Imagine this: give your watertight sales pitch and absolutely nail it. You had your prospect oohing, ahhing, and nodding along, agreeing with you every step of the way, and even showing true excitement about your value prop. But then. . . the weirdest thing happens. They utter those dreaded words, “I need to think about it.”
You could agree with the prospect and offer to call back in a few days, but deep down you’re seething and blaming them for their indecision. And the last thing you want to do is go back to playing phone tag. You already know — you’ve lost.
“Why does this keep happening? Where am I going wrong?”
What NOT to Do When They “Need to Think About It”
Never use high-pressure or old-school techniques, as this will leave you looking desperate and put your prospect’s respect for you in peril. Remember, there is a real reason for the indecision, and it’s up to you to uncover it. At minimum, you’ll want to get an idea of the real “why” behind their hesitations so that you can prevent it next time.
Why it Happens in the First Place
Remember this: needing to “think it over” is not a true objection. But it leaves many unanswered questions with the objection still M.I.A.
Many sales people take the bait though, leaving the conversation without having learned the real reason the prospect didn’t buy. The need to “think more” is not an objection, it is a stalling method, or a way to not have to say no. It exists because of a knowledge gap, some lack of information, or some unspoken fear or perceived risk, leaving the prospect unable to make a choice. And it’s the salesperson that causes it.
Here are a few objections which are commonly behind your prospect’s “need to think about it” stall:
- Perceived Risk is Too High
- Financial (whether they can’t afford or would like to shop around)
- They aren’t the real decision maker
- Not sold on the concept based on their need
- Low confidence in you or lack of rapport
What to Do About It
You could run home with your tail between your legs, wondering how it all went so wrong. Or you could become paranoid, thinking all your notes from previous communications were fundamentally flawed.
You might even consider every phone call and question whether the rapport you established was real or just in your mind…
Or. . .
You could take our advice and stay in the moment with the prospect, presenting a smart follow up, and asking the right questions. It isn’t comfortable, but it’s far more valuable than the guessing game you’d otherwise have to play later.
Get to the Real Objection: Ask the Prospect The Right Questions
Get to the real reasons why they have to think about it. This will give you major clues to the root cause of why prospects keep stalling on you.
Be honest with yourself. If you know deep down you weren’t truly prepared, and that your reputation didn’t precede you, then it’s time to bow out gracefully and save face so that you can return to the sale later. Go ahead and ask how long they feel they need, and make an appointment for next time. But don’t forget to write it down! Date, time, place, everything. Get it in the books. And take this as a chance to LEARN from your mistakes rather than trying to manipulate the prospect in what is bound to be a lose-lose scenario. This is a well known Jeff Gitomer method.
Take a page from the playbook of renowned sales master Victor Antonio and tell the prospect, “Mr. Customer, when a person tells me they want to think about it, it means one of two things… they aren’t really interested or they are interested, but not sure. Which one is it?” In most cases, the conversation will continue instead of falling flat. If they say they aren’t really interested, it’s done. If they say they’re interested, but not sure, it frees up the tension so that you can review any objections they may have.
Once you get to a true objection, give it your best shot and pull out a few new facts for your prospect to consider. For example, if risk was the objection, let the prospect know what guarantees and policies you can offer them that will reduce (or eliminate!) the risk. This means you’ll have to be strategic, as you don’t want to mention the deal-sweeteners unless a prospect is stalls on you.
Did the Methods Above Fail? Ask Yourself The Right Questions
It pays to reflect, especially if this has been an ongoing problem for you.
- Look at your value proposition with fresh eyes. Does it really favor your prospect?
- Are you truly understanding and speaking to the prospect’s own motives? Or are you focusing on your own?
- Do you succeed in creating a sense of urgency with your pitch? Or do you leave too much room for indecision?
- Prior to pitching them, was there friendly dialogue, and did you really find common ground with the prospect? Or did the process of creating a link of rapport feel forced?
- During the pitch, did you differentiate yourself from the competition? Are you sure you know who your competition really is?
- Are you guessing about your prospect’s past experiences? Or can you say for certain that you know?
- Do you know what your prospect’s expected outcome is?
An Ounce of Prevention
Reflecting on your wins and your losses is essential. Consider the “I need to think about it” as a cue that you need to think about it too. Whether you were able to apply the suggestions above and succeed in the sale, or whether you failed to close the deal, take it as an opportunity to learn.
Or you can save yourself the frustration and hassle, and all this painstaking self-reflection, and hire the experts at C-Level Partners. We make sure that you are 110% prepared for the sale, every time. Tired of straining to prevent losses on your biggest opportunities? Consider us your “pound of cure.”