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“I want to think about it.”
Baloney. If you believe and allow this excuse from customers, you and your family will be eating Ramen Noodle soup your whole career. When customers tell you they want to think about it, they are really telling you they either have an unspoken objection or they are not convinced that you or your product and service is right for them.
The next time a couple tells you that they want to think about it, watch them as they get out of earshot of you. They will turn to each other and begin to talk about why they are not buying. Whether it’s an objection or a concern, it’s going to boil down to Money, Me or Machine. Money can be price, terms, payments etc. The ‘Me’ portion can be you, the business or service reputation or ability. The Machine segment is your product or service.
First you have to identify the customer’s possible thoughts and emotions. Customers have three forms of spoken and unspoken communication when they say, “I want to think it over.”
• What they are saying
• What they are trying to say
• What they really mean
To get past the smokescreen of “I want to think about it,” you must listen to and understand what they are saying and onto what the customer is trying to say and what they really mean.
When you hear the dreaded stall or objection phrase, don’t do what the majority of salespeople do. Do not ask the customer, “What is it that you want to think over?” With that phrase you create a “Turtle Customer.” They are going to feel threatened or embarrassed and pull into their shell. You will force them to feel scared, embarrassed or intimidated and they are going to run like rabbits.
When you hear the objection, the first step is to agree with them by saying, “Sure, I understand, it’s a big decision so you should take your time.” Next, move your customer to the future. The future does not carry the pressure that today does. “Mr. Customer, if it were a week or a month from now and you had given everything consideration and were ready to make a decision, do you think the No. 1 consideration or thing that had held you up from buying would have been the machine or the money?” Notice, I didn’t mention the “you” portion because the customer would usually be too embarrassed to say you were the problem. Most likely if they are still with you, the problem is the product/service or the money.
If it’s the product or service, it’s easy to suggest alternatives that might fit what they are looking for. A salesperson without alternatives fails by a lack of alternatives. If money is the issue, then break the money portion down — Price, Payment, Down Payment, Monthly Payment, Term, Rates etc. Ask, “Mr. Customer what part of the money is the most important to you?” and then give the possibilities.
Next you must move them to close. “Mr. Customer, in the future, when you are making your decision to purchase and feel good about the payments, would the payments be ____, ______ or ______?” Give stair stepped based options on whatever it is that is their main concern. Customers feel less threatened about options and feel like they are in control. The customer will feel less embarrassed in sharing with you what they can and are willing to do.
When you get the answer from the customer, use the “Up to” and “No more than” phrases to raise the customer’s thinking and commitment. Example — “$500 up to?” “Now if you really had to, no more than?”
Notice that the art of closing this sale is not about closing, but about opening possibilities. You must open to be able to close. To get past the “I’ll think it over” objection, you must listen closely and try to really understand what the customer is communicating. You must move the customer forward in a manner that lessens the customer’s anxieties, rather than increases them. All of these steps must be performed with confidence and with an attitude of TLC – “Think Like a Customer.”