaurant business. Instead of referring your friend to a specialized agent in restaurant real estate, you decide to take on your friend as your own client because you see an opportunity for a potential payday. In the end, you may close the deal. But most likely, your skill set will fail you and you will end up with an unhappy friend and a lot of time wasted with no payday.

You Don't Listen To Your Client's Needs

You need to listen to your clients instead of talking to better understand your client's needs. Often times, particularly with greener salespeople in the field, they are so excited that someone actually may be in need of their product and service, that they begin a monologue on who they are, their past sales success stories, and forget to listen to their client and understand their actual needs.

Your focus during a sales conversation should be on getting your client to speak about their problems, so you can figure out what you can do to help solve them. If you're spending more time crafting the perfect product pitch than you are establishing the right questions to ask, your sales will suffer for it. These two common failures to listen and learn are major reasons why you can't close.

Try creating a list of engaging questions you may ask during every sales conversation. Remember, you are at your most productive, and most profitable, when you are talking only 30 percent of the time, and spending 70 percent of your time listening to what your client has to say.

You Waste Time Working With Non-Decision Makers

Are you certain that you are talking to the final decision maker who ultimately will allow you to close? How many times have you gone all the way to a close, only to learn that other decision makers have to get involved? Once the real decision makers get involved, you learn that their goals in making a sale were not aligned with whom you had been working with.

You Don't Separate From Your Competition

Have you created anything that differentiates you from the competition in terms of providing a product or service? Your service or property needs to be so different and compelling that a client will want to buy from you and not the next agent knocking on their door.

You Try to Close At the Wrong Time

Have you determined when your client actually needs the product or service? This could be a major waste of time if you do not fully understand when the client actually needs to move forward with a deal. If there is no sense of urgency or need, then your client is simply window-shopping. To move a window shopper into an actual close is far more difficult to sell to a customer who needs to buy immediately. Your timing of asking for the close is off. This is where most salespeople fall short. They ask for the close too soon in the sales process, before the product and service has been fully confirmed and supported as the right need. Or, a salesperson will wait too long, allowing the client to question if they really need or want to buy, in which case everything ultimately falls apart.

Great salespeople focus on aligning their skill sets to their type of clients. They understand which clients they are best suited to work with, based off their acquired skill set. Closing sales starts with this understanding and the points above are additional roadblocks you will have to get through in order to win and close business successfully.

Photo Credit: flazingo_photos via Compfight cc


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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