Your deal fell through the cracks? Here’s a step-by-step guide to regroup and move forward.

You’ve been in negotiations with a promising client for weeks. You wrote up the proposals, addressed every question promptly, and reached the point of shaking hands. It looked like a done deal—but then the deal fell through the cracks. Ouch. That stings.

It may have been a simple misunderstanding.

It may have been a circumstance out of your control.

Either way, you don’t have time to wallow in defeat. Now is the time to bounce back and follow a proven strategy. Regroup, negotiate, or pack up and move on to the next opportunity.

deal fell through - now what?

1. Pinpoint the issue that’s stopping the deal and find a way to fix it

Countless obstacles get in the way of a favorable deal. Figure out what obstacles are in your control and try your best to work around them. Successful negotiating may include rewriting your proposal, offering a different quote, or adding value by going the extra mile for the client.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself (and the client) to save the deal:

  • What are the underlying objections to your proposed deal? Reevaluate the position of your prospect and dig beneath the surface for the real problem.
  • What can you do right now to show fantastic customer service? Sometimes taking one extra step will make a difference and tip the deal into closure.
  • Ask him: “If I can put your fears at ease and meet all of your needs right now, would you consider giving me a shot at your business today?” Sometimes it takes a hard close to push a buying decision.

the deal fell through

2. Never burn your bridges—business may come back around

If your final attempt to salvage the sale goes south, don’t cut ties with your prospect. Taking a failed deal personally will damage your reputation. The deal fell through, but your integrity needs to remain intact. Moving past it in a professional and courteous manner may pay off down the line.


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Here are five quick reasons why you should maintain a good relationship after a deal falls through:

  • They will remember you if they want to do business again.
  • They may recommend you to other business contacts or leads.
  • They grow your professional network and business contacts.
  • They will have something positive to say about you.
  • They can provide insightful feedback on your sales process.

deal fell through - now what?

3. Ask for feedback and evaluate your sales process

What’s the best way to act positively if the deal fell through? Getting feedback that corrects your mistakes. There is no one better to ask “Why?” than the person who told you “No.” She’s the one who will illuminate the issues in your sales processes, offers, and policies.

A few questions to ask:

  • How can we, as a company, improve so that you’re interested in doing business in the future?
  • What’s the one biggest problem you found in our services or products?
  • What would you do differently, if you were in my position?

If anything substantial results from your conversation, take those insights seriously. Reevaluate your sales processes and implement a new strategy immediately. It shows transparency and integrity when you ask for genuine feedback, and most people will give it freely.

the deal fell through

4. Don’t harp on the negative—reenergize another deal and move forward

There are no guarantees in sales. No one—not even the greatest salespeople—have a closing ratio of one hundred percent. There will be setbacks, false alarms, failed deals, and lost battles.

Take Zig Ziglar’s wisdom to heart: “Remember that a failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.”

Furthermore, never put yourself in a position where all of your hopes and dreams rely on a single deal. That will lead to severe disappointments. Instead, always have multiple deals in the making. If one goes south, you have another to keep going. A full hopper leaves no time for feeling sorry and wondering why the deal fell through.


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What’s your number one tip for overcoming a failed deal? Share it in the comments!