Home > Resistance > B2C help: when the prospect has to talk it over with his/her spouse

B2C help: when the prospect has to talk it over with his/her spouse

Hello, my question refers to how to respond to the stall/objection 'I need to talk it over with my husband'. My company is a music lessons service, and we send teachers into the homes of our students to give them one hour lessons on a musical instrument of their choice. My most common situation is during the daytime, a woman will call me regarding lessons for her son or daughter. Then, she'll need to talk it over with her husband. In some literature I've read, it's referred to as a stall, but I really do think that in this B2C scenario it is a real issue. My advertising has specifically targeted these suburbanite housewives that are looking for activities for their child to do. However, these women that call me during the day do not live in the world that I was raised in (where both parents work), as their husbands are particularly wealthy. So how do I handle these prospects? Are they qualified, even though they still do have to consult their husband? It appears that the mother gets to decide what activities her children are enrolled in, and the father's say moreso has to do with the money, since my services are quite expensive (relatively speaking -- it is quite inexpensive considering the level of expertise and one-on-one professional attention our students receive) . Any ideas?



Monty - by MontyBloom
Hello, my question refers to how to respond to the stall/objection 'I need to talk it over with my husband'. Monty
You have left out what conversation came before "I need to talk it over with my husband."

Nobody here that is knowledgable or credible can give you an answer until you explain your selling process and offer. - by Gary A Boye
Ok. It usually goes something like this

Prospect says they are interested in lessons for their son or daughter. Then the prospect has questions regarding price, frequency of lessons, time availabilities, you name it. Some of them ask really really specific questions like what instructional methods are used, and other unusual questions. Then, the course of the call is almost always one of two things. Either the customer can't afford it (or some other price objection), or will need to talk to the spouse. I always take down their contact information, if they'll give it to me (which happens most of the time).

Thanks

Monty - by MontyBloom
Monty
As Gary has suggested it is difficult to give straight answers without more information. Your first query indicates the client calls you and initiates the process. How did they discover your services? Start asking how she found you and what they heard. Ask if this is of interest and find out why. The idea is to discover the motivation and importance of music lessons.
Without more information I can only surmise that you are allowing the music lessons to become a price issue instead of allowing the music lessons to be the focal point and the most important aspect. Music lessons are more than just music lessons they are life lessons as well. Abstract thinking happens to be one of the more important lessons of learning music. What is needed is to build more value than just music lessons to help someone’s daughter or son play an instrument better.
I always ask this question of me, why more people should use me. Why should they use you? Keep in mind this is a luxury any added benefits will be greatly appreciated.
- by rich34232
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- by LookingDaniel
Do you follow up with any of the wives who never call you back? I'd be very interested in getting some insight into the wife-husband dialog that resulted in not getting the sale.

Every music store offers lessons. I'm guessing that wife was not able to convey the VALUE of your service vs the music store. Get to the root of what is causing Husband to say 'No' to Wife. Then provide Wife with sales material that SHE needs in order to convince Husband. - by DaveB
Please do not assume that the husband has said no to the wife. I am in b2c and the trend over the last ten years is the wife/women making more of the decisions concerning home activities.I have to talk it over with the husband is a stall and do we seriously think the wife asks her husband what sheos or dress she can purchase or groceries?

I am not saying this is a stall 100% of the time however I am not overly worried about the small percentage of this stall being the truth.

What do you differently than any other person that is offering music lessons.Is it conveniant for the family to bring the child to the music lessons,do you travel to them,is it 30 minutes or an hour?How strict are you with pickup? Is it a safe neighborhood?Do you come across as friendly or a stickler for details? Do you state items that are improtant to the client or items that are important to you? Do you ask the client what they want out of the music lessons? Do you ask the client whay they are interest in or looking for? How many hcildren do they have? ( possible extra clientsin the same family for you)These are items that are important to the customer. - by rich34232
I want to point out that the responses thus far are framed as if a selling process has existed in MontyBloom's interaction with prospects who inquire as to his services. There is NO evidence that is the case.

If you read his posts, he has provided information and answered questions, no more than the person behind an information counter at a DMV would do. That's fine--but that is not selling, good, bad, or indifferent. If the members here can't see that, how can he?

What's missing is not refinement of something. It's the something that's missing--namely a selling process to handle inquiries from interested people.

Advice: Get some information on the nature and fundamentals of selling. It will put dollars in your pocket. - by Gary A Boye
I do not agree with that assessment. The client is calling in direct response to an advertisement concerning the product and service. That is one of many starting points of selling b2c, reaching the client. The client is calling to gain more information about this service. With my business to consumer activities that is a selling situation and a warm lead. The client has an interest in my service and product and is calling me to get more information. It is not a random call the call had a purpose with intent. Your assessment to this being no more than what a counter person does is a great analogy and that is the problem.

