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"I don't know... let me think about it"

By David Ackert on April, 18 2011

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David Ackert

Eight words you never want to hear at the end of a meeting with a prospective client. Because in your gut, you know that it's either a polite "no" or it's a sign that Procrastination has ensnared another victim.

"Sure," you offer cordially, "take your time." They pocket your business card and head for the validation stickers.

Guess what? You'll probably never hear from them again. Because in the privacy of their own minds, they'll convince themselves not to work with you, and you won't be there to address their objections.

The time to address their objections was during your meeting with them. But in order to do so, you have to focus on more than just their words. You have to focus on their meaning.

You see, when a client says, "I don't know... let me think about it," what they really mean is, "I have a consideration that I haven't voiced or you haven't addressed to my satisfaction." The appropriate response to their words is "Sure," but the appropriate response to their meaning is, "It sounds like you have a consideration that I haven't yet addressed. May I ask what that is?" This question invites them to "think about it" in your presence, work through their reticence, and gain whatever information they don't yet have so they can make a clear decision.

So, the next time you're meeting with a prospective client and listing all the reasons why they should work with you, give them an opportunity to list the reasons why they shouldn't. That way, you can put their fears to rest and help them think through their considerations with the benefit of your input.

Oh, and one more thing. I like it when you leave a comment in the section below, so take a moment to do so...unless, of course, you still need to think about it.

By David Ackert


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