Sales Moves

The ultimate response to 'I want to think about it'

July 25, 2014
TAGS paradox / sales
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When a customer says, “I want to think about it,” or “I need some time to think it over,” it's one of the most frustrating expressions a salesperson can hear.

You feel helpless, or if you've been poorly trained, you lapse into some manipulative dialogue that proves you’re both a crappy salesperson and that you’re only there for the money.

There's a better way.

I'm about to give you the ultimate response to “I want to think about it” — one of the oldest sales stalls known to mankind.

The paradox of “I want to think about it” has always been that the salesperson wants to make the sale right away, and the customer has not yet seen the value or the reduced risk in doing business with the salesperson. 

And often, customers have already made up their minds, but do not want to share that with (you) the salesperson. The salesperson gets frustrated and blames the customers for their inability to decide, rather than taking responsibility for his own lack of sales ability and lack of preparation.

Reality: Stop blaming. Start taking responsibility. Be prepared (Boy Scout motto) for the objection way before you get to the sales call. 

Here is what to say, here's what to offer, and here's how to offer it.

You say: “I'm an expert at what I do. You're an expert at what you do. Let me share with you the questions you need to ask yourself, and ask of others, as you think about it.” 

These are questions way beyond “How much is it?” and “When do I really want to start?”

Hand over a list of questions about the intricacies and the value of your stuff. For example, if you're selling IT services and data protection, here's a list of questions for the customer:

Mr. Prospect, here are six things you need to think about as you’re deciding:

1. How much is your data worth?

2. Who is protecting your data daily?

3. How much spam do you get? How much time do you spend dealing with it? What is your time worth?

4. What happened the last time you lost data?

5. What is a business heart attack to you?

6. What’s the difference between 99 percent guaranteed up-time and 100 percent guaranteed up-time? 3.65 days of downtime. What is the extra 1 percent worth?

You hand the questions to the customer and read the questions out loud, and then ask him or her, “Would you like to think about these questions by yourself, or would you like to think about them with me?”

Keep in mind: You are the expert. The customer is depending on you for answers he or she cannot create for themselves. Whether you're selling life insurance, refrigerators, accounting services, new cars, or a million-dollar home, most likely the customer is making a one-time purchase, but it may be your one-thousandth time to make the presentation. It's critical that you transfer confidence, not just information.

“I want to think about it” is your golden opportunity to give value, prove value, make the prospect think about themselves and their options — and still have an opportunity to make the sale.

The secret: You must prepare for the “I want to think it over” stall before you make the sales call. You have to positively accept the stall when it occurs. The more positive you are, the more surprised the prospect will be. And you must present my solution inexactly the manner I have described above.

When presenting this answer to the prospect, your tone must be both friendly and calm. The prospect will see that you’re prepared and, at the very least, will be impressed — and at the very most, will be both engaged and willing.

You are in complete control when you’re prepared.

You have totally lost control when you’re not prepared.

Reality: This solution will not work all the time, but it will work. How often it works will be determined by how often you try it. The more you prepare for it, the better you will become at overcoming. 

Wanna try it? Or do you wanna think about it? Your choice.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 books. His “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling” is available as a book and an online course at gitomerVT.com. For public event dates and information about training and seminars, visit gitomer.com or email Jeffrey at salesman@gitomer.com.

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