Today I want to post about that one statement, that one comment that customers make at the end of your presentation that you hate to hear, and the words are, “Let me think about it.”
Don’t you just hate that when you do a presentation, you think you’ve done everything right, you’re ready to make the clothes, and the customer says, “Let me think about it.” Why does the customer say, let me think about it? Well, there are several reasons the customer may want to say, “Let me think about it”. And what I’ve seen salespeople do is when they hear that the automatic response, the knee jerk reaction is to say something like this, “Okay, Mr. Customer, I know you need to think about it. When would be a good time to give back to you?” In other words, “When would be a good time for us to meet again?”
And sure enough, I want you to understand that once the customer walks out that door, once to customer walks out the door, the chances of them buying from you have gone dramatically down, and I’m emphasizing the word dramatically down. If a customer walks out of that room, the chances of you closing that deal have just gone down. So we don’t want the customer to walk out of their room because when they say, “Let me think about it.” Do you think they’re really going to think about it? Hmm, I don’t think so. I think some people, maybe a small percentage will, but the majority of customers will walk out of there and not give it much thought.
Given today’s busy schedule, everybody’s going to be what? Running around, and as soon as they walk out of the meeting, just like a goldfish with eight seconds of memory, they’re going to be on to something else. They’re going to totally forget about what you just said in that room. It’s going to become a low priority. Now, how do I know this? Well, we did an interesting memory curve study. Now listen carefully to these numbers. So if you’re driving, listen to this later again and write these numbers down. But if you’re in front of a desk, get a pen, get a piece of paper, you’re going to want to write this down. We did a study when it came to memory and here’s what he discovered. I’m giving you a summary of the whole study. Basically, he said that within 24 hours, people will forget 75% of what you just said.
Let me say it again because I really want this to impact you. Within 24 hours most people will forget 75% of what you just said. That means if the customer says, “Get back to me tomorrow,” by the 24-hour mark, they’ve already forgotten 75% of what you’ve told them. Even worse, we also concluded that within 30 days, customers will forget 90% of what you said. Within 30 days, they’ll forget 90% of what you said, and the 10% they’re able to recall, 50% of that is incorrect. So in essence, they will only retain 5% of the information accurately that you delivered.
So when somebody walks out of the room thinking, telling you rather, that they’re going to think about it, guess what? They’re not going to think about it that much. They’re going to move on to something else. So if you let the customer walk out, you can almost kiss that sale goodbye because they’re not going to really think about it now.
So what do you do? The customer says to you, “What do you think about it?” Most people, again, will respond as follows. It’s almost like a knee jerk, Pavlovian dog type of reaction. The customer says, “Let me think about it,” and you typically say as a salesperson, “Mr. Customer, I understand that you’ll probably need to think about this. When can I get back to you?” And then now you’re going to try to reschedule something and you know what’s going to happen. They’ll say, “We’ll get back to us in a week.”
Well, you know in the week they’ve already forgotten 75% of what you’ve just said, and then trying to reschedule the meeting is going to be a nightmare. By the way, just a note, you should always try to reschedule the next meeting at the end of that first meeting. Keep that always in mind. I always rescheduled the next meeting at the end of that current meeting. But putting that aside, I want you to close the deal there because, again, it’ll dramatically go down, your chances of closing it if you don’t close them at that moment.
So what do you say? Instead of saying, “Oh, Mr. Customer, well let’s get back together again. Let’s have another meeting. I understand that you have to think about it.” Don’t say any of that. Here’s what I want you to say. Here’s what I want you to record and put it in your head, and again, use your own words. I’m going to give you my words, use your own words. When a customer says, “Well, let me think about it.” I want you to say, in the nicest way but still very firm and aggressive, say something like this, “Mr. Customer, when someone tells me they need to think about it, it either means one of two things. It either means that they’re not interested or they’re interested, but not sure. Which one is it?”
Oh, isn’t that good? Because now I gave the customer an option. They have to tell me are they interested? And if they’re not, they’ll let me know. So let me say it again. The customer says, “Let me think about it. You say, Mr. Customer, when someone says to me they have to think about it, it’s either for one of two reasons. One, they’re not interested or they’re interested, but not sure. Which is it?” And notice I say, “Which is it?” I’m forcing the customer to give me an answer, and in most cases, the customer is going to say, “No, Victor, I’m interested. I’m just not sure.”
