“I WANT TO THINK IT OVER” Updated and Modernised
After selling for over 53 years, I have personally learned to love the sentence “I want to think it over!”
Often the “I want to think it over!” sentence is considered by many to be an ‘objection,’ or ‘stalling tactic,’ or more often than not, many sales trainers refer to it as a polite way of say ‘no,’ or even worse still, some say ‘that it’s a quick way of getting the seller off the premises.’
To those who hold the views that the “I want to think it over!” sentence is a ‘polite way of say no,’ or ‘is a quick way of getting the seller off the premises,’ I want to throw in this curve-ball that I would hazard a guess that it would be somewhere close to 100% of the sellers confronted by this sentence will automatically go into ‘defence mode’ and immediately go into some form of ‘fight mode.’
And I’m sure they would use statements like these:
• “I’m surprised you want to think about it!?
• “May I ask what there is to think about?”
• “Are you sure you need to think about it”?
• “Is there someone else you need to consult with to make a decision?”
Others will trot out the J. Douglas Edwards, famous response he coined in the 1960’s:
“I understand how you feel! Many of my customers felt the same way prior to buying this product.”
The seller pauses and then adds, “And you probably have several questions you still need to have answered before you make a decision, isn’t that correct?”
The prospect answers with, “Yes, that’s right!”
The seller then counters with, “Let’s make a list of some of them.” (Takes out a piece of paper and starts writing, then points at what was written, and says), “Which one of these is actually the one that’s keeping you from going ahead? (Then proceeds with an isolation process).
I have a lot of respect for J. Douglas Edwards, and Tom Hopkins who has kept this process alive throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and the 2000’s, and although this process still works today, it is still a throw-back from the 1960’s and most selling have come a long way since then.
The down-side to this method is, the longer the salesperson drags the process out, the more responses the prospect is able to think of. Many times they get enough time to reinforce the fact they will not be doing anything today. Invariably over time “they don’t think about it” and over the next day or two there will not be a sale there. And I also believe, that this kind of interrogation then becomes a ‘polite way of say no,’ or ‘is a quick way of getting the seller off the premises.’ Perhaps that’s why some trainers may tell their sellers these things – because in their experience it has proven to be true.
The response I have personally found to be the best counter-sentence is the one that Lee Dubois, the seasoned sales trainer (I first viewed on video in the 1980’s) uses, and it’s still current and powerful is:
“You must have a reason for saying that. Do you mind if I ask you what it is?”
It’s short, and the prospect does not have time to either think of something that sounds like a plausible answer, or is able to evade the question without having to pause for a little while first. If they do pause, then you know where you stand.
This closing format, in my experience I have found it gets them pointed in the right direction a good 90% of the time and I have constantly used it over the past three decades.
Another format I like and have found to work for me, especially if I use it combined with the Lee Dubois question, is one I was give to me by Paul McAnery, a great salesman, who has now become a really high earning MLM (Multi Level Marketing) promoter.
It’s a bit long winded for me, but it’s easy to and it needs to be applied in the order you read it:
Step 1 – Listen to them and work out what their “key reason” is
Step 2 – Offer them an empathy statement – put yourself in their shoes
Step 3 – Rephrase their “key reason” into a question, then tie-it down
Step 4 – Give them a plausible answer to their “key reason”
Step 5 – Close the sale, or close the issue down based on the “key reason”
Prospect: “We want to think it over!”
This is how it is used to get rid of that ‘stumbling block’:
Seller – Step 1: Listen through what they have to say then pause for a moment before you move to Step 2
Seller – Step 2: “I understand how you feel! Many of my customers felt the same way, and had similar concerns to you, before they bought this product.”
Seller – Step 3: “I can understand exactly why you say that, and you probably still have a few questions you need answered before you make a decision. Is that right?”
Prospect: “Yes, that’s right!”
Seller – Step 4: “When you first started telling me why you need to think it over you said, (State what you see as the key issue) Is that right?” If it is the “key reason” go to step 5, if it’s not, by now you would have earned the right to be bold.
Seller – Step 5: (Close) “When would you like me to arrange delivery?” If you are unable to close, ask for approval (close down) based on the “key reason” (Doing that removes most obstacles when you do formally close).
As a final suggestion practice this on a friend or relative or relative where possible, otherwise you could do what many of us do, and that is to practice in front of a mirror, or simply record yourself with a DVD recorder or on a smart phone. Over time this closing style should be come automatic whenever you hear that sentence, “I want to think it over!”
Copy and distribute this content as often as you want. You are encouraged to share it. © Copyright Peter Collins, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies over 48 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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