How to Get Beyond “I Want to Think it Over”

Given the complexity of life insurance it is not unusual that people may want to think and rethink their decision to commit to advice and the costs of insurance. In this article from KnowledgeMaster’s Jim Prigg he outlines some simple methods for examining those objections and how advisers can move clients towards taking up the advice they came seeking.

You have had an initial meeting with the client, subsequently spent time working on a plan for them. Now they’re sitting in your office after you have presented your recommended strategy and product options, and they say to you, “I want to think it over”. It can be annoying frustrating and energy sapping, can’t it?

Is it a NO, or just NOT right now!

To some in the sales profession, the “I want to think it over” objection is one of the most difficult stumbling blocks to overcome.

The truth is, there’s no mystery to getting past “I’ll think it over”. It just takes honesty, curiosity, persistence and a friendly attitude. You have to keep going and probe why the prospect wants to think it over.

There are many reasons for the “I want to think it over” objection

Ask simple questions

Start by asking, “May I ask you a question?” Wait for the approval to ask the question from the customer. Then ask what is holding the client back.

“Is it the products recommended?”
“Is it the product provider?”
“Is it the timing?’
“Is it the financing?”

You need to maintain a light tone; don’t make them feel like they’re being interrogated. Help them articulate the answer.

Determine the reasons for indecision

There are many reasons for the “I want to think it over” objection. For some, it’s a friendly way of saying “NO”. Establish whether this person is so gentle and meek that they haven’t the courage to say NO directly to you. It will save you time and embarrassment for them, if they can get to yes or no quicker.

For others, it’s simply a fear of making a decision or actually committing their hard earned dollars to your offer. Your job is to find out what it means to this particular client to make that decision now. Is it fear, ignorance or they just don’t see it as a priority now.

Crystallise the reason for wanting to think it over by asking questions like:

  • “Is that the only thing that is worrying you about investing in this idea/product/service?
  • “If I can show you a way to get this cleared up today, would that help you?”

Establish this, then confirm it back to the customer. Note the importance of defining that this is the only objection and then moving to a solution for the prospect.

Never make assumptions

Imagine that you go to your doctor and as soon as you walk in and sit down they announce “It’s your liver. The problem is your liver!”

This is before you have even said a word. Many salespeople jump to conclusions about their existing or prospective customers wants and needs. Look at each case individually and base your diagnosis on the facts, not emotion (yours and theirs) or supposition.

Ask them a question along the lines: “Mr. Jones I want you to help me here. I want you tell me exactly what it is you want to think over, so I can help you reach the right decision”.

Your job is to find out what it means to this particular client to make that decision now. Is it fear, ignorance or they just don’t see it as a priority now

Think positive

Discover the positives from the interview. What can you deduce that can be built on to deliver an agreement to proceed. Do they agree with you “in principle”? Are there any other positive vibes? What else can be moved forward?

Is it as simple as gaining a TFN, the latest tax return, getting a special report completed or a signature from a third party?

Have a set of positive and proactive agreement statements with a simple question to move forward. Which of these can you adapt for your usage in your business?

  • That’s a good idea John. This is an important decision and you have a good reason for wanting to think it over. May I ask what it is?
  • If it’s about price or content then you’ll require more information from me, won’t you?
  • Can I ask why you say that?
  • If it’s not the price, what is it?
  • Fine John, I find that’s the case with a lot of people, but they still want to know about the content. Do you mind if I send you our pricing structure and some testimonials from happy clients, just like you?
  • What I have failed to explain to you?
  • Most people want to think it over because they either do not believe they are getting value or the cost is too much. What’s your opinion?
  • I can understand why you’d want to think it over. This is a significant purchase. I’d like to help you work through the decision. What are the key issues you need to think about?
  • One of us is going to pick up this proposal. If I pick it up, it’s just a piece of paper. If you do, it’s $400,000 for someone who, one day, is really going to need it.
  • They say that failure to make decisions has defeated more men by far, than making an occasional wrong decision. You’ve seen what a wonderful plan this is – let’s get it started!

Ask the universal question: “What is it you want to think over?”

  • Is it the pricing?
  • Is it me?
  • Is it the benefits?
  • Is it the payment method?
  • Is it the delivery time?
  • Is it the ownership?
  • Is it the proposed returns?

Include some single issue questions that demand immediate answers

How would you adapt these questions to your business and offers

  • Mr Jones, how long do you think that will take?
  • What would be the one thing I can do to help you make a decision?
  • Which parts of the proposition would you like altered?
  • I think what you’re wondering is, how could we do a better job for you? That’s the real question, isn’t it?
  • Then that’s my fault for not making myself clear. Let’s run over it again. Please think out loud whilst I am here to answer the questions in your mind and to help you. Let us run through your plan so we can arrange it better for you.
  • Mr. Prospect, here is the proposal I had planned for you to sign today. Put it in your desk, and when you are ready to sign it, let me know. But I don’t think I would keep it in my desk too long, if I were you.
  • Most people want to think it over because they either do not believe they are getting value or the cost is too much. What’s your opinion?
  • Mr. Jones when you decided to buy that beautiful car, this lovely house, that state of the art computer what was the one factor that helped you decide?
  • You and I have been thinking this proposition over since we first met on (insert date). Based on the information I have sourced and presented for you over that period you know that this solution solves your problem of (insert problem). You like the product, the price and the solution. Let’s go ahead and complete your wishes now.
  • I hear what you are saying. I sense you would like to sign off on this. I believe there are some benefits you really like. Tell me what is it that you want me to do for you to get this rolling?
  • Mr Jones you impress me as a person who likes to get things done. Why don’t we make a decision and complete the paper work today, so you can move on to other more important things.
  • I guess you have made bigger decisions than this before. What say we save some time and get this one out of the way for you now?
  • You probably have other issues to attend to that are more important, involve more money or will have a greater impact on your affairs. Why don’t we sign off on this now so you can attend to those other issues that are really important?

Actions and Activities

  1. Which statements or questions can you use in your business?
  2. Role play the situation with colleagues around this objection.
  3. When this objection arises thank people for bringing it up, then go back to ascertaining the reason why.

This article is reprinted with permission from Jim Prigg CEO and founder of Knowledgemaster Pty Ltd. Knowledgemaster is an online resources company that delivers practical communications, interaction, sales and soft skills tips, tactics, techniques. Learn more about winning business programs and courses by contacting Jim.

Contact Jim Prigg to learn more about winning business programs and courses.

Contact or follow the author: Website | Email | Telephone: 03 5232 1500, 0408 520 453

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