Running our own businesses, we’ve all heard the dreaded sales line before:
‘It sounds great, it all fits pretty well but I just need a bit of time to think about it.’
Early on in the sales game we may take this as a positive sign. We hang up the phone even a little excited as we believe that next time we call them, after they have gone away and ‘thought about it’, then we can firmly and gracefully close the sale – as sure of a thing as any, right?
But of course after hearing ‘let me think about it’ one too many times we start to notice a pattern we probably knew was actually there all along.
‘Let me think about it’ very rarely, if ever, results in a closed sale.
‘Let me think about it’ really meant ‘I don’t want it at all, but I also don’t want to seem rude or negative when you seemed so passionate!’
‘Let me think about it’ really meant ‘Let me get out of this situation so I can get on with thinking about everything else going on in my life right now’.
After a while, we begin to realise that ‘Let me think about it’ is just as good as a clear NO. In fact, it can be even more detrimental to our businesses practices than a NO as it strings us along with the hope that a result may ensue, a false hope that eats our time and diverts our attention from going out and claiming the next sale.
After one too many claims of ‘let me think about it’ we can look at our sales opportunities and leads and realise that we have a crowd of potential buyers that really aren’t potential buyers at all – and that have since gotten on with their lives, forgetting about our service some 3 minutes after that initial promising conversation was had.
So how do you tackle this masterfully disguised objection and turn it into a resounding YES, with clear action to be taken as soon as possible.
How do we turn ‘Let me think about it’ into ‘What’s there to think about? Let’s get started’?
How do we make ‘Let me think about it’ a part of sales history?
The answer sits squarely in the field of understanding the problem that our service solves, yet takes it one step further than just the presenting problem on the surface level.
‘Let me think about it’ is made a part of sales history by exploring and digging deeper on the consequences of the problem.
The consequences are the problems that arise when the original problem isn’t solved.
The consequences of the problem if it is left unattended for a month, a year, five years, ten years in advance.
The consequences of the problem if it is left unattended not just on the person themselves, but also the consequences for those around them – for their friends, family, co-workers or clients.
The consequences not just to the presenting problem, but also the impact the problem has on their business, their relationships, their physical or emotional health.
Exploring the consequences of the problem enlarges the problem to its true size, and propels your buyer into action as they realise the true impact the current ‘used-to-be-surface-level’ problem is truly having on their lives not just now, but well into the future as well.
The reason they say ‘let me think about it’ when only the problem is presented and defined, is because they typically already know what the problem on the surface level is, and they’ve been thinking about it for some time now. In many cases, the conversation can be had with us as the sales professional or business owner because they feel like they’ve done something and can feel better about just that, until they go on thinking and then thinking some more.
In some rare situations, defining the surface level problem may be enough to close the sale, but to ensure it is closed, locked shut and the key is thrown away, we must explore and dig deep on the consequences of the problem.
This builds the pain of the problem – a ‘moving away from’ motivating factor that we are far more likely to be spurred into action by, as opposed to the ‘moving towards’ lure of the thing that we could have, or achieve, by saying YES. As a generalisation, we are far more motivated to move away from pain than we are to move toward pleasure – so the more we can build the consequences of the problem, the more pain our buyer has to move away from.
As a business owner making your own sales, the consequences of the problem that your service solves is your new best friend.
The consequences are the secret ingredient that very quickly gather the attention of your buyer, and hold it for well beyond long enough to close the sale.
The consequences will ensure the words ‘let me think about it’ never reach your ears again.
Darcy J Smyth is the lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales. A methodology designed to ensure you are rapidly closing your ideal buyer in a way that makes the ‘Hard Sell’ a thing of the past, right along with ‘Let me think about it.’Tags: action buying education emotion human behaviour influence mindset persuasion relationship sales selling success value