The “I want to think about it” Sales Objection
“I want to think about it”
It’s never fun to hear a prospect say “I need to think about it” when you go for a close. So it’s understandable that salespeople seek advice on how to respond to this sales objection.
A LinkedIn Sales Group had over 200 responses offering advice to someone that asked:
“What do I do when a prospect says, “I want to think about it”?”
Over 99% of the responses are the same old flawed sales tactics that cause prospects to become defensive while evaporating the trust and rapport a salesperson needs to have for long-term success.
Top 3 Flawed “I Want To Think About It ” Sales Rebuttals:
- What do you need to think about? (or some version of the question)
- Go ahead, I’ll hold.
- Setting a date to call them back after they’ve “thought about it.”
Why are these responses “bad”?
- Asking the prospect what they “need to think about” is confrontational.
- Saying, “go ahead, I’ll hold” dismantles any rapport you’ve built.
- Giving them “more information” and then setting a day/time to follow back up with them leads to chasing deadwood.
Cause and Effect
Instead of having “rebuttals” prepared for the “I want to think about it” stall/objection, maybe it’s time to realize that your sales process needs an upgrade.
If you hear the “I want to think about it” sales objection, it means you skipped a step in the sales process – meaning, you either didn’t ask the right sales questions or you asked the right sales questions, but didn’t listen and adequately interpreted the prospect’s responses.
By knowing what questions to ask, why to ask them, when to ask them, who to ask them to and how/what to do with the responses given, you will eliminate 90% or more of the false stalls/objections before they happen.
Common Missed Sales Steps that lead to “I want to think about it” Responses.
1) Problem Recognition – If your prospect doesn’t recognize a problem, they will not move forward. If you get the prospect to recognize a problem, you shorten the sales cycle and increase your close rate.
2) Identify Prospects Decision-Making Role – Salespeople often assume someone is the decision-maker based on their title. If you say you know you are speaking to the real decision-maker but never asked questions to verify the prospect’s role in the decision-making process, and they are giving you the “I want to think about it” objection, chances are, you aren’t speaking with the actual decision-maker.
3) Time Frame – An underutilized sales strategy, asking the prospect their time frame for solving the problem dramatically decreases the “I want to think about it” objection. One of the reasons it works so well is because it forces the salesperson to make sure they get “problem recognition” first. It would sound odd to ask a prospect their time frame for solving a problem if the salesperson failed to get problem recognition first.
4) Ideal Solution – If you get problem recognition and speak with the decision-maker, but fail to ask questions that identify what the prospect’s ideal solution looks like, you open the door to the “I want to think about it” sales objection.
5) Tie Downs – A tie-down is a question you ask as you go through the presentation. It’s a temperature check to see if the prospect is with you while explaining your solution to their problem. Most salespeople act like a racehorse when they give a presentation and just go hard from start to finish without taking a breath or seeing if they are “on the mark” with what they are presenting.
6) Closing on Solution Concept – This is a play that you run as you wrap up your presentation. Asking the “Closing on Solution Concept” question eliminates the “I want to think about it” objection because it encourages the prospect to commit or offer a hard reason for a sales objection.
The “I want to think about it.” isn’t a “reason”; it’s a stall.
And it most likely happened because the salesperson’s skill set doesn’t include asking the sales questions that need asking.
And that is something to “think about.”
– Michael Pedone