There you are, you’ve got a client and you feel that they’re a good fit. You’ve done all your work; you’ve answered every question they possibly could have asked. You think you’ve done a good presentation, and at the end of it, the client says:
“I’ll think it over.”
So what happened? What does that really mean? Has a client ever really said to their wife in the evening, “Hey darling, dim the lights, take the kids to bed. I need to really think this over.” No, of course not. That’s not real life. In my opinion, I don’t think anybody actually thinks things over. They know what they want to do. Or, they don’t know how to make a decision.
So how do we as salespeople get around that?
In the Velocity Selling program we talk about the three main elements of coming to a decision – a decision about anything. The reason that we get a ‘think it over’ is because the prospect doesn’t know how to make a decision.
For example, if you were to be presented with a mouse for your computer, and you realised it is something you need and you also knew lots about them because you’ve been using them for nearly twenty years like I have. But someone came to you and said ‘Look, this particular mouse costs $1000.’ Because you know that you need it, the desire is there, but you also know that a mouse is not worth, for you, $1000, you can then say “No” straight away. There is nothing to think about because you know how to make a decision.
So our job as salespeople is to help the customer understand the parameters of making a correct decision. Show the customer that there are a number of key elements and a way to make a decision about your product. Rather than listing features and benefits, provide them with tools and white papers with information that actually allows you to position yourself as the expert and your business expertise to go ahead and achieve the result for the customer. How you are going to do that is by asking really great questions.
To avoid the ‘think it over’ you want to actually frame up and agree on a set of parameters. In the Velocity Selling 8 Step System of creating powerful sales conversations, we actually move through eight steps before there is a solution presented. One of the first things we do after we have built some rapport and we’ve asked some open ended questions is to set the parameters – the parameters are in regards to time. Before you discover the parameters, you will need to do a little interrupting after the rapport has been built.
How will you know you are in rapport with a client?
Simply put – they are comfortable enough to freely talk. But remember you are there to understand their business and whether you can help, or not. So you may need to interrupt the friendly conversations by saying “Sorry to interrupt, before we go any further, how much time do we have today?” Asking this question shows that you respect their time and that you are a professional and reminds them they are in a business situation.
The second question you will ask is “Do you mind if I take some notes today?”
No one has ever said no to note taking. Not only does note taking give you a chance to record everything the customer says, it shows the customer you are truly listening to what they have to say.
The next goal is to relax the prospect further by removing barriers by letting them know it’s OK to say ”No.” We simply do this by bringing what seems obvious out in to the open and saying something like.
“John, I don’t end up working with everyone I meet with because I have a policy to be totally upfront with everyone. What I mean by that is that if I don’t feel I can add massive value to your business I will let you know and of course If you don’t think I can really make a positive impact to your business then I would be more than happy for you to tell me so.”
“Can we be honest with each other and work on a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ basis? I just don’t want to waste your time, is that ok?”
“Of course if I think I can help I will also let you know and vice versa.”
The prospect of course says “Yes” as it relieves a lot of stress and tension in the sales meeting.
This round of questioning is really powerful. It breaks down all barriers and opens up a proper flow of communication. With this open communication it will become clear whether or not you can help them.
Your prospect is now framed and ready to communicate. You’ve told them you’re not going to be offended by them saying ‘no’. And you have now learned how to effectively eliminate the four words every salesperson doesn’t want to hear- “I’ll think it over”.
Of course, throughout the conversation you’re going to move through the sales process to ensure you have the most powerful sales conversation ever, which I will cover in a future post, so make sure to subscribe.
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