As an entrepreneur running a business, you need deals to survive. Sales, business development, whatever you want to call it, it is the lifeblood of any business.

Maybe your company can survive with subpar operations or a without a finance expert but the one thing your business can't survive without are deals.

Closed deals to be exact.

Learning the art of closing deals is important but the sub-skill to learn is the art of knowing if a deal is about to close.

Having this superpower can help you forecast, structure your day, and know just how hard you will have to hustle to make it to the next one.

My business has always been buying real estate; I have bought over 1,000 homes. Through these deals, I have learned some best practices for identifying if a deal is likely to close or not.

Here are five ways to know if a deal is about to close (or not):

1. Pay Attention to Language

Through all the back and forth, simply paying attention to the words the prospect is using can be a great way to gauge the success of that deal. When the prospect is using words like "if", it is likely an indicator that the deal is still something that is being considered.

When you hear them make the change to "when", this can be a good sign that they have made it past the evaluation stage and they are already thinking about what it will be like when the deal is done.

2. Going up the chain

Often times with deals, you may be talking to someone who has some input, but not the final decision making power you need to get that deal done.

Often times, there will be several calls, meetings and emails exchanged before it gets to the final decision maker. But once you hear that the decision maker is coming in, that can be a good way to know that a firm yes or no is coming.

3. Look for deadlines

The best kinds of deals have a hard deadline of some kind. Once you know the deadline, you know that no matter what, a decision will be made.

Throughout the sales process it is important to ask the right questions to quickly determine what their deadline is. When you hear prospects mentioning due dates and deadlines, make your final moves because a decision is looming.

4. Engagement changes

If you have a proposal that has already been discussed, and the prospect comes back to you and ask for changes to be made, that is another great sign that the deal is at least making progress and has a chance of closing. If they are not seriously considering it, they wouldn't bother asking for changes.

5. Lots of questions

When they keep coming back to you with questions, this is a sign that an internal discussion is taking place amongst their team. While this is not a clear sign that deal will happen, it is a sign that whatever you have proposed has piqued their interest or forced them to consider new information.

Each deal is unique and complex and there can be hundreds, if not thousands of signs to watch for.

Knowing which signs to watch for takes time and practice. But being on the lookout for those signs and honing your own ability to read them puts you ahead of many other hustling entrepreneurs.

Published on: Oct 6, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.