Overcoming the Dreaded “Let Me Think About It” ObjectionArticle by Colleen Francis, July 17, 2023
You’ve heard a customer say it…right when you make the ask to close a sale: “Let me think about it.”
It’s a dreaded reply. And not just because of the vacuum of uncertainty it creates. Worse still, it’s not even the real reason why your customer is objecting to making a decision now to close the sale.
When faced with that situation, you’ve already worked hard to build a persuasive deal, and they’ve already had time to think about the solid case you’ve made. Your hesitating customer isn’t objecting because they’ve been put on the spot. It’s that they don’t want to make a decision now—for reasons that are not yet known to you fully.
Recognizing this, here’s what you must do next to overcome that frustrating objection.
5 Action Points to Overcome the Dreaded “Let Me Think About It” Objection
1. You Must Disarm Your Customer
Take responsibility for their unwillingness to make a decision today…even if it’s not your fault! That instantly disarms them. Begin by saying: “It sounds like I’ve missed the mark with my proposal and didn’t get something right. Let’s talk about that.” You can even add: “You’re smart to take the time to think about it more.” Otherwise, you risk having a customer double down on their indecision indefinitely.
2. You Must Go Digging…Skillfully
Probing questions are indispensable in your sales-closing toolbox. Use them now. Ask your indecisive customer how they’re feeling about the solution you’ve spent time developing and presenting to them in your proposal. Ask: “Is it the solution or the price that’s holding you back from making a decision today?” A customer who feels respectfully disarmed and they’ve been given permission to “think about it” is much more likely to offer up the real reason(s) holding them back. Then, you’re given new information that can help you amend your proposal (if necessary) and close the deal quickly. That only happens if you do the work.
3. You Must Control the Clock
Time isn’t the problem here: it contains the solution. It’s fine to give your customer permission to think a little more about a deal. What you must avoid is also giving them the impression they’ve just been granted unlimited time to do so (and for them to also keep avoiding the yet-to-be-revealed objection that’s really holding them back). This is why every proposal must have an expiry date. Always remain in control of the clock that’s ticking on every proposal. There’s also a bonus reason that I’ll explain in a moment.
4. You Must Define the Next Steps
Never let an indecisive customer end a conversation with “we’ll call you when we’re ready.” It’s your job as a seller to set deadlines and define the next steps in your sales process—not them. When you set a date with a customer to talk again, you’re establishing a mutually understood expectation of what’s going to happen next…and when. Be specific when setting that date to talk next. And honour that promise. No exceptions.
5. You Must Make That Call
Call your customer on the day and time that you promised you would. Say: “I’m calling today because we agreed to talk today about your decision on my proposal.” If they don’t pick up the phone, follow up right away with an email with the subject line, “Sorry I Missed You.” This is where the expiry date on your proposal becomes a powerful tool again. Mention that deadline, adding that you’d be happy to keep it open for them, but will need to hear back before that date passes. “Or, [and this is really effective] if you prefer, I can re-quote it for you.” That’s polite code for “indecision might cost you more money tomorrow…so you better act now.”
Objections Are Always Yours to Solve
Yes, having an indecisive customer who says “let me think about it” is a frustratingly common challenge in sales. And while there’s no 100% foolproof way to solve it, the responsibility remains entirely with the seller to do their very best to tackle every objection skillfully and tactfully. There are sensible limits here, of course. As I’ve coached my clients for nearly two decades, there’s a fine line between persistence and stalking. However, within that boundary, there’s plenty you can do—and must do—to fully deploy the five action points outlined above so you can close more sales in less time and get the winning results you deserve.