“I think we’ve lost them. He’s gone and got cold feet on it. The sale is gone.”

When someone gets cold feet, they have second thoughts about making an important decision, and this fear, uncertainty or dread invariably leads to a no decision, or another form of decision that’s not in our favour.

I was thinking recently about what a strange phrase, or figure of speech, this is. When we have cold feet in real life, it’s because we’ve been too static, for too long in cold weather, and the only thing we can do is move, either jumping or stamping on the spot or moving to a warmer place.

In the figurative sense of cold feet, moving is exactly what they’re not doing. They’re simply going to get colder on a decision in your favour, until frostbite sets in.

Perhaps ‘slow feet’ is a better way to describe a loss of momentum to a decision-maker’s buying or thought processes. Not as catchy, but more helpful I think.