Bill Sparkman, Sales and Marketing Trainer, Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Author

By: Bill Sparkman, The Coach

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"Let me think it over." Prospects seem to love this innocent-sounding phrase, but those five words should warn you that your sale is in jeopardy. "Thinking it over" postpones buying decisions and hides unanswered objections that can result in lost sales. The following strategies will help you draw out and answer four common objections that buyers may not express directly.

"I want to think it over" often translates into one of the following statements:

  1. I just don't want to make a decision right now - procrastination
  2. I don't trust you (fear/mistrust)
  3. I'm not sure your product is the best value (price)
  4. I need my parents, uncles, accountants, etc. approval (third party approval

Buyers often procrastinate to take control of the sale, get a better deal, or avoid making a "bad" decision. Procrastinators must justify their indecision in many ways. You must resist the temptation to show annoyance or disbelief at a buyer’s request for more time to think. Acknowledge and address the problem, and use your questioning skills to reveal the hidden objection.

If the buyer seems to stall for no reason, use the "Three F's" statement to show sympathy for their uncertainty: "Mr. Buyer, I can see how you might feel the need to think about your decision. Alot of other people have felt the same way. What they found however, was that when they went ahead with the decision they were glad they did. This statement shows sympathy for the buyers while persuading them to move forward.

Mistrust may be the single greatest obstacle to making the sale. When "I want to think it over" sounds like "I don't trust you yet" acknowledge and try to ease your buyer’s fears. To help reassure the prospect that you are honest and offer a quality product, offer a list of happy and satisfied customers. Show prospects that their trust is important to you.

Price objections often masquerade as requests for time to "think over a decision to purchase." Many buyers are uncomfortable raising price objections and opt to weigh your product's value for themselves rather than give you a chance to defend your price. This is a losing situation for both the salesperson and the buyer. Once you've identified a price objection, be prepared to explain your products price by listing the buyers benefits and why your product is a better value than the competition.

Third-Party Approval
Giving a FLAWLESS presentation to a receptive buyer only to discover a need for a third parties approval to purchase is emotionally draining and wastes time, money and effort. You can begin to prevent third-party problems by setting appointments only with those able to make buying decisions on their own. If the buyer surprises you with the need for someone else’s approval get the decision makers name and set another appointment to present to all of them together. Save yourself time and trouble by clarifying up front exactly who will be making the final buying decision.

Salespeople who fail to look behind a buyer’s request to "think it over" voluntarily forfeits control of the sale. Top sales professionals take the time and effort to draw out and discuss the buyers real concerns. Dig to uncover the hidden objections and you may find that increased sales and stronger relationships will repay your extra effort.

Bill Sparkman, "The Coach"





Bill Sparkman, The Coach

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