Walk Away from a Sales Relationship That Just Isn’t Working

All sales leads are not equal.

There may be times when you must walk away to better prospects if the sale isn’t on its way to a close.

It’s hard. You’ve invested time and energy in research and expended resources to get close to your target.

It’s like a relationship.

I once worked with a woman who wanted to get married and have kids, but the guy she dated didn’t want either and treated her badly. They dated for 10 long years.

Instead of walking away, she told me, “I’ve already invested all this time. I can’t walk away and have nothing to show for it.”

A year later, she did walk away – and found the love of her life with plans to marry.

Sales is like that.

You feel you’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into a prospect; you’ve researched and planned, but nothing is happening. You don’t want to walk away from a potential sale, but that’s exactly what may need to happen.

My husband is a software developer. He doesn’t force new clients to sign a contract. If a client isn’t a good fit, he’d rather pass than be stuck in a business relationship where neither party is happy.

Unhappy clients are not only unprofitable, they can ruin the company’s and your reputation by telling others about your strong-arm tactics. So, ignore the “close at all costs” strategy.

When you don’t, you’re only focusing on the short-term gains instead of the long-term interests of the prospect and the company.

Prospects feel manipulated ‑ and they’re right and feel buyer’s regret, which makes unhappy customers.

These customers become expensive to service because they aren’t happy with the initial sale. They are a support headache and are unlikely to renew or to generate add-on sales.

Sales need to shift from always closing to always qualifying. When a salesperson qualifies a prospect, she/he knows there is a reasonable chance for a sale that will bring value to both the buyer and seller.

Reasons to walk away:

  • The prospect doesn’t really need your service or product.
  • You don’t meet the prospect’s requirements.
  • The sale/company/person isn’t a good fit.
  • The effort to keep the customer happy requires more money/time/headaches that it’s worth.
  • The buyer is focused solely on price.
  • The prospect is in no hurry to make a decision.
  • The buyer isn’t the true decision maker and won’t let you go past them.
  • If the buyer won’t tell you if they have the budget to buy your services.
  • If more than three vendors are vying for the same business.
  • They aren’t returning your calls.
  • The deal or project isn’t moving forward.
  • The buyer doesn’t see the value of your product.

There are worse things than walking away from a sale. Keep in mind that all prospects are not equal and move away from the ones that won’t land – the earlier, the better.


For more information about Insured Solutions, contact info@insuredsolutions.net.







Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.
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