I know when I enter a dialogue concerning my services and product with a client who has called me while I am working is a selling situation otherwise we are talking about the weather or a baseball game or what we did last night with no discussion covering work or my products.

I was at a club last weekend a client heard me discussing business with a potential client and I booked that call. I was no longer entering the social world I was in business mode. I was selling me and my company my goal to book the call. After dinner the other person that overheard my conversation talked with me, I ended up booking that call and again I was selling me and my company. I sold the clients on using me and my products and services and in reality the price did not matter when the sales technician arrived to complete the call later on during the week. This is part of sales, booking the call, often the same techniques and skill is necessary to book the call and sell the client on the organization.

With this forum piece the issue is getting past a price objection and booking the call for the service and selling the company. I would tend to think it is how anyone interprets their business that is not how I interpret this situation
.
I prefer clients even potential clients calling me as opposed to me cold calling a potential client to seek their business. This is how I interpret this forum piece. Once a client is engaged in conversation/communication with product and service to me is a selling situation.
- by rich34232
I do not agree with that assessment. The client is calling in direct response to an advertisement concerning the product and service. That is one of many starting points of selling b2c, reaching the client. The client is calling to gain more information about this service. With my business to consumer activities that is a selling situation and a warm lead. The client has an interest in my service and product and is calling me to get more information. It is not a random call the call had a purpose with intent. Your assessment to this being no more than what a counter person does is a great analogy and that is the problem.

I know when I enter a dialogue concerning my services and product with a client who has called me while I am working is a selling situation otherwise we are talking about the weather or a baseball game or what we did last night with no discussion covering work or my products.

I was at a club last weekend a client heard me discussing business with a potential client and I booked that call. I was no longer entering the social world I was in business mode. I was selling me and my company my goal to book the call. After dinner the other person that overheard my conversation talked with me, I ended up booking that call and again I was selling me and my company. I sold the clients on using me and my products and services and in reality the price did not matter when the sales technician arrived to complete the call later on during the week. This is part of sales, booking the call, often the same techniques and skill is necessary to book the call and sell the client on the organization.

With this forum piece the issue is getting past a price objection and booking the call for the service and selling the company. I would tend to think it is how anyone interprets their business that is not how I interpret this situation
.
I prefer clients even potential clients calling me as opposed to me cold calling a potential client to seek their business. This is how I interpret this forum piece. Once a client is engaged in conversation/communication with product and service to me is a selling situation.

What's all that got to do with MonteBloom? You're not the subject here. If you take the time to examine his post, you will not find evidence of a sales process. THAT is what he needs, and THAT is my response to his query.

Further comments: Direct Response Marketing sets the stage for a selling process. It is not part of it any more than the starting line in a race is a participant in the contest.

A "warm lead" is not part of the selling process. It is an opportunity to engage in a selling process.

Again, we are not talking about your process. We are talking about MonteBloom's. And--in this thread it is absent.

Regardless of whether you want to agree with the assessment, my advice remains the same. He needs to familiarize himself with the fundamentals of selling. - by Gary A Boye
What has this got to do with Monty Bloom?
Everything

A client answering an advertisement for services is evidence of a sale starting. The client using the phone to make contact and discover information including price is part of the selling process. The story ,illustration is to show how important it is when you are selling that it includes selling the company, the brand, the sales person, product and service when you engage any client whether they are potential clients or existing clients in person ,phone or on the internet, during working hours or personal time. It is the selling process and that is my point. This is something I do daily and is necessary for the small business to thrive it is not about me however it is about all small businesses. What I do can be used in Monty’s business and other businesses and the best way for me to explain it is to use real time experiences and true stories. Insert the user name and their products or services and it can work the same and is the same principle.
I am using real time experiences to illustrate how it works and why it works for me.

Your advice is fine however that does not mean others are wrong if it is a different concept and approach for small business that relies on this type of communication with the sales efforts. If one size fit all, we would all be in great shape however it does not and sometimes we need differing approaches and views to discover what works for the readers of this forum or any forum. I would suggest that if it is working for you there is no need to change or try a different avenue. I am happy to accept the suggestions made as another viable option for Monty or anyone to accept and use.

A person who calls me for my services and asks about my product and service to me is a warm lead as opposed to me calling him or her to discover if an interest or need for my service and product and that is a cold call. When the client calls me, I already know this person has interests in what I have and again I may differ from your interpretations and that is fine. Small businesses embellish and rely on this type of lead.

