Nothing kills a sale faster than those six words. It seems everything is going along just fine. You have qualified the prospect, answered his or her questions, and overcome the objections. After the final presentation, you are lead to believe you and your product are wonderful. Everything is great until you ask for the business, and then you are hit with:
“We have to think about it. We’ll get back to you.”
This usually occurs for one of four reasons.
- They truly do need some time to think about it.
- They have no intention of buying.
- They are procrastinating.
- They don’t have the authority.
Let’s look at these four reasons and think about how to deal with each situation.
They truly do need time to think about it.
Remember some people just don’t move as fast as others. Those of you who have attended our courses know analytical people just take longer to act on their decisions. They are risk adverse. Help them by offering more information. Try to determine the major risks causing them to stall. They may need time to reach a comfort level that allows them to move forward. Pay attention and stay in front of them. Demonstrate how you and your company will support them after the sale.
They have no intention of buying.
They are just not sold. Get back to your original qualifying procedures to determine if there really is a need. They may not be convinced they have a need, they may be hoping you just go away. Amiable people do not want to hurt your feelings by directly telling you no, so they just put you off hoping you will stop calling.
They are just procrastinating.
Use financial data to establish a sense of urgency. Show them the money being lost by putting off the project or purchase decision. Make a limited time offer. If you order this week, I can get faster delivery. Should you opt to use this tactic, make sure you have a good reason for it. Don’t just say if you order today I can save you five percent. You lose creditability if you do not have a good reason for this offer. Another option is to use their schedule to create urgency. You said you wanted delivery by the end of the month. We need your decision this week to make that happen.
They don’t have the authority.
In this case they may be struggling to sell internally, or have been told “No.” and don’t want to admit it for whatever reason. They may be waiting for approval from a higher level. Try to find out if anyone else is involved in the decision by asking process type questions. “Who would be responsible for…” See if you can get other people involved. As a last resort, one option is to have your manager call their manager and set up a meeting.
Remember, customers buy for their reasons, not yours. Your job is to figure out what is really going on in the minds of your prospects and why.