Jana Technology Services Blog

November 3, 2006

Sales Tips: The “I want to think it over” close

Filed under: Blogroll,Sales and Business Development — janats @ 10:24 am

The “I Want To Think It Over” Close
By: Brian Tracy

Saving The Lost Sale
There is a powerful technique you can learn called the “I Want To Think It Over Close.” This is the only way I know to save this kind of lost sale. You know by now that when the customer says, “I want to think it over,” he is really saying “good bye.” You know from your own experience that customers do not think it over. They do not sit there carefully studying your brochures and price lists with a calculator and a pen.

People Are Often Ready To Buy
On the other hand, as many as 50 percent of the people you speak to are probably ready to buy at this point. They just need a little push. They need some help. A buying decision is traumatic for them. They are tense and uneasy, and afraid of making a mistake. They may be right on the verge of saying “yes” and they need the professional guidance of an excellent salesperson. But if you accept the “I want to think it over” at face value and depart, you will probably never get a chance to see them or to sell to them again.

Be Agreeable and Prepared
This is how you use it. When the prospect says, “I want to think it over,” you appear to accept it gracefully. You smile agreeably, and begin packing your briefcase and putting your materials away. As you do, you make conversation with these words: “Mr. Prospect, that’s a good idea. This is an important decision and you shouldn’t rush into it.” These words will cause the prospect to mentally relax. He sees that you are on your way. His resistance will drop as soon as you stop presenting and trying to sell.
Ask Curiously
You then ask, in a curious tone of voice: “Mr. Prospect obviously you have a good reason for wanting to think it over. May I ask what it is; is it the money?”

Remain perfectly silent, watching his face. Smile gently. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. This is a critical moment.

Wait Patiently
Again, you have nothing to lose. If you leave, you have lost this person as a prospect forever. The worst thing that he can say is that he has no particular reason but that he still wants to think it over. However, in many cases, he will reply by saying one of two things. He will say, “Yes, I’m concerned about the cost.” Or, he will say, “No, it’s not the money.”

Probe the Answer
If he says that “Yes, it’s the money,” you immediately go into a series of questions designed to deal with concerns about cost or price. You ask things like, “How do you mean, exactly? Why do you say that? Why do you feel that way? How far apart are we? Is price your only concern, or is there something else?”

If he says that, “No, it’s not the money,” you reply by asking “May I ask what it is?”

Remain Silent
Again, you remain perfectly silent while you wait for his answer. In many cases, he will think about it for a few seconds, even a minute or longer, and then he will give you his final concern or objection. He will finally tell you what is really on his mind. He will tell you the real reason why he is hesitating about going ahead.

If you can now satisfy him on this final condition, you can go on to conclude the sale. You can say, “Mr. Prospect, what if we could do this…?” Or, “I think there is a perfect answer to that question.”

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, memorize the words of this closing technique and practice it as you would for a play or movie. Role-play this technique with someone else if you can.

Second, use this technique as soon as possible, the very next time you hear those words, “Let me think it over.” You can save sales that might be lost forever.

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6 Comments »

  1. If I my add one small thing: “Remain perfectly silent, watching his face. Smile gently. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. This is a critical moment.”
    is the best advice you’ll ever get. If you speak first, you have lost. Practice being comfortable waiting for the answer.

    Comment by Dick — November 3, 2006 @ 11:09 am | Reply

  2. Good tip for a salesman. I would like to add something from the victim… err, customer point of view. I think I might have found a very good answer for that situation.

    Almost every 2 to 3 weeks I get a call from some bank to give me a credit card. When I replied “I need to think it over” or just a plain “no”, they usually ask why, and as far as I know or I can tell, they have a whole book on replies for “no” answers. If you say “money”, they have all monetary comparisons with all other banks, statistics in which their bank is much better than the others, of course. If your motive is something like having too many cards, they have the perfect answer. I found myself having 4 credit card (two too many) before I found the answer no sales persona has been able to reply to, not even been able to keep on questioning.

    So I don’t know if this introduction is too long, I’m sorry for that, but for you “customers” who might find yourselves with something you didn’t wanted in the first place, just because you happen to be in the way of a killer salesman, my yet-to-be-challenged answer to “why?” is: “For personal reasons”.

    I believe there’s no respectable salesman who would dare to dig deeper into such an answer, but if I would happen to find one, I would stare into his face for a moment an then ask “Do you really want me to tell you about my personal stuff?”. Do can imagine what tone of voice I would be using.

    I don’t know if this is a good customer tactic for avoiding a persistent salesman, I’m always open to suggestions, but so far it has never reached the salesman question point.

    I realize I might be warning many salesmen here, so next time maybe one of them has come to a perfect reply to my answer… o, well, I’ll have to think of something else.

    Comment by Sebastian — May 17, 2007 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

  3. This tactic is good unless you dont have a breifcase. If you work in an office then begin to file your papers away while the customer sits there. Also make sure to mention that there is a 14 day cooling off period while selling insurances, and stress that the hassle of coming back in may be too much so ensure that they sign up and think about it after taking the product and between the 14 day cooling off period. Also, when a customer tells me due to personal circumstances, i will dig deeper in a compassionate way.

    Comment by Tom — October 29, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

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