Have you ever made it all the way to the end of an excellent sales call, only to have your prospect finally say, “This all sounds great, but I need to talk to my spouse first.” It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
You can’t be surprised, though. A 2018 financial survey by TD Bank found that 70 percent of couples share decisions around large-scale purchases, 55 percent of couples combine their money, and one-third of married couples argue about money at least once per month.
You probably should have found out at the beginning of the call if your prospect wasn’t the sole decision maker in the household, so that you didn’t waste valuable time, but we’ll get to that later.
It is my belief that being a great closer is all about predicting your prospect’s objections, and knowing how to handle different types of sales objections. A successful High-Ticket Closer will be able to confidently navigate all types of sales objections, should they come up during a sales call.
“I have to talk to my spouse” is a common objection, but you can turn that hesitation into a sale by acknowledging and including their spouse in the decision-making process.
Is Your Prospect The Decision Maker?
In High-Ticket Sales, your goal should be to find out very quickly whether or not your prospect is in a position to make the decision on their own.
You need to ask them, “do you make these types of purchasing decisions by yourself?” This is an important qualifying step that confirms whether or not you’re speaking to the decision maker.
You don’t want to waste your time or your prospect’s time, which is why you need to find out if they are in a position to make a decision by themselves, or if you need to include someone else in the lines of communication.
A 2007 study on the consumer decision-making behavior of heterosexual couples, published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing by researchers Nabil Razzouk, Victoria Seitz, and Karen Prodigalidad Capo, found that most couples (either married or cohabitating) make final purchasing decisions together.
They found that often, the husband and wife each lilke to practice autonomy in determining their individual needs, but they then come together to make the final decision to purchase something as a team. They found that in general, the decision-making strategy to purchase leans on the more syncratic side.
If you find out that your prospect makes decisions with their spouse, you need to respect that and immediately seek to include the spouse in the decision-making process.
Why Does Your Prospect Need To Talk To Their Spouse First?
You might be wondering why your prospect needs to talk to their spouse first. Well, sometimes the business is a family business or a work-from-home business that they’ve started together, and your prospect’s husband or wife is therefore also their business partner. That makes sense, right?
Another reason your prospect might need to talk to their spouse could simply be that they make big decisions together, and a big purchase is a big decision. In a healthy marriage, wouldn’t you expect a married couple to make decisions together?
Don’t forget that many married couples have made a choice to pool all of their money into shared bank accounts. For these couples who have agreed on a shared finances scenario, it would make sense for them to make any purchasing decisions together, right?
Here’s an interesting statistic on couples sharing finances: Recent research found that couples in dual-income households who pooled their money, had shared bank accounts and achieved financial ‘togetherness’ were the happiest.
A 2019 research paper entitled Pooling Finances and Relationship Satisfaction by University College of London’s Joe Gladstone, Notre Dame’s Emily Garbinsky and UCLA Anderson’s Cassie Mogilner Holmes found that committed couples who pool all their money into joint bank accounts are happier in their relationship and less likely to split up, compared to couples that keep separate bank accounts and avoid sharing finances.
The study included couples who had both joint and separate bank accounts, couples who had entirely separate bank accounts so that each maintained complete financial autonomy, and couples who shared everything.
The group of participants who reported having 100 percent pooled bank accounts with their spouse was the group found to be the most content in their relationship, based on a survey that asked participants to rate their level of satisfaction and contentment in their relationship.
The researchers explained that financial autonomy isn’t a bad thing, but if couples merge bank accounts and therefore perceive their financial goals as shared, their relationship could be stronger and happier than those who keep their financial affairs separate.
Remember that your prospect isn’t always going to be the only decision maker.
In many cases, they have to consult their business partner or their spouse. It’s common for many married couples make decisions together, especially decisions involving spending their money.
Get To The Truth
Prospects lie. They just do. Sometimes they’ll use lines on you such as, “I might need some more information before I can decide” and “I need to talk to my wife first”, and they are lying. Sometimes these are excuses.
Diversion tactics. What they’re really saying to you, is “No.” They’re saying they’re not interested. And that’s ok. It’s your job to get to the truth.
Never let your prospect get off the phone with the excuse of, “let me talk to my partner and get back to you.”
Instead of letting them deliver that excuse and end the call, turn their objection into a commitment by suggesting that you schedule a 3-way call with their spouse.
Suggesting a 3-way call with their spouse does 2 things: It shows your prospect that you respect the fact that they need to include their spouse in this decision, and this suggestion also helps you get to the truth.
If your prospect was using the “I have to talk to my partner first” line as an excuse, this 3-way call suggestion is how you’ll call their bluff.
If your prospect wasn’t lying, and they really do need to talk to their spouse first, you’ve just offered them the perfect solution: Let’s schedule a call with your spouse.
If your prospect is honestly interested in purchasing your product or service, and they really do just want to run it by their husband or wife, then they should immediately agree to scheduling a 3-way call.
Getting to the truth can be challenging sometimes. For example, sometimes, when a prospect says something like, “I need to do more research first” what they really mean is, “I have to run this by my wife.”
