The “I need to think it over” objection is a lot like when you have been sitting at a stop light and the light turns green, you step on the gas and your car stalls. It’s irritating – to say the least. On a sales call, you’ve gone through your entire sales presentation with a potential customer, crunched some numbers and when you ask for the sale, you hear, “Well, it sounds good, but I need to think it over.” You were doing well, waiting for the customer to give you the green light, and you stalled out. Irritating – to say the least.
The “I need to think it over” objection is sometimes nothing more than a delaying tactic used by the customer to stop the natural progress of the sale. Why does it happen” What does the customer really mean by saying, “I need to think it over?” Here are a few ideas and possible remedies:
1) The customer is still unclear about the benefits of the purchase.
Remedy: Did you ask enough questions and did you listen to the answers. Ask the customer, what specifically does he or she need to think over? To get to the truth, use what I call a “Linguistic Activator.”
What’s a “Linguistic Activator?” Linguistic Activators are carefully chosen words that can get people to act or respond in a specific way. Lawyers, politicians, magicians, mindreaders, and hypnotists use them all the time.
Let’s look at a “Linguistic Activator” that will help you get to the truth as to why a customer is stalling in making the purchase. I call it the “presupposition activator.” I’ll, first, explain it and then show you how to use it.
The “Presupposition Activator.” Whenever you take a powerful adverb and add the suffix “ly” to it such as obviously, naturally, seriously, and certainly, you create a presupposition. A presupposition is a statement that contains a hidden assumption and the subconscious mind tends to take this hidden meaning as being true. For example, if a magician says to you, “Obviously this is a regular deck of cards,” your subconscious mind will agree, even though it is highly likely that, in reality, the deck of cards is actually a trick deck.
You must then, follow up your statement with a question. Why? Because whatever the person says next is, most likely, the truth.
In our case, you might say, “Seriously, I thought that I answered all your questions and provided a lot of information, what exactly about (the product) do you need to think over?” Now, be quiet. (Do not say a word and I don’t care if it takes a month.) This may make the customer squirm, but that’s okay. If they are squirming, it’s because they have not been totally honest with you about something. Once you have the answer, move the conversation accordingly.
2) You didn’t tap into the emotional needs of the customer.
Remedy: Most sales trainers will agree that people buy first on emotion, and then rationalize their decision based on logic. The primary reason that people buy anything is based on three emotions: greed, lust or fear. (Think about that, for a moment.) With that in mind, ask yourself, “Why would the customer want or need this product? What will it help them do, achieve, or become? “What could happen if the customer doesn’t buy this product or service?”
Before you go out on another call, write down a list of emotions such as: greed, power, strength, respect, etc., and then see if you can link your product to any of these emotions. Develop a sentence or two that taps into those feelings. For example: “When your neighbors see you in this new car they are going to be thinking, ‘Wow, he must be making some money.’” Obviously, you are tapping into the emotions of greed and lust, as well as their offsprings: power, respect, wealth, and envy – all of which can be incredible motivators to make people buy.
3) The customer is trying to be what I call a “big pants” person.
By that, I mean that the customer really didn’t have the authority or ability to make the purchase and instead of letting you know up front, they were trying to appear bigger than they were. You probably just wasted your time.
Remedy: Try to avoid working with “big pants” people. Sometime before you go into your presentation (and if you can do this before you make a call in person, so much the better) ask the customer, “Do you have the final authority with regard to purchasing (this product)?” If the customer says, “No,” ask who does and make sure that that person is at the meeting. Remember, you don’t have time to go through a weeding out process. Your time is important and the time that you spend talking to an “underling” is the same time that you could be spending talking to a decision maker somewhere else. Unless the sale is vital to your career and life, then just state that you will send some information and when a meeting can be planned where all pertinent parties are available, you will be there.
If the customer says, “Yes” you then ask, “Great. I was wondering, approximately, what is your budget?” Get the money out on the table, where you can see it. (By the way, “I was wondering” is a powerful Linguistic Activator. Here’s why. The word “wonder” reminds people – subconsciously – about childhood. It brings about the feeling of magic, amazement, happiness, and so on. People will always respond to “I was wondering” far more than “May I ask you a question?” Try it.)
Also, ask, “When would you want to make your purchase?” If the customer has a time frame, then you are more than likely not going to have to deal with a “big pants” person. Should they need to “think it over” you respond by saying, “Specifically, what can I help clarify for you? You stated that you needed the product by (this time) and that you had the final authority to make the decision?” Now, again, be quiet. Whatever the customer says at this point is the truth.
These are just a few ideas on how to handle, and possibly avoid, the “I need to think it over” sales objection. Hopefully, they will help you to not only get the green light from your customer, but also never “stall out” again.
Bob Garner is a funny motivational speaker who actually has something to say. With clients worldwide, Bob is recognized as an entertaining motivational speaker, as well as an author and syndicated writer.
©2011 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use my byline and author resource.