I was once a computer salesperson at Sears. It got to the point where everyone said "I want to think about it." I even told a fellow salesperson that if I heard it one more time today, I was going to quit. Of course, that was before I learned to sell. Now, I love when people say it because it gives me an opportunity to close a sale.
First off all, why do people say that they want to think about it?
I'll tell you why I say it when I'm out shopping.
1) I say it when I don't think I can afford a product or when the price is not what I want to spend.
2) I say it when I don't want to hurt a salesperson's feelings--especially if he spent a lot of time with me.
3) I say it when I have questions and am too afraid to admit that I don't know something.
4) I say it when I don't like a product.
5) I say it when I don't like the salesperson and don't want him to have my business.
You know what? Your customers pretty much say it for the same reasons. As a matter of fact, 99% of the time, you can narrow "I want to think about it" into one of three reasons (or objections if you'd rather...)
- The customer doesn't like the product (or has questions about it)
- The customer doesn't like you (or you confused them)
- The customer doesn't like the price
OK--here's how not to handle "I want to think about it"
Customer: I want to think about it?
You: What's there to think about?
You: How much time do you need?
You: No you don't.
You: OK--here's my business card. Call me after you think about it.
Here's the correct way to handle it.
Customer: I want to think about it.
You: No problem. (Customer relaxes)
You: Let me ask you this. I've been selling cars for a long time and I've discovered that when people say they want to think about it, it's usually one of three things they want to think about. It's either the car, something I said or did or the price. Which one of those do you need to think about?
Customer: The price. It's too high. (They will say price probably 80-90% of the time)
You: (Isolate the price objection) Besides the price, is there anything else you want to think about?
Customer: No--just the price.
You: (Rephrase the objection to make it easier to handle) Is it the actual cost of the car or the payment?
Customer: The payment.
You: Well, we're at $320 and that is actually a great payment on the car. What were you expecting?
You: Well, if we could figure out a way to get the car to fit within your budget is there any other reason why you won't take it home right now?
It really is that easy. Now you may be saying, "Marv--we're still $70 apart--it's not that easy!" Yes it is. How can you bump a customer $70?
Here are some tips. When you ask them what kind of payment they have set aside in their budget, stretch out your hand (palm up) and raise it up and say, "Up to..."
You: Up to...?
Customer: Up to $275
You: (Raising palm again...) No more than...?
Customer: No more than $280.
You: Let me ask you this--what if we found you the perfect car--it had everything you wanted and it was just a few dollars higher than $280--you wouldn't let a few pennies a day keep you from your perfect car--would you?
Later, when you hit them at $320--you can remind them that they said a few pennies a day wouldn't keep them from their new car. $45 per month is only a little over a dollar a day--a candy bar, a pop, a bag of chips, 4 cigarettes, etc. You get the picture. Raise them!
You: Where do you want to be?
You: (Suck a deep breath through your teeth.) Ooooh. I'll try but I gonna need a little help from you.
Yet another technique: The Gas Saving Close (See my earlier blog about that closing technique)
Yet another technique--work them for money down! What a concept! Try this: "Were you going to put the standard 10% down that the banks like to see?"
Customer: How much is that?
You: About $3500. (Watch their face drop but don't pause) But you can always put more down if you want to lower your payment.
Later when they try to get a lower payment, remind them that it would take money OVER the 10% down to do that--just like you told them earlier. If they balk at money down (like most people here in Michigan do...) use it as a closing opportunity. "Normally, the banks like to see the 10% down--especially with today's credit problems--but if I can work it out with no money down, will you take it right now?" Sometimes the initial money down is more important than payments down the road...most people (myself included) think very short term.
By now, you know that I like to ramble so I'll stop the rambling. Listen to salespeople around and hear how many hear "I want to think about it" and let their customers walk. How many sales are they missing? How many have you missed (hopefully none!) I missed a ton before I learned how to overcome that excuse but I never just let it fly by in the wind anymore.