More to the point of Monty’s question of how to proceed to, I need to speak to my husband used as a stall we must have the exact conversation to pinpoint where the process needs adjustment. This informs me this is the ending of the conversation and the phone contact is lost. With b2c this normally comes at the end of the sales pitch or where the client wants to end that particular conversation.
 
 
- by rich34232
Your advice is fine however that does not mean others are wrong if it is a different concept and approach for small business that relies on this type of communication with the sales efforts.
My advice, Rich, was and is, "Get some information on the nature and fundamentals of selling. It will put dollars in your pocket."

I would hope that your "different concept" doesn't preclude that. In any event, my advice is for MonteBloom. There is a very good chance that he is very knowledgeable and professional in his own field. Based on what I read from HIS posts, not yours, I believe he can be successful if he makes an effort to learn the fundamentals of selling.

It is simple advice, and if it somehow conflicts with your stories about what made you so successful, I'm sorry for that. But I would assume that way back when, EVEN YOU had to learn the fundamentals of selling. - by Gary A Boye
wow thank you all for your advice! For some reason my email didn't notify me of all these posts.

I do understand that there is a selling process. In my introduction post a few weeks ago, I stated that I am not familiar to the actual selling process, and I am trying to learn these fundamentals. I am trying my best to implement all of your suggestions! - by MontyBloom
Please do not assume that the husband has said no to the wife. I am in b2c and the trend over the last ten years is the wife/women making more of the decisions concerning home activities.I have to talk it over with the husband is a stall and do we seriously think the wife asks her husband what sheos or dress she can purchase or groceries?

I am not saying this is a stall 100% of the time however I am not overly worried about the small percentage of this stall being the truth.

What do you differently than any other person that is offering music lessons.Is it conveniant for the family to bring the child to the music lessons,do you travel to them,is it 30 minutes or an hour?How strict are you with pickup? Is it a safe neighborhood?Do you come across as friendly or a stickler for details? Do you state items that are improtant to the client or items that are important to you? Do you ask the client what they want out of the music lessons? Do you ask the client whay they are interest in or looking for? How many hcildren do they have? ( possible extra clientsin the same family for you)These are items that are important to the customer.
I do answer these questions and I state them. All of my instructors are active performers that are formally trained (most have conservatory degrees). Our lessons are in the home of the student, they are an hour (because we travel to them, it isn't viable to do 30 minutes), pickup/neighborhood n/a, I come across as friendly but I am a professional and in order for them to benefit from my services I need certain details followed -- I try to frame it as educating the customer to achieve desired outcome -- their child actually learns to play(!!), I ask the client what their goals are and I usually have a way to accomodate their goals (I know what I'm doing), I also offer discounts for multiple children as these are very lucrative families. I don't know if you wanted me to answer those questions here or if that was a rhetorical question? sorry for being naive. - by MontyBloom
Monty

When you get the talk it over with 3rd party response I would firstly check that there is no further information that the prospect requires, then recap what you are offering and finally arrange to call the prospect back at an agreed time, so that you have a little more control over what happens.

Hope this helps

Mark - by marky
I was actually discussing this thread with one of my mentors today. He said:

If the wife says, 'I need to discuss it with my husband' then one of two things:

1. She really does need to discuss it with her husband.

2. You have not done a good enough job formulating your value proposition. - by DaveB
Hi Monty
I think that Gary has given sound advice, I also think DaveB has isolated the reasons why the wife would say she wants to speak to her partner.

I am in B2C telesales and we find that when we call the wife back for a decision we very seldom get a positive answer.
If you cannot get a commitment from the wife then I would suggest you call the husband and sell to him.
When we get this objection/stall we ask the wife what it is that they want to speak to their husband about.

We then suggest that we call their husband as their may be questions that the husband may have that they might not be fully able to answer.
If they are happy with us calling their husband then this often indicates that they are really interested/want our product.
We then call the husband and sell to them.

I would be interested to find out what other members of the forum think of my advice and hope it is of some help to you.

Positive Regards - by salesdog
Monty,

This is an excellent topic and question, and one the B2C sellers are confronted with often on a daily basis.

Your thread says "when the prospect has to talk it over with his/her spouse."

I think it might be more helpful if the title was "when the prospect SAYS they have to talk it over with their spouse."

In my experience, about 80% of "need to talk it over" responses are false objections (in other words, not the real objection).

When a prospect says they need to talk to their spouse, here's what I teach in my sales training classes:

1. Acknowledge the objection (for example, "It's great to see your family functioning well as a unit, I completely understand as I'm a husband, too").

2. Address the objection. My favorite way to handle this objection is: "Mary, setting your husband aside for just a minute, how do YOU feel about your son Matthew getting weekly trombone lessons at our music studios?"

