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You Want to Think About It?

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Have you ever been listening to a sales person wax on and on about a product that you have absolutely no interest in? We all have. What do you typically do in that circumstance? We all have our favorite ways of getting rid of a pushy sales person but one of the classics of all time is the "I want to think about it" objection. It comes in various forms but basically we say something like this:
"I need to think about this." or …
"Thanks very much, you have been very helpful, let me think it over and I'll get back to you." or …
"Let me mull it over."

You get the idea.

There is a reason it gets used so regularly: because it works! Most sales people are deathly afraid of being pushy so they fold their tent as soon as they hear the objection. Now admittedly, sometimes people do legitimately need to take some time to think about a decision. But many times this objection is used when they don't like your product, or your price, or the sales person, or … fill in the blank - it could be any number of reasons. Unfortunately, when many sales people hear this objection they believe the client is actually going to go home and seriously consider their offer. While that does happen, it doesn't happen that often. Use your own experience as your guide on that one. How many times do you actually go home and think about it?

I believe we are giving up too early by not asking more questions when we hear the objection "I want to think about it". We are hoping for an easy sale: a client that disappears and then magically reappears a few days later to buy. While that does happen on occasion, many times it does not. (If you think most of the people that say they want to think about it come back to buy I would challenge you to track it for a couple of months).

Ok, so we know it is sometimes used by clients as a way to leave your sales presentation. Here are some ideas on what to do when you get this objection:

- Try to avoid the objection in the first place. In your interview ask questions like, "How long have you been shopping?". People are less likely to procrastinate on a decision if they have already gone public with the fact that they have been thinking about it for awhile.
- Try to avoid the objection in the first place. Make sure your sales process includes a step where you get the person you are talking with to confirm they have the problem that the product you are trying to sell them solves. People leave sales conversations by giving excuses like "I want to think about it" when they are being sold a product they have no interest in.
- Remember that the objection, "I want to think about it" is really not the real objection. What they want to think about is the real objection. Your job is to find that out. Is it the product, the price, a feature they do not understand, a competitors offer they want to compare? You need to know.
- Respond positively when a client tells you they want to think about it. Let them know that it's ok if they want to think about their decision (after all you will let them go won't you?) This will put them at ease and let them know that they are free to leave any time which makes them more inclined to elaborate on what they want to think about. You could say something like, "absolutely Mr. Client, take your time and think over the best thing for you to do."
- Ask a question to understand what it is they want to think about. What you are trying to do here is to understand the objection, not overcome it. You are not trying to change their mind but figure out what they are thinking – why they want to put off the decision. You can't deal with the real objection (what they are thinking about) until you know what it is.
o You could ask, "you must have a reason for wanting to think about it, can I ask what that is?"
o Another way to respond is by putting the blame on yourself. For example, "I'm sorry Mr. Client, from everything you told me I thought this was the best product for you to go with, obviously I misunderstood something, is there something specific you want to think about that is holding you back?"

Now I admit that by asking these questions not everyone will open up and magically tell you what is going on. But some will, and that's the point in getting good at these responses. If you have done a good interview and you know you have the right product at a competitive price then when you politely ask what they need to think about you will get some people to tell you. The guarantee I can give you is that if you ask, you will have more people tell you what they are thinking about then you will if you don't do anything.

It's simple really. If you know what is stopping them from buying you have a chance to deal with it. If you don't know you can't help and you end up without a sale. The odds are in your favor. So why not ask?

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