Now let’s pretend for a moment that we’re selling a billing system. Okay. Let me just put the meat on this example, just to give you a real raw example. I’m selling a billing system and they tell me they’re interested, but they’re not sure. Okay. So now I know that. And by the way, if they say they’re not interested, well guess what? You’re done. The only thing you can do there is, “Can you tell me why you’re not interested?” But essentially the deal is done. You’re not going to get it. But most people will always say, “I’m interested, but I’m not sure,” which means that you miss something in the presentation. You didn’t answer a concern or you didn’t block an objection. You missed something. That’s why they’re not sure and they needed to think about it.
So here’s what you’re going to say. As soon as they say, “I’m interested, but not sure.” You’re going to say the following. Write this down. You’re going to say, “Mr. Customer, when somebody tells me they’re interested but they’re not sure, they’re not sure for one of three reasons. It’s not a fit. The functionality is not there, or it’s finance.” And what you do is you walk through it slowly, “Mr. Customer, is this product a fit? Does it meet your needs?” The customer’s going to say, “Yeah, it does fit my needs, Victor.”
“Okay, so it’s not fit. So the product does fit well. What about functionality, the features of the software? Does it have all the features, Mr. Customer?” And maybe right there is when the customer says, “You know Victor, I like your feature set, the functionality, but it has a couple of things that that are missing.”
“Like what, Mr. Customer?” And then you could have another re-engaging conversation, and if there’s something missing that the customer wants and you know that you can develop it and deliver it, well, then you can block that objection. But let’s assume for the moment that the customer says, “No, it has the right features and functionalities. It has everything we want and more, Victor.” Then I said, “Mr. Customer, well it’s not fit, if it’s not function, feature set, then it has to be financed.” And the customer says, “You know Victor, it is more than we expected to pay.”
Okay, great. Now we know that it’s the money. If it’s the finance piece, we now know that it’s the money. So that’s when we can say to the customer, “Well, Mr. Customer, I understand that. You see the value of the product.” They’re going to say, “Yes, it’s just beyond our budget, Victor.” That’s when you as a salesperson can introduce maybe a net 30, net 60, net 90. In other words, they can pay for it in 30 days. They can pay for it in 60 days. They can pay for 90 days, or maybe you have a payment plan set up. See, most people don’t like to admit that they don’t have the money. They feel bad. They feel somewhat embarrassed also, but by framing it this way, it’s a more clever way of getting to the answer of why they need to think about it.
So let me repeat this again because this is important. If you use this, you’re going to close more deals. The customer says, “Let me think about it.” You respond with, “Mr. Customer, when someone says they need to think about it, they’re telling me that for one of two reasons. The first one is, is that they’re not interested. The other is that they’re interested but not sure, which is it?” Customer response, “I’m interested, I’m just not sure, Victor.”
“Okay. Mr. Customer, when someone says they’re not sure, it’s for one of three reasons that they’re not making a buying decision. The first one is fit. Does this product fit?” Have that discussion with the customer. If it is a fit, great. “The second reason, Mr. Customer, is typically functionality, features. Does this product have the features, the functionality you need?” Then you have that discussion. “So if you can resolve the fit, if you can resolve the functionality, in other words, you have all the features or you can implement them very quickly. Then Mr. Customer, if it’s not fit, if it’s not function, it has to be financed.” And that’s when you can have the money discussion.
Okay, get the idea of what I’m doing here? It’s very simple. I am funneling the customer into making a decision. “Let me think about it.” Two options, interested, not interested. “I’m interested but not sure, Victor.” “Great, if you’re not sure, there are three reasons. Let’s go through three reasons.” And when you go through the three reasons, they’re going to find out whether they really want to buy or not, but you’re going to remove every excuse for not buying. And that’s what you do instead of leaving the room. When they say, “Let me think about it,” again, try to close the deal there because that’s your best chance of making the sale happen.