This technique puts the focus back on the prospect, and away from the husband. It's at this time that 80% of the time the objection changes, and you get more information (anything from "My friend at church recommended a trombone teacher and I'm going to call her to get some information, too" to "your rates are a little high" to "my son doesn't really want to take lessons but I think it would be a good idea for him", etc.).

Any additional information you get at this point is great, because it helps you keep the prospect engaged in the process.

If you determine that the prospect really DOES need to talk to the spouse, you can address that [ideas]:

- What's your spouses' name?
- What have you and Dave discussed about lessons for Matthew up to this point?
- Does Dave know you were going to call me today?
- How does Dave feel about Matthew taking trombone lessons?
- Lots of our studio parents really found it helpful to be able to visit our studios, especially when a spouse wanted to be involved in the decision to schedule the lessons. Will Dave want to be involved in the decision to move ahead with this?
- Let's schedule a time for you and Dave to come in and briefly see our studios. You'll have time to get your questions answered and I'll show you how our students have lessons here. Would you like to schedule something for this week or next week?
- etc.

I hope that helps!

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Monty,

This is an excellent topic and question, and one the B2C sellers are confronted with often on a daily basis.

Your thread says "when the prospect has to talk it over with his/her spouse."

I think it might be more helpful if the title was "when the prospect SAYS they have to talk it over with their spouse."

In my experience, about 80% of "need to talk it over" responses are false objections (in other words, not the real objection).

When a prospect says they need to talk to their spouse, here's what I teach in my sales training classes:

1. Acknowledge the objection (for example, "It's great to see your family functioning well as a unit, I completely understand as I'm a husband, too").

2. Address the objection. My favorite way to handle this objection is: "Mary, setting your husband aside for just a minute, how do YOU feel about your son Matthew getting weekly trombone lessons at our music studios?"

This technique puts the focus back on the prospect, and away from the husband. It's at this time that 80% of the time the objection changes, and you get more information (anything from "My friend at church recommended a trombone teacher and I'm going to call her to get some information, too" to "your rates are a little high" to "my son doesn't really want to take lessons but I think it would be a good idea for him", etc.).

Any additional information you get at this point is great, because it helps you keep the prospect engaged in the process.

If you determine that the prospect really DOES need to talk to the spouse, you can address that [ideas]:

- What's your spouses' name?
- What have you and Dave discussed about lessons for Matthew up to this point?
- Does Dave know you were going to call me today?
- How does Dave feel about Matthew taking trombone lessons?
- Lots of our studio parents really found it helpful to be able to visit our studios, especially when a spouse wanted to be involved in the decision to schedule the lessons. Will Dave want to be involved in the decision to move ahead with this?
- Let's schedule a time for you and Dave to come in and briefly see our studios. You'll have time to get your questions answered and I'll show you how our students have lessons here. Would you like to schedule something for this week or next week?
- etc.

I hope that helps!

Skip Anderson
In my opinion the above is poor advice on all counts.

Here's why.

I don't believe that people in sales should adopt the belief--or attitude--that the person sitting across from them, i.e., prospect, is a liar. As a matter of fact it not only is counterproductive, but is revealing. Last time I looked, selling is a people business.

That's number one.

Number two is that it's out of place to evaluate how well the family is "functioning" (sans a degree in family counseling).

Number three, the suggestion about "setting your husband aside for minute.." is enough to get you thrown out, or hung up on, in considerably less than a minute.

Number four, presenting yourself as a model ("..as I'm a husband too..") sounds like Dr. Phil material.
Seems to me we're selling music lessons here.

I'll stop there, other than to say "Does Dave know you were going to call me today?" is not only horrible, it sounds like language used in a conspiracy. - by Gary A Boye
In my opinion the above is poor advice on all counts.

Here's why.

I don't believe that people in sales should adopt the belief--or attitude--that the person sitting across from them, i.e., prospect, is a liar. As a matter of fact it not only is counterproductive, but is revealing. Last time I looked, selling is a people business.

That's number one.

Number two is that it's out of place to evaluate how well the family is "functioning" (sans a degree in family counseling).

Number three, the suggestion about "setting your husband aside for minute.." is enough to get you thrown out, or hung up on, in considerably less than a minute.

Number four, presenting yourself as a model ("..as I'm a husband too..") sounds like Dr. Phil material.
Seems to me we're selling music lessons here.

I'll stop there, other than to say "Does Dave know you were going to call me today?" is not only horrible, it sounds like language used in a conspiracy.
Thanks for your support, Gary. - by Skip Anderson
I agree with a lot of Skip has said, I think it may have been worded poorly.