Try to cut through the BS and ask questions to get to the truth. If you find out that what they really need to do is talk to their spouse, ask some follow up questions. For example:
DAN LOK: “Let’s pretend you talk to your wife, and she’s on board. What happens next? Would we move ahead with my proposal?”
PROSPECT: “Yeah, if she was on board, I’d want to get started right away.”
You would then say to your prospect, “I’m sorry, what?” to get a double confirmation. If your prospect re-confirms, say this:
DAN LOK: “Ok, great. In that case, why don’t we schedule a 3-way call with your wife?”
Cut through the BS and provide exactly what your prospect needs, so that you can move forward with the sale.
Including The Spouse In The Decision Making Process
Below is an example dialogue of how I would offer to include my prospect’s spouse in the decision making process to challenge the objection and help close the sale:
PROSPECT: “I need to make sure my wife is comfortable spending this kind of money.”
DAN LOK: “What’s your wife’s name?”
DAN LOK: “How long have you and Steph been married?”
PROSPECT: “Almost 10 years.”
DAN LOK: “10 years, wow. Would you say you know your wife quite well?”
DAN LOK: “Ok. So let’s say you tell your wife, ‘I just got off the phone with Dan Lok, and he wants $3,000 for his program.’ What would she say to you?”
PROSPECT: “Well, she’d probably say, ‘That’s a lot of money!’”
DAN LOK: “So if your wife didn’t want you to do this, what would you do?”
PROSPECT: “Well, I’d still want to do it, so it would be hard for me if she didn’t support the decision.”
DAN LOK: “Well in that case, how about we give Steph a chance to ask me some questions, and better understand the offer that is on the table. How about we schedule a 3-way call, with me, you and Steph?”
PROSPECT: “That sounds like a great idea, actually.”
DAN LOK: “My job is not to convince your wife, because I believe nobody can convince her except you, but I’d like to answer any questions or concerns she might have.”
PROSPECT: “That makes sense. Let’s do it.”
DAN LOK: “Great. So when would be a good time to do this?”
PROSPECT: “Well, she’s home by 4pm most days.”
DAN LOK: “Ok, let’s do a call with me, you, and Steph on Thursday at 5pm then.”
PROSPECT: “Ok, I’ll let her know. Thanks!”
Do you see how what initially sounded like a rejection, quickly turned into a commitment and a 3-way call was scheduled? Once you get their spouse on the phone, you can work towards the common goal of getting their spouse on board.
Getting The Spouse On Board
Imagine this scenario: You spent some time talking to the husband on your original call, and you’re confident that the husband is on board and wants to purchase your product, service or program. But, he makes all his decisions with his wife.
Imagine that him and his wife share their finances. They pool their money into joint bank accounts, and they make all financial decisions together.
This means that if your prospect’s wife is not on board, or tries to talk him out of the purchase, the sale might not stick.
If the husband was your original prospect, then you want to sell him first, and then sell his wife. That way, your husband will set a good tone for the 3-way call.
You also want to find out what his wife’s primary concerns are, what her personality type is, and what motivates her to buy something. You can ask the husband some questions to get to the bottom of this.
When you get the spouse on the line during the 3-way call, your job is to help her understand how beneficial this program would be, and why it is worth the money.
It’s also your job to answer any questions or concerns she might have about the service you are providing, the expense, etc. You can build a rapport with her first, by making some small talk (or making some jokes if her personality is humorous) and then asking her some open-ended questions about her goals and her vision. Then, you can explain why what you’re selling would benefit her and her husband.
This sales strategy is also known as consultative selling, where you spend lots of time listening to your prospect’s needs and goals in order to gain their trust.
I believe that the objection of “I need to talk to my partner first” can quickly and easily be resolved – but it’s up to you to turn that objection into a sale.
Why is it important to qualify your prospect, and find out if they’re the decision maker?
During a sales call or sales meeting, you should find out as quickly as possible if your prospect is the decision maker, and if they are in a position to make the decision on their own.
If you find out that your prospect makes decisions with someone else (such as their spouse, for example) then you want to get that other person on the line as well.
Why Does Your Prospect Need To Talk To Their Spouse?
If your prospect is married, they might have to talk to their spouse first, but why? Many married couples share finances, pool their money into joint bank accounts, and make all purchasing decisions together.
It’s also possible that your prospect’s business is a family business, which could be another reason why the spouse needs to be involved in the decision.
Get To The Truth.
Prospects lie sometimes, and they’ll use lines on you such as, “I need to talk to my wife first”, but they are lying. Sometimes these are just excuses, and what they’re really saying is “I’m not interested.”
It’s your job to get to the truth. By suggesting that you schedule a 3-way call with their spouse, you can find out if they were just bluffing, and get to the truth.
Suggest a 3-Way Call and Include Their Spouse In The Decision Making.
When you find out the spouse needs to be on board in order for the sale to stick, your job is to get the spouse on the line during a scheduled 3-way call.
You’ll then need to get the spouse on board by helping him or her understand the benefits, and answer any questions or concerns he or she might have. Getting the spouse on board is easier if you first understand her buying motives, her personality type and her goals.