The 4 P’s of Prospect Delay. Number 1: Priority

As salespeople, we face delays in moving deals forward on a weekly if not daily basis. We can put in as much time and effort as we like to win over a prospect and a delay still occurs which can be incredibly frustrating.

I believe there are 4 main reasons that prospect delays occur which I call the 4 P’s of Prospect Delay. Over the next 4 weeks I’m going to share these with you and some ideas on how you can overcome them and win more business, starting with the first P which stands for Priority.


The first of my 4 P’s of Prospect Delay is priority. This is one that often causes a challenge for me and I’m sure you’ll have experienced it yourself in the past. You have qualified the lead, built a rapport with them, asked all the right questions and overcome any objections and you are sure you’re going to get them over the line but when it comes down to it, their priority has suddenly changed. The implementation of your product or service has suddenly moved from the top of their priority list to somewhere near the bottom.

So how are you going to handle this?


The key thing to do when this happens is to show understanding rather than getting frustrated with your prospect because this simply will not get you anywhere. The prospect of course wants to work with you, because they’ve been giving you all the right buying signals but often these challenges are out of their control too.


Aim to have an honest conversation with them and try to get to the bottom of why the project has moved from the top of their priorities. Ask questions like:

  • Where does this fit on your priority list?
  • Is there a reason it’s dropped off your priority list?
  • Is there anything I can do to move it back up your priority list?

Ask these questions now to determine whether this is just a short blip or whether it’s something you’re going to have to put on the back burner for the time being.


Don’t give up until you are given a definitive no. If you give up at the first hurdle, you’ll never win in sales. So be persistent and make sure you stay at the forefront of your prospect’s mind ready for when the project becomes a priority again. Continue to engage and interact with your prospect on a regular basis and make it clear that you still want to work with them further down the line.
So there’s the first of my 4 P’s of Prospect Delay. The next P stands for Pain. Sometimes in sales, a prospect will delay a project because it simply isn’t a big enough pain point for them. In next week’s blog and video, I’ll be discussing this further. Sign up to receive notifications when my blogs go live and ensure you don’t miss it!

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