Home > Resistance > I'll give it some thought...

I'll give it some thought...

Please post your response(s) to: "I'll give it some thought... (later this week, month, etc.)" - by Community Mailbox
I can appreciate that.

Obviously you wouldnít take the time to think about this unless you were seriously interested, is that true?

Yes.

And I trust that over the next couple of days you are going to give this very careful consideration?

We sure are.

So I know what information to leave you with, what is it that you need to think about is it dealing with my company?

No, itís not that

Is it the quality and selection of the products?

No, not that either.

Is it the way we install them and the service we would provide in the future.

No, it isnít that.

Is it me personally?

No, you were great.

(softly)
Then thereís really only one thing left, is it the money?

_____________

When they respond that it is the money, congratulations, you have successfully moved the customer from an excuse to an objection, which is one step closer to a decision.

You may still have some work to do with the money objection, but that is logical and can be overcome with a combination of benefit inventory and price negotiation. - by thesalesgiant
Editor's Note:

The post above is almost word for word from How to Master the Art of Selling (Tom Hopkins was listed as author).

The phrasing has also been taught since the 70's by various direct sales companies, and has been put into the training portfolio of countless sales "trainers."

Notice the careful use of run-on sentences, a technique that is taught to accompany the wording.

Consistent with SalesPractice.com's intention to live up to being the definitive source of sales education on the Internet, we encourage members to carefully discern such tools. - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

You are correct that Tom Hopkins has taught a very similar phrasing, as has Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and many others. As such, I didn't attribute it to anyone specifically in my post. I should have and I appreciate you pointing it out to other readers.

My question to you is this:

What would you suggest as an alternative for those selling directly to consumers?

I have yet to find another response as simple and effective at helping a reticent customer express the real reason that they are avoiding a decision. It is only through a discussion of that reason or reasons that I can determine if the sales conversation should go forward in their best interest and mine.

Obviously no response will make a prospect buy who is not comfortable with the purchase, nor should it, but where prospects are having trouble discussing the concerns underlying their hesitance, I have found this response works very well in bringing the discussion to the issue that needs to be resolved before they are comfortable enough to buy.

The entire sales experience is of key importance in arriving at the point of decision with a customer who is comfortable enough to openly discuss their reasons for not buying, but in some cases the experience is not sufficient to overcome the greater anxiety that some people feel in make a decision.

Thanks for your input. - by thesalesgiant
What would you suggest as an alternative for those selling directly to consumers?
That's a good question but it may be the wrong question.

Several years ago I also taught that very same response to the Think it Over "Objection." Yes--word for word. At that time I was a trainer for a very large sales company and I had contributed to their presentation language to the point where much of it was adopted by the company nationally.

The problem was in the success rate of assimilation. The majority of trainees had trouble with simple memorization. Why? I theorized, and still do, that most people are restricted by their own style of expressions and language. In spite of the fact that there were no difficult words used, the structure of communication was foreign. In other words, it wasn't natural for many of them to express themselves that way. So--learning was obstructed.

This occurs often in teaching the language of an engagement.

To me, the question remains how can a salesperson communicate and use a technique in a way that is natural.

"Think it over..." is almost always a smokescreen.
It means one of three things in almost all cases. They are:
  • It is a convenient way to stall and not reveal the REAL objection or concern which is often the money.
  • It is a hardwired part of some people's buying process that requires hesitating before making a final decision, often expressed as "sleeping on it". Some couples or partners actually have a pact to do this in their larger purchases.
  • It is a result of lack full confidence which is more a fear of making a bad decision rather than a goal to make a good decision. Most "shoppers" shop out of such a fear.
In order to effectively move forward with any of those three, you have to be able to discern which category the prospect falls into. "Think it over.." should not come as a surprise to an experienced salesperson. Trial closes, and minor agreements during the sales process will help determine where the prospect's mind is at.

The next thing to consider is that "overcoming objections" is often taught as an act of removing objections, when in fact removal or dispensing is far less common than transcending objections. In short, objections often remain, right through the act of purchasing, because they have been WEAKENED BY COMPARISON.

Killing an objection can easily kill a sale. We can invoke the "baby with the bathwater" metaphor or refer to Sun Tzu, i.e., "Keep the defeated army whole."

Here is the point: The scales are often tipped in another direction through the efforts of a salesperson who is bent on engaging all of the factors involved. Value and benefits rule.

But, first, the salesperson needs to assess the real reason for the resistance. Contrary to the assumption behind the technique we are discussing, it is NOT ALWAYS THE MONEY. - by Gary A Boye

"Think it over..." is almost always a smokescreen.
It means one of three things in almost all cases. They are:
  • It is a convenient way to stall and not reveal the REAL objection or concern which is often the money.
  • It is a hardwired part of some people's buying process that requires hesitating before making a final decision, often expressed as "sleeping on it". Some couples or partners actually have a pact to do this in their larger purchases.
  • It is a result of lack full confidence which is more a fear of making a bad decision rather than a goal to make a good decision. Most "shoppers" shop out of such a fear.
In order to effectively move forward with any of those three, you have to be able to discern which category the prospect falls into. "Think it over.." should not come as a surprise to an experienced salesperson. Trial closes, and minor agreements during the sales process will help determine where the prospect's mind is at.
Gary,

Thanks for your reply.