I too believe that in MOST cases, wanting to speak to their partners is a smoke screen. This obviously is industry specific and needs to be taken in content. Handling this objection when a prospect is looking for a new car would be different to if they were looking at getting health insurance.

To be successful in sales I believe we all need a high skill level in reading people. We should be able to tell if this is a genuine concern of our prospect or if it is a smoke screen.

The way I handle objections is a four step process
1. Clarify
2. Pace
3. Appraise
4. Answer

Depending on your customer and rapport level, I think it is important to find mutual ground with your customer. Again, I don't quiet agree with the example script you used Skip but I agree with your point.

"Mary I can appreciate then making a decision like _____ you would like to consult your husband. I wouldn't want him to be sleeping on the couch..."

"Putting that a side for just one moment, is there any other concerns you might have with ______"

Depending on her objection it would be also highly recommended you clarified the objection to find out exactly what she means. - by MrCharisma
I don't think we should automatically assume that the "I need to talk it over with..." is a smoke screen. If you're a conducting a 1 legged presentation that's a reasonable response. With this type of sale it may be more important than other B2C sales to have both decision makers present. Not only is there the financial component but the lessons are for their children.

I would require both parents be present when I give the presentation. Otherwise you are simply an expensive music teacher in the eyes of the other parent. - by thecatcher13
"Otherwise you are just an expensive music teacher in the eyes of the other parent"

That's it....right there.

Makes no difference how great the sales process is (assuming there IS one.....which I, like Gary, suspect is lacking here)

You've been given the opportunity to present/sell/pitch (or whatever you want ot call it) and it'll make little difference how great you were.

As a side note....often, the better you were...the worse chance you have. See...hubby comes home....wife gives glowing report of your presentation...tells hubby how wonderful you are....how warm and charming and knowledgable etc etc.....what's hubby thinking at this stage 'he/she will have a tougher job winning ME over....I'm no push-over'

In my opinion this is a family decision.......and you will have a much higher success rate by either:

a. Making sure all decision makers are present before you arrive (selling 101)

or

b. Qualifying before you arrive (by telephone presumably)....that if (Wife in this instance) likes what she sees....will she be in a position to complete the transaction.

You'll obviously need to frame this nicely in order to not cause offence but.....if you fail to do one or other of the above you are just going to waste your time and resources.

How do I know all this?

I'll leave you to guess. - by helisell
Oops nearly forgot.

There is a great sales book called The Secrets Of Successful Selling by Tony Adams.

He started life selling encyclopedias door to door (educational products bought by parents for children) and anyone even remotely connected should read his book.....it is a real eye opener. - by helisell
Oops nearly forgot.

There is a great sales book called The Secrets Of Successful Selling by Tony Adams.

He started life selling encyclopedias door to door (educational products bought by parents for children) and anyone even remotely connected should read his book.....it is a real eye opener.
Your recommendation alone has me ordering the book. Thanks. - by Gary A Boye
I think you'll like it Gary.

It reinforces some of the (I forget how you phrased it in a previous post) 'fundamentals'....y'know the basic but unbreakable rules of this topsy turvey profession called 'sales'.

It should be on the shelves alongside Bettger, Carnegie and the like....it really is THAT good. - by helisell
If it were me I would schedule the appointment only when both husband and wife are present.

You could also find out how much the husband cares about music lessons, maybe he cares, maybe he doesn't. (trap the wife into admitting the husband could care less or that the final decision is her's) (take away her exit and when her mind tries to run to that exit it is already blocked)

"In my house we make decisions together unless it is something concerning education, because my wife is a teacher and I have the utmost faith in her, is this one of those things that you decide together, or are you the final decision maker when it comes to music?"

Some people say to never say decision maker, because the word "decision scares people" maybe thats true, so if your afraid of saying "final decision maker" you could say choice or selection.
or you could be funny and say boss or something else. - by cs80918
What's all that got to do with MonteBloom? You're not the subject here. If you take the time to examine his post, you will not find evidence of a sales process. THAT is what he needs, and THAT is my response to his query.

Further comments: Direct Response Marketing sets the stage for a selling process. It is not part of it any more than the starting line in a race is a participant in the contest.

A "warm lead" is not part of the selling process. It is an opportunity to engage in a selling process.

Again, we are not talking about your process. We are talking about MonteBloom's. And--in this thread it is absent.

Regardless of whether you want to agree with the assessment, my advice remains the same. He needs to familiarize himself with the fundamentals of selling.
I agree with all of your posts; there is a great deal missing. There is no selling process to which we may comment. All we can offer is hypothetical advice based on our own experience which is a severe disconnect. - by John Voris
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