Charles Hutchins, Columnists, V7I1

‘Let Me Think About It’

(Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

“Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” — Jim Rohn

One of the hardest things you will ever hear as a salesperson is when a prospect says, “Let me think about it.” I mean, you have given a fantastic presentation and asked all the right questions when BOOM! it seems to all fall apart right before your very eyes. 

I am now in my 25th year in the shed industry, and I can tell you that I still deal with the “let me think about it” monster on a daily basis. However, I deal with it in a much different way than I did early on in my career.

You see, back in the day I would let the prospect off the hook when I heard “let me think about it.” I really wanted to make the sale, but I also wanted to be viewed as a nice guy that wasn’t too pushy. 

The thing that I did not know at the time, was the fact that when a prospect says that they would like to think about it, they just might need a little more information to take the next step and to place the order. I discovered this by accident one day when a prospect that we will call Bob dropped by my sales lot to look at sheds. 

In fact, Bob became fixated on one particular shed and was asking all the right buying questions. I invited Bob to come into my office and he continued to actually sell me on why he needed this shed to store his new mower that he had just purchased at Sears. 

Feeling super confident, I boldly looked at Bob and asked him if he would like me to go ahead and order his shed to protect his new mower from the elements. Bob paused for a couple of seconds and then said, “Let me think about it.” 

My confidence that I had in making the sale quickly turned to despair and confusion. But this time, instead of letting Bob just go off into the sunset without a new shed, I asked Bob a question. I asked him just how long he needed to think it over—was there something else that he needed to know? 

I then explained to Bob that we were currently running two to three weeks on delivery, and I encouraged him again to place the order so we could get that mower stored and protected. And voila, Bob looked at me and said the most beautiful words a prospect can say, “That makes sense to me.  Let’s go ahead and place the order!” I was so proud that I was able to gain Bob as a new customer! 

It dawned on me that Bob went ahead and bought the shed because I had not accepted him telling me that he wanted to think about it. I quickly understood the importance of asking that extra question to keep the sale alive so I can truly take care of my customer’s needs. 

You see, Bob needed a shed to protect his new mower, and I had the solution. You always remain totally focused on the prospect’s needs only. If not, you can come across as pushy and confrontational.

I now have a simple and organized approach in my sales presentation that I have been using for many years.

For example, when I have a prospect who is really interested in a shed and is sending me buying signals, I look them in the eyes with certainty at the right moment and say, “Give me this opportunity to earn your business and believe me Mr. Prospect, you will be very, very impressed. Sound fair enough?” 

I then extend a handshake to the prospect to seal the deal, which is really hard to turn down if they feel good about you and have all the information that they need. If the prospect says, “Let me think about it,” I respond with, “I hear what you’re saying but let me ask you a question. Does this make sense to you, do you like the shed?” 

By asking these simple questions, you stay alive in the process and will more than likely pinpoint what is holding the prospect back from moving forward. The key here is to help the prospect by answering their questions and to get them what they are looking for. By not asking questions, you fail the prospect and they may leave, never to be heard from again.

I’m a true believer that you can increase your sales by asking simple and direct questions after a prospect hits you with “I want to think about it,” I encourage you to operate with the right attitude, take the right approach, and never let those dreaded words throw you off course again.

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