How Prospects Lie To You During a Sales Call
Whether you’re on a sales call or you’re in a sales meeting, there’s one sentence you do not want your prospective client to say to you: “Let me think about it.” When you ask a client if they would like to place an order today, and they reply with “I’ll think about it”, “I’m still not quite sold on it” or “I might need more information” – what do they really mean? How many times have you heard this excuse at the end of a sales call?
Perhaps in the past, you have bought into these lies and excuses. Perhaps you offered to e-mail them more information, or you arranged a follow-up call to check in with them again in two weeks after they’ve had time to think about it.
How many times have you been in a sales meeting either in person or on the phone, and at the end of your pitch, your prospect says they’d like to think about it or requests that you send more information? What happened afterwards? You never heard from them again. It is a classic diversion tactic. It is a lie. You have lost the sale.
Prospects will lie to you all the time. When a prospect says they want to think it over, that’s not actually what they’re saying. They are actually saying “No” to you.
When a prospect claims they need to think about it or get back to you, what they’re actually saying to you is one of these three things:
Translation #1: “I don’t have the money.”
It is very likely about the money, but they don’t want to admit that. So, they lie to you and say they need to get back to you – but they never will. They will never call you back.
Translation #2: “I don’t see the value.”
They heard your presentation, but they don’t see the value because you have failed at presenting the value in a way that resonates with them.
Translation #3: “I don’t see the urgency.”
The prospect doesn’t see why they need to buy right now, because you haven’t given them a reason for any sort of urgency.
Either You Will Close Them on Why They Should Buy, or They Will Close You on Why They Can’t
On any given sales call, or during any given sales meeting, one of two things happen: Either you will close the prospect on why they should buy, or they will close you on why they can’t buy.
If you agree to let them think about it, you have lost the sale. As a closer, you have failed for one reason or another. Perhaps you failed at showing the value of your service, and that is why you lost the sale. Or, you failed at instilling the sense of urgency pertaining to why they should buy right now. It goes without saying that another great way of losing a sale is letting the prospect get away with the “I need to think about it” excuse.
So, if a prospect uses the classic “let me think about it” rejection, how should you reply? It’s not actually about how you respond. It’s about how you reframe the call in the first place. We’ve established that you will lose the sale by saying “alright, I’ll call you in two weeks from today to see if you’re ready.”
I am going to teach you how to reframe the call, from the get-go, to ensure that you don’t deal with any evasive excuses.
Re-Frame The Call From The Very Beginning To Avoid Excuses
If you don’t want a prospect to get away with lies or excuses, you must reframe the call. At the beginning of the call, you must say this: “Mr. Prospect, the purpose of this meeting today is to determine whether it’s a good fit for you and I to work together. You could, after our meeting, come to one of three decisions. You could say, ‘Yes, it’s a good fit, let’s do move forward and business together.’ Or, you could say ‘No’ and that’s fine – a ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable answer and there will be no hard feelings. The third thing you could say is ‘Let me think about it’ and that’s what I don’t want you to say, because I’ve been doing this a long time, and what that really means is ‘No.’ So, before we get started, let’s agree on something: You’re only going to tell me ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Is that fair?”
Do you see what I’ve done here? I’ve reframed the entire conversation and shifted the way it is going to play out. I’ve made it very difficult for my prospect to say ‘No’ to me, but I’ve also taken the pressure away from them by letting them know that it’s perfectly fine to say ‘No’. By reframing the conversation at the beginning, I’ve made it so that at the end of our conversation, they can’t use that easy excuse of requesting time to think it over.
If you forgot to reframe the conversation at the beginning, and the ‘let me think about it’ excuse therefore still comes up at the end, there’s still something that can be done to salvage the sale.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Direct
You must be direct, because prospects lie, and they use smoke and mirrors to divert your attention away from the close. Your goal is to get to the truth, so don’t let anyone get away with smoke and mirrors.
As a great high-ticket closer, you must get to the truth and the bottom line. You could say, “You know what, Mr. Prospect, when people tell me they want to think about it, what they actually mean is NO. You just don’t want to hurt my feelings. Isn’t this the case here?” They will be caught off guard by how direct you are being, but it will simultaneously impress them. By saying this, you’re indirectly telling them that you don’t buy their excuses, and that you’d like to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. At this point, your next move is to circle back by saying, “Mr. Prospect, why did you call me in the first place?”
Remind Them Why They Called You in The First Place
It’s crucial to circle back to the purpose of the call or meeting. Is there a problem they need solved, and that’s why they’re on the call? If you can solve it, isn’t it that simple, that the two of you should work together? Is it possible that money is the issue? OF COURSE. It’s always the money. If money was no object, they’d have ordered from you right now. If you ask them directly if it’s the money, they’ll most likely admit that yes, it’s the money that’s the problem. They’ll admit that it’s not in their budget. Perhaps they didn’t want to admit this, but by being direct, you’ve successfully gotten to the truth.
If by being direct, you’ve discovered that the issue is money, then it’s your job as the closer to offer them an alternative. If money is the issue, offer them a solution. You should say, “Let’s just pretend I could finance this for you. If I could arrange multiple payments to break up the cost, that wouldn’t make a difference, would it?” The prospect will likely perk up and respond with, “Actually yes that would help a lot.” It’s at this point that you’ve regained control of the sale. You’ll say, “Well, let’s talk about sorting that out for you, then.” You have now saved this sale.
Remember that prospects will always try to lie to you. The next time you find yourself dealing with smoke and mirrors, diversion tactics, or evasive excuses such as “let me think about it”, remember that you can salvage the sale and turn it back around. You need conviction, directness, confidence and certainty. Remember that you can’t help them if you don’t sell to them. So, if you truly believe in the value of your products or services, and you truly believe your service will solve your prospect’s problems, what do you need to do?
You need to have conviction and believe that you’re morally obligated to close them, because deep down you know that if you let them walk away from this conversation or agree to let them think on it, you’ll never hear from them again. That means your prospect’s life won’t be changed by your service or product. Their business won’t be improved. They’ll remain stuck with the same problems. It’s therefore your job, your duty and your mission to close them. You can’t help them if you don’t sell them.
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