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I just want to think about it

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Don't you just cringe when you hear those words? Don't they always seem to come after you have spent over an hour with your customers? After you have worked hard to establish common ground, got to know their needs and wants, shown them a vehicle that meets those needs perfectly, and helped them experience it on a demonstration drive.  Even after you have built added value in buying from this dealership and linked the vehicle features to their needs and shown how the selected vehicle is a great value, they still come out with your least favorite objection: "I just want to think about it."

Many salespeople say that they have difficulty with this objection.  It seems logical from the customer's point of view. It's a big decision involving a lot of money. Is it so unreasonable that they would want to go home and think about it?

What happens if we give them a business card and brochure and send them home to think about it?  We hope they don't go shopping at another dealership. We hope that they come back.  We hope that they call us.  When they don't call us we pick up the phone and call them.  We might ask a goofy question like: "So are you done thinking about it?"  The trouble is we don't even know what it is that they are thinking about! Without that piece of information, our follow-up call is pretty weak. 

What should we do? The first thing to realize is that: "I just want to think about it" is not a real objection.  It is code for something else.  At this point the real objection is hidden.  They have an unanswered concern or question that is stopping them from saying yes.  It could be anything! They might be wondering if the vehicle is right, confused about some features,  not sure about the dealership, not sure about the price or terms, still considering other makes or dealerships, unhappy with the trade value…etc 

So how can we better handle this situation?  We absolutely need to know what the hidden objection is.  We might be able to solve it right then and ask for the business again.  At the very least, we can make our follow-up more effective if we can identify what they will be thinking about.  Here's a process to get you to that hidden objection without sounding "high pressure":

Step 1 – React positively. Let them relax a bit by hearing that it's OK to think about it.

"I just want to think about it"

"That's OK. It's a big decision isn't it?"

Step 2 – Offer to help. Take responsibility for them not having the confidence to say yes – yet! Use one of these:

"Maybe I can help with that. What information did I miss that I can clear up for you?"

"I'll get some things together that you can take with you… what exactly were you going to be thinking about?

"I apologize; there must have been something I missed.  What questions did you have on your mind that I haven't answered for you"

"That's OK. It's a big decision isn't it? Let me just recap before you go. So the features and equipment on the vehicle were what you expected? And you enjoyed the ride and handling? Would you mind me asking what it is that you are still uncertain about?"

Step 3 – If you still don't know what they are thinking about, suggest a common objection that you suspect might be the one.  You have nothing to lose. If you guess wrong they might just tell you the real reason.

"Is it the trade-in value that you're not happy with?"

Remember that many of the things our customers say that we call objections are just "code" for something else.  They all boil down to the fact that the customer is not yet comfortable saying yes.  Unless we can uncover the problem that is holding them back, we don't stand a chance of solving it. The next time you hear: "I just want to think about it" don't fold your tent. Ask some good questions to uncover the real objection!   

"I tried but it didn't work" is a lot better than "I wish I'd tried"

Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

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Copyright © 2017 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.

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