You go through your entire one-hour, amazing sales presentation.
You nailed it. The prospect seemed to be in agreement, even excited at times. He or she has all the logical and emotional reasons to buy, but at the end of your pitch says, “Sounds great. I need to think it over for a few days.”
Now what? Say something? Use a worn-out sales technique? Agree and leave? Offer to call back or come back in a few days? Meanwhile you’re off balance and about to make a bad choice, plus you’re mentally blaming the customer for his indecisiveness. Relax.
I’m about to share 2.5 definitive answers to this age-old sales barrier.
1. Why it occurs.
2. What to do about it.
2.5 What never to do about it.
Why do prospects say, “I want to think about it”? Most salespeople never understand or are never taught why the “think it over” situation occurs.
It is a direct result of one or more of these elements:
- Some unspoken fear or reason;
- Some perceived risk;
- Not wanting to just say no;
- Not the real decision-maker;
- You haven’t uncovered my real motive to buy;
- You haven’t sold me yet;
- I don’t like you;
- I don’t believe you;
- I don’t have confidence in you;
- I don’t trust you;
- I think your price is too high; and
- I can’t afford what you’re selling;
All of these elements or reasons why are the real barrier. “I want to think about it” is a stall or a mask, not an objection or barrier.
Good news: Many of these elements are discoverable way before you get to the end of your presentation. But it’s up to you, the salesperson, to understand what really causes “think it over.” You!
Never, in 30 years of sales training, have I ever heard one salesman say, “The guy said I want to think about it, and it was all my fault.”
There are a few posts seeking answers to “I want to think about it” on Sales Gravy, a LinkedIn group with several thousand participants, and more on SalesBuzz.com. There are hundreds of responses, and all of them are way off base. Some are borderline pathetic.
It’s not about response. It’s about prevention.
Before you blame the customer for their lack of ability to decide, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I offer a value proposition that favored the customer?
- Did I ask enough questions to discover motive and urgency of the buy?
- Did I establish rapport and friendly dialog?
- Was I able to create a difference between me and my competition?
- Did I uncover the prospects experience and past use?
- Do I know what the prospect’s expected outcome is?
Before you hear “I want to think about it” you may be able to prevent it. Study the reasons and elements above as a start. They are the major clues as to the root cause.
And there are the new rules of sales. With the advent of the Internet, social media and your responsibility to build visible reputation, combined with your ability to find everything you need to prepare for your sales call, you must be prepared in terms of the customer. And your reputation must precede you.
Reputation and preparation in terms of the customer (how they win) will reduce and eliminate doubt. These are major causes of “think it over.”
Rule: Never use an Old World technique to force or rush the sale. You’ll not only lose the sale, you’ll also lose respect. Rather, try to uncover the emotional or real cause of indecision.
Reality: Most prospects want to think about price or just want to get rid of you.
Reality: Often “I want to think it over” is a red flag for “your price is too high” and/or “I want to try to get a better deal.”
Reality: Rather than try a sales tactic, try to ascertain an understanding of why this is being said so you can prevent it next time.
Resilience: If you do hear “I want to think it over,” just ask the prospect how long they feel they need and make a firm, written-down appointment to return. No phone calls if possible.
Final answers: If you are able to create a perceived difference in the mind of the buyer between your product or service and the others, and if you are able to create a perceived value in the mind of the buyer between your product or service and the others, then you have a chance. If the prospect likes you, believes you, has confidence in you and trusts you, then there may be a sale.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.
Think that over.