Often I am asked by my sales clients about the phrase, “I’ll Think it Over.” And, what does it really mean? Actually, there are numerous meaning to this simple term and you need to be aware of these. If you are not aware of the multiple meanings, assumptions are made. Usually, assumptions lead to inappropriate responses from the sales people involved. So here are sales tips when statements are made.
So what does “I’ll Think it Over” really mean…
- No Value Has Been Built – This is the most common issue with this statement. The sales person has done a poor job of building value for your solution. A small value makes it harder for the buyer to understand the true ROI on the purchase. This leads to a lower sense of urgency by the buyer, which leads to indecision or no decision relative to your offer.
- Just Needs Time to Decide – Truthfully, there are a small group of buyers who actually need time to think though the offer before deciding. These people like to “dig” into the details and compare your offer to the current situation or a competitor’s offer. After giving time and effort into the decision process, they will actually make a decision. So there is a small percentage that will actually review the information and make a decision and you will need to honor their need.
- Delay Tactic – Here the buyer is waiting on another offer to show up or become aware of some change that is coming down, yet, are not willing to share this information with you. Sometimes it is necessary and others it is purely a delay tactic.
- Wrong Decision Maker – Here is another example that many sales people must deal with on a proactive manner. You have presented your offer to a middle man/woman who cannot make a real decision. These people are responsible for taking offers to the real decision maker that you will not meet. This is becoming a more common issue for sales people, particularly during an economic downturn where decision authorities have gone to higher levels within the organization.
- Price Insurance Against the Preferred Seller – This one is the toughest to deal with because the buyer contacts are “assigned” to you and are told to keep you in play at all costs until the company gets the best price from the preferred or old supplier. This technique has also been referred to as the “column fodder” technique, which means your offer is well past the third column on the spreadsheet – well away from the preferred provider and the budgeted amounts. Your offer is basically used to make certain they are getting a competitive offering from the preferred supplier.
There you have the top five reasons customers and prospects give you the old “I’ll Think it Over” statement. Remember, the number one reason by far is the lack of value in their minds. It is your responsibility to build the value of your solution. The best method is to use questions so they are involved in building the value. The more involved they are the higher the level of commitment and urgency to get it done. Happy hunting!