11 Warning Signs a Deal Is Going to Fall Through



a Deal

Being able to close a deal is a crucial part of an entrepreneur’s skill set, but sometimes vendor agreements and partnerships can fall through from unavoidable circumstances out of your control. Having the foresight that a deal is about to fall through can be quite beneficial for a company, however, as it gives leaders the opportunity to figure out the next steps in advance (Pursue the agreement more aggressively? Back off and let it fail? Or do nothing and see if it corrects itself?). However, before you can take any action, you must be able to identify the telltale signs of a deal collapsing. To help, we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“What is one major warning sign that a deal with a partner or vendor is not going to pan out, and how should a company respond to that sign?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say.



1. Inconsistent Communication

“Inconsistent communication and no plan are telltale signs of issues to come. Efficient teams and individuals are able to distill important information, communicate effectively and make decisions. If you have a vendor or client that is constantly changing course, or unable to make decisions or communicate effectively, you are on track to lose time and money.” ~ Tony Scherba, Yeti

2. Slow Response Time

“Response time is essential. When someone is keen to do something, they will prioritize getting back to you quickly. If you’re often waiting days or even weeks for a response, this could be a warning sign that the prospect isn’t very interested. In order to avoid situations where I’m waiting a while for a response, I try to communicate with clients via messaging apps as this often streamlines discussions.” ~ Ibrahim Alkurd, New Mine

3. Lack of Collaboration

“Lack of collaboration is a big red flag. Specifically in the marketing or advertising world, if a partner has one quick conversation with you and then doesn’t involve you in any of the future work, it’s not going to work. A good partner will want to be collaborative to ensure they are consistently meeting expectations and keeping you in the loop.” ~ Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.



4. Being Disagreeable

“One of the most important qualities of a great partner or vendor is what I call “agreeableness.” How easy are they to work with? Does it seem important to them that everyone is happy and taken care of? Or do they feel more like a “fair-weather friend” who is only nice and helpful as long as everything is going their way? In my experience, working with disagreeable people is rarely worth it.” ~ Jesse Lear, Epicurean Properties, LLC

5. Making Excuses

“We have all accepted a project that overwhelmed us. But how often do you consistently make excuses for not getting things done. Rarely, right? You should hold your partners and vendors to that same expectation. There’s a big difference between a big workload that requires assistance and someone making excuses for not following up or completing a specific task.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

6. Customer Support Complaints

“If you’re evaluating a potential vendor and find that they have a lot of customer support complaints, that’s a bad sign. Of course, most companies deal with upset customers regarding support issues from time to time. But, if there’s an overwhelming amount of customer complaints, it shows that there’s deeper issues within the company.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

7. Incorrect Information

“Incorrect information is a big red flag—for instance, if a vendor’s address is proved to be false or their phone line is disconnected. If a vendor is going to lie about where they operate, then it is very likely that they will lie about larger issues such as delivering the product or service that you need. Always fact-check the information to avoid a bind.” ~ Duran Inci, Optimum7



8. Being Flaky in Decision-Making

“A huge warning sign is when a partner or vendor becomes flaky in their decision-making. They either don’t show up to meetings or, when they do, they suddenly change their mind on what they said before. People like this don’t know what they want and will drag you down with them, so make sure you do business with professionals who understand what they’re getting into. ” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Lack of Patience

“A vendor who just wants to push the deal through shows warning signs that they’re not paying attention to your needs. A great vendor is someone who is willing to talk to you and answer as many questions as you have. They’ll learn about your needs, address your fears and be willing to give you the time to think. I’d advise you to avoid anyone who’s pushy rather than patient.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

10. General Disregard From the Partner

“One of the first signs that a deal is not going to work out is general disregard from the partner or vendor. If you’re doing everything you can to gather data, attend meetings and communicate changes, but your partner has a couldn’t-care-less attitude, it’s time for a change. I suggest responding by giving the other side one more chance to meet their end of the agreement before ending the contract.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

11. A Bad Gut Feeling

“If your gut tells you that someone isn’t a good fit, you should listen. Sometimes this is just anxiety taking its toll, but most of the time, you know when it’s more serious. Your intuition never lies, so if something seems off about someone, it’s important to listen to that feeling. Otherwise, you could face many problems and hardships down the road.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms



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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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