Of all of the objections you can face during a sales call, hearing the words, “I need to think about it” can be one of the hardest to gauge.
On the one hand, a slow yes is better than a fast no. But the more time a lead takes to think, the greater the chance that he or she will find another option or just talk themselves out of making a purchase.
Of course, people make decisions on their own time. It’s not always reasonable to believe that you can get an immediate decision just by saying the right thing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help your chances, or get valuable information that ultimately seals the deal, either.
It’s also important to realize that hearing “I need to think about it” is often a sign that you didn’t adequately establish value in the first place. That is, you didn’t properly identify a goal, hot button or pain point of your prospect… or you didn’t sufficiently prove the quality or value of the solution you have for it.
This is kind of like a second opportunity to do that.
The next time you hear your prospect tell you they need to “think about it”, here are some ways to respond:
1. Try to unearth objections
One way to respond when a lead wants to think about things is to ask what particular uncertainties or objections are in the way. This gives you an opportunity to understand where your pitch fell short, as well as try to address it – either right now, or in subsequent communications.
2. Confirm that the need exists
It doesn’t matter what you are selling. To sell it, you need to present a credible solution to an existing need or problem. When your prospect tells you they need to think about it, use that as an opportunity to have them confirm that they want the benefit that your product provides.
Try saying something like, “No problem. So just to confirm, [primary pain point] is something you’d like to fix if you can find the right solution?
By confirming, you have another chance to get at what a viable solution looks like and being able to position your product as a perfect fit.
3. Schedule a follow-up
Sometimes a prospect seems interested, but really does need to think about it due to timing, budgeting, compatibility, or a host of other considerations.
Give them this opportunity, but maintain control of the process by agreeing to a reasonable follow-up date. Saying something like, “Sure, it sounds like you need to check on a few things to make sure this is a good fit. How about I give you a call next Tuesday to check in?”
This is a great way to give you prospect some room, while keeping the process moving forward.
4. Clarify what’s under consideration
If your prospect needs to time to think it’s reasonable to try to understand what they need to think about or consider before making a decision.
You can frame it just like that. Ask if there’s something in particular they need to think about… whether it’s price, timing, the quality of the product, etc. In fact, you can even plant a few of the most plausible considerations in your question to increase the odds that your prospect will provide some specifics.
5. Give them the opportunity to say no (or not yet)
Sometimes “I need to think about it” is a sign that there’s some interest but you fell short in proving your solution is the right one. Other times, it’s a sign that there’s little interest and that the prospect just wants to get off the phone.
Naturally, if you get a sense it’s the latter, it’s to your own benefit to avoid wasting further time with the prospect.
By saying something like, “Before I reach out again, can I ask, is [achieving your main benefit/choosing a product like yours] somewhat of a priority? If not, I don’t want to bug you again.”
Whether they say “no,” “yes,” or something in the middle like, “yeah, but I probably won’t be able to entertain something like this until Q2” – you’ll know exactly how to proceed.
6. Ask about others
Sometimes, the person you’re speaking with needs to speak with someone else, and that’s why they need time to think. It helps to know this.
By saying, “No problem. Are you going to be making the decision alone, or is this something you need to discuss with [your partner/your team/your spouse/your IT department]?
Their answer may gave you an “in” to speaking with the other (or true) decision maker. Or, it can help guide messaging for future email or phone based follow-up.
Wrapping up how to respond to the objection, “I need to think about it”
Hearing “I need to think about it,” is a sign that your sales pitch didn’t firmly convince someone that you have the perfect solution to their pressing problem. But, it’s an second opportunity to learn where you fell short and keep the deal moving forward. These responses will help you do just that:
- Try to unearth concerns and objections
- Confirm that your prospect wants the benefit your product offers
- Keep the sales process moving by scheduling the follow-up
- Clarify what is being considered
- Give them a chance to say no
- Ask about other decision makers