You just spent time with a prospective customer and you think everything appears to be going well, when he stands up and says those dreaded words “I’ll think it over.”
If you are hearing this a lot from prospects, then something is going wrong. The trouble is “I’ll think it over” rarely means that. It could mean any number of things – the prospect hasn’t the guts to say “no”, or perhaps the product or service is not exactly what he was looking for. Often it is a price concern, and a favorite get-out-of-making-a-decision response is “I will have to ask my wife/husband.”
The last excuse is hard to get around. That response makes you want to ask why he or she came out shopping on their own in the first place! Shake hands, smile and give him a card and make sure he remembers your name. It’s always such a nice surprise when someone actually does come back and asks for you.
These prospects are often referred to as “Be-Backs”, but they rarely, if ever, do come back -partly because they are embarrassed or they were simply wasting your time.
So what can you do to get around this “I’ll be back problem?” The solution really lies with your sales presentation; you have not got to the reason why he wants this product/service in the first place. Does he actually need the product? Do you know? If you don’t, then you have failed to make an important step in the sales process, by not identifying your customer’s wants, needs or desires.
Of course there will always be the tire-kickers and time wasters who have nothing better to do than come in and look at something they have no intention of buying in the first place; you will always get a percentage of those. It is important to find out what they are looking for as quickly as possible, with a few strategic questions. Do that early on in the conversation and you can move on to a prospective customer who is genuinely interested in making a purchase.
The great thing about the internet is that customers are becoming far more educated about their chosen products – they have already done their own research and are pretty sure they know what they want. Ask them if they understand the benefits of owning the item. Be helpful and ask them questions, “Did they know that the product did this, or that?” They will see you as being helpful and are more likely to make a decision there and then, because they are warm and they have already pre-qualified themselves.
Now, if these customers say “I’ll be back” and don’t, than you may have a problem with your closing techniques.
The last thing in your arsenal to deal with the Be-Backs is to smile, be courteous, shake and repeat your name. Go over in your mind what you may have done wrong and address the issue, if the same thing keeps happening.
If the prospective customer does say he will return, and if you have been courteous and helpful, he will remember and quite possibly come back and ask for you.
How do you deal with the term “I’ll think about it” from a prospect? Do you have any brilliant techniques for saving the situation? We would love to hear from you if you do.