How many times have you been on the phone or face-to-face with a prospect where everything seems to be going as planned, then out of the blue your prospect says those dreaded words, "Let me think it over"?
You have just spent 2 hours qualifying him. He has the money. He has the need for your product or service. He seems to fully understand everything you have just gone over with him...so why the hesitation? I mean...it seams obvious that he should see the need and buy right now, right? So why the hesitation?
"To be , or not to be...that is the question." -William Shakespeare
A person's ability to make or not make a decision is a primary measuring stick of sanity. Someone who can make a decision right now based on the data at hand is relatively sane. Someone who has all the data but yet can not decide is relatively insane as can be verified by examining the person's life.
So what causes this indecision?
You might say it is caused by fear, and you would not be too far off. It is caused by fear...but fear of what? What could possibly be so scary about making a decision? And why?
It can be many things, but upon examination of thousands of clients, the main underlying fear that keeps coming up is the the fear of invalidation by another or others...and it is this invalidation and nullification that has been used as a control mechanism against the person who is in fear of making decisions for a good part of his or her life.
In brief, here is how someone of not-so-good intention would go about driving another into an apathetic mess where he or she was just about totally incapacitated when it comes to making decisions:
1. Give the victim a choice between one object and another.
2. Encourage that a decision be made.
3. Then invalidate that decision and enforce the opposite with threat of punishment or threat of loss of friendship, or any similar threat of pain and/or loss.
4. Repeat this process over and over again until the person doubts in his or her ability to decide.
By no means am I including this here to encourage this type of behavior or to encourage anyone to use this as a control mechanism...because it is deadly...and it can literally be the cause of insanity.
It takes a lot of duress and invalidation to drive a person into a state of mind where he or she is afraid of making decisions, but the truth is that about 20% of the population of Earth has been driven into a complete apathy about life in this very way.
This is what you are running into when a prospect has all the facts, yet has to "think it over". Chances are that you will not hear back from this person, and if you do, there will only be more excuses as the person dodges the responsibility of making a decision.
Wow...did I say responsibility? Yes I did...because YES...it is absolutely vital that your prospect make a decision regardless of whether that decision is "yes" or "no". Any decision is better than no decision. No decision is a "maybe"...and a maybe will hang a person up in the past the instant he or she goes past it.
In fact, this can even be detrimental to the sales person. How is that? Because it hangs you up in a maybe as well, and it will tend to stick your attention on that "maybe" at that moment in your past until an answer finally comes. Sometimes it never does...and it is the accumulation of these indecisions that eventually cause a sales person to give up and quit their sales career. We call it "burn out".
In summary, the way to avoid sales "burn out" and to literally help your prospect feel good about himself or herself is to ensure that he or she understands the dangers of not making a decision and for you to demand a decision right there and then. Even if that decision is "no", both you and your prospect will leave that conversation feeling better, and neither of you will get "hung-up" in the past over it.
This natural law holds true 100% of the time, and it works on ANY decision (large or small).
It is also important that the person be allowed to come to his or her own conclusion. In other words, a person who has to "talk it over" with a friend is only trying to push his or her indecisiveness off on the friend. A person who would do this lacks self confidence and self respect. The way to repair the self confidence and self respect of that person is to gently persuade him or her into making a decision.
Use this article to help persuade him or her if you need to. If you care about your clients, you will.
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