I think we can all agree that prospects expressing the need to think about the decision after a thorough needs assessment and presentation of product benefits are most often, as you put it, using a "smokescreen."

When they do so it is my belief that it is requisite for a professional salesperson to lead the discussion toward determining which of the three possible origins of the statement is motivating a particular customer's expression of it. This comes from the desire to help people purchase who would benefit from the product or service, and who are not buying only because of fear or conditioning, or because of the value or affordability aspect of an underlying "money objection."

Whether it be the fear of making the wrong decision, a conditioned response to sales propositions, or a way to withhold the real reason (often money) for not buying, the task of moving from the excuse to its cause requires a conversational technique that brings the conversation to that end-- to, as you say, "discern which category the prospect falls into."

Trial closes and minor agreements can give us indications of the category, but when the prospect expresses a desire to "think it over" after the buying question is asked we need to do better than assuming the category. There is a strong disconnect that comes from assumption, even if correct, and a corresponding tendency to respond to all assumptions by denying their validity. To avoid this, and to be able to purse the correct line of resolution we must not only know the prospect's reason for wanting to think about it, but also have them reveal it themselves. My experience as both a salesperson and a sales teacher supports the effectiveness of the approach from my original post in accomplishing this.

This brings us back to the question, if not this response, then what else should be said when despite our very best efforts to eliminate all major impediments to buying throughout the sales conversation, the customer says, "I need to think it over."

I have taught the phrasing in my original post for over 10 years, and many people have initial difficulty learning it, as with any new "language of an engagement." However, once developed to fluency through a good measure of practice it has proven extremely successful in its intended purpose of resolving this excuse to its underlying reason which can then be explored to resolution.

Thanks again for the conversation.

Regards,

Jon - by thesalesgiant
Jon, this is an interesting conversation and we appreciate your taking the time to participate.

My belief is "I'll give it some thought.." and "I want to think it over." are not often honest statements. That belief evolved, as it probably has for others who share that belief, from much experience and a commitment to understand the behaviors that present themselves in selling situations.

The unrevealed "real" causes of resistance that prospects often use "Think It Over" to hide behind translate to NO SALE until the salesperson repairs what did not get done up to the time of asking for an order. Rebuttals to objections that are often taught by sales trainers are often used for such repair. Unfortunately, many sales are lost because those progressions of consent during the sales process didn't get done. That's often a failure of the salesperson. Objections are frequently a result of such failure. Contrary to much of sales training lore, objections are stances of resistance--not points to close on. If you structure the sales process around repairing things at the end, you might get very good at it. But you will never be as good as the salespeople who remove the objections before they rear their head. - by Gary A Boye
A few additional points and clarifications:

I don't consider "I need to think about it" an objection. It is an excuse, a stall, a smoke screen as you described it in your earlier post, which is distinct from an objection. The distinction is that an objection is the reason that a prospect will not buy, such as value, affordability, or perceived lack of need. An excuse is a reason for avoiding a decision. It is for that reason I agree that an excuse like "I need to think about it" is it not a point to close on.

In my experience this distinction is often missed, with anything a customer says after being asked to buy being labeled as an objection and handled as a "point to close on."

Clearly no professional sales presentation should be structured around repairing deficiencies at the end. The building of progressive consent and commitment is essential to ensure that the sales conversation reaches its conclusion without deficiencies. However, despite the best efforts of even those most highly skilled at doing so, those most expert in "remove(ing) the objections before they rear their head, sales conversation will sometimes still conclude with excuses for not making a decision. This can be due to failures on the part of the sales representative, but sometimes it is due to the conditioning of the prospect, or a response to the anxiety that accompanies making a major purchase.

In either case, sometimes "repair" is needed, and that is only possible by uncovering what is motivating the excuse. It is my belief that this is where a professional sales person must command the conversational technique to resolve the excuse to its cause. This is not a substitute for eliminating deficiencies throughout the conversation, but rather a technique for when they weren't.

To your point that a sales person who repairs things at the end will never be as good as one who eliminates objection before they occur: I agree, but would suggest that it is incomplete. I would submit that a sales person is most effective when he eliminates objections before they occur, but can also resolve them at the end when they still occur.

Regards. - by thesalesgiant
I'm hoping that the readers here somehow never lose sight of the reality that "objections" and "excuses" are very often just another way of saying "No."

If prospects don't see value in the proposition, for whatever reason, it is "no", regardless of how tactfully or deceivingly they choose to express it.

That's one more reason why the proposition, and the ability to express it, is more important that "the close" and the ability to manage it. - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

I want to thank you for your excellent insight.

I would only add that we should leave open the possibility that excuses sometimes do not mean "no," but rather "maybe," and that there is some value in the conversational process of discovering what is motivating the response.

Regards,

Jon - by thesalesgiant
Gary,

I want to thank you for your excellent insight.

I would only add that we should leave open the possibility that excuses sometimes do not mean "no," but rather "maybe," and that there is some value in the conversational process of discovering what is motivating the response.

Regards,

Jon
Yes. That's probably why I inject the words "often" or "frequently" so.......OFTEN.

Thanks again. - by Gary A Boye
Well said Gary. Very well said. - by thesalesgiant
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