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Terminating “Think it Over”

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Jun 09, 2022

In the profession of selling there is a response or an answer we are often confronted with that causes great distress, delays in decision-making, or loss of opportunities. That response is: “I need to think it over”.

There are three major areas that "think it over" typically appear- the initial phone call, the first appointment, and the presentation. 

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In the profession of selling there is a response or an answer we are often confronted with that causes great distress, delays in decision-making, or loss of opportunities. The response is: “I need to think it over”, or what we at Anthony Cole Training refer to as “TIOs”. Today I am going to do my best to help you minimize and or eliminate TIOs in your professional selling career.

Keep in mind that TIOs don’t just show up after you’ve presented a product or business solution. TIOs can and do occur when you first call someone in an attempt to convince them to meet with you. TIOs also show up after you’ve met the first time, delivered a bit of a pitch, and asked the prospect what they think. They may respond with, “let me think about it and I’ll get back to you”. Or, “let me run this past my team and I’ll get back to you”.

So, let’s take the three major areas: The phone call, the first appointment, and the presentation, and help you TERMINATE TIOs!

The phone call: You’ve made contact with your intended target, had a discussion about your offerings, benefits, or products, and the prospect has expressed some interest. But when you ask for the appointment or get invited to meet, they tell you they want to think it over or they ask you to give them a call next week. Here are your options:

  • Ask the prospect if you can make the decision easy for them, they will say yes and then say, “Why don’t you just tell me no”.
  • Tell the prospect that you hear that a lot and what most people are trying to do is just get you off of the phone without hurting your feelings and ask if that is what is happening here.
  • Suggest to the prospect that you’ve had others make this request, and when you follow up as requested, the prospect never takes your call or answers your email. Ask the question, “how do we keep that from happening here?”

The appointment: The best way to avoid TIO at the end of your first appointment is to do the following:

  • When you attempt to close for the appointment, your close should sound something like this: “Can I make a suggestion? Why don’t you invite me out to see you and we will ask each other a lot of questions. I will find out more about your current situation/challenges and ask you for more detail about some of the things we discussed today. You will be able to ask me lots of questions about what we do, how we do it, and some possible solutions. When we are finished talking, we will both know if it makes sense to go any further. If we should take the next step we will, if it doesn’t make sense, you can just tell me no and we won’t worry about meeting again. What objections do you have to that process?”
  • When you start the meeting, review what you discussed on the phone and the agreement to decide at the end of the meeting if you will move forward or not.

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At time of presentation: Let me make this perfectly clear. It is unreasonable for me to think that you will completely terminate think it overs at this stage. The idea of asking to eliminate think-it-overs is really a strategy to help you more clearly understand the decision-making process of the prospect and possibly terminate think-it-overs. At the very least, you will get more clarity on a timeframe for a decision. Here are the steps:

  • In the meeting prior to the presentation review everything you’ve covered with regards to:
    • Compelling reasons to act, make a change, purchase
    • The monetized value of not taking action, changing, or making the purchase
    • The capacity to invest time, money, and/or resources to fund the purchase, gather, and deliver additional information to proceed to the proposal, and willingness to invest the time required
    • The ability and willingness to undo any current relationships
    • The timeframe for action
    • The decision-making process within the organization
  • Once you’ve completed the review, you share with your prospect what you are prepared to do:
    • Provide a solution to eliminate their problem or help them leverage the opportunity they have
    • You will provide a solution within their budget
    • You will be able to answer ALL of their questions at time of presentation
    • IF you can’t solve the problem within their parameters, you will not need to meet again
  • Share with them how you will finish the meeting:
    • When I finish, I will ask you three questions;
      • Do you believe we understand what you are trying to accomplish?
      • Given how we’ve presented our solution and our company, do you feel we can help?
      • Do you want our help?
    • When I ask the third question you can tell me yes or no, I’d rather hear yes but no is okay. What objections do you have to that process?

So again, you will not completely eliminate all TIOs but think about the very last question. What objections do you have? That question will help you uncover anything you missed especially about money, decision-making, and the ability to leave their current relationship!

Last bit of advice: These suggested solutions will help you get started. I will warn you though that to execute this kind of out of the comfort zone response you will need to have: 

So why am I in the hazmat suit you might be asking. Simple answer: I’m trying to terminate the squirrels in my attic!

Topics: increase sales, think it overs

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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

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