Why people say “I wanna think about it” part 1

One of the toughest objections for most salespeople is the “I wanna think about it” routine. This objection for sales people is tough because they do not understand where it comes from. In sales training they will say “buyers are liars” that should be replaced with a while bunch more and most of those reasons will be explained here.

There are really only 3 reasons why people do not buy and use the line “I wanna think about it” most sales programs stop short of explaining them correctly. They may give 2 of the reasons but they don’t get to the last and most important. Sales success comes from knowing what motivates people. Knowing what motivates people allows you to be able to find ways to use applied persuasion with them.

  • · The first reason people say “I wanna think about it” is really the person who never makes a decision. There are people that really need to mull things over in their head. These people have to internalize their decision and have to make sure that they are ok with what they do. Now this doesn’t make sense because they don’t do this when they go shopping at the store for everyday items but you put them in a place where they have to spend x amount of dollars and they are immobilized.
  • · The next of the 3 reasons someone says “I wanna think about it” is someone who really has something else going on. This person may think that they are playing poker and they cannot tell you they want other opinions. There are a few other things this person may be afraid to ask for a discount and they know from years of conditioning by telling a sales person “I wanna think about it” there are instant discounts.
  • · Lastly of the three “I wanna think about it” reason and one not discussed in sales training is what happens in peoples head and how they worry they will be judged by their peers. That’s right other people’s opinions will help determine your buyers opinion no matter how much compelling information, the right price or the right options.
  • · Last of all when selling to groups is committee selling but the “I wanna think about it” isn’t really used here.

Dealing with the first type of non-decision maker is difficult because they say that even if they wanted the product today they still would not buy it. There is no option to pin them down. There is no discount there is no sense  that can be made here. Know that you did your best when you actually have then follow up or go back when necessary. Sales failure comes from not doing everything possible.

In the second group the real objection will really have to be smoked out. By asking questions and getting commitments up front before any information is given you may find out what is really going on. Many salespeople do not have the “guts” to do their job and ask the necessary questions in the beginning. They think that if they are nice and compliant the person or people sitting across from them will say yes. Worse yet they may think by giving a discount it will move the person. In some cases it may move the person or the group but most of the time they will say we wil get back to you. Now the chances of that person or group really getting back to you is small. Worst of all you probably gave the person or group a whole bunch of free consulting.

There is a saying “In order to get results in life you will have to learn to be uncomfortable”. Some of the things sales people will have to do or even the questions that they have to ask in the beginning will be uncomfortable.

The last group or the people who worry about what others think are in a unique position. Something in their head has caused them to think that they have or will be losing some part of their freedom. This can be because they really are losing something and that is the ability to make the right or wrong decision. When their friends or peers have influence over them their fear is to look dumb in front of that person or group and the fear is that they will lose value. The better word for this action may be shame. Think about the last time that you felt this feeling, did you really want to buy something? Did this feeling make you want to do anything but hide?

Now just about every time that you buy a large ticket item everybody knows someone else who has got it for less or even more quantities for less than what was purchased. This can be everything from a car, home product, jewelry or even a coach.  The person who got the product or service for less will say “I found it for less” or “my buy is better” and that is because they are defending their position. Here is what is going on:

  • · People want to know that they made the right decision and if they feel like they didn’t they have to defend that position even if what you got was better. Even of they know in their mind your service or product is better the defense mechanism creeps in.

Just as the buyer doesn’t want to be judged the person who has bought a similar product or service does want to be seen as making the wrong decision. Their coming back and saying what they did is in defense of their actions. This creates a vicious circle of “I would have done that differently” or “I would have gone with that company instead” or lastly “I know where you can get it done for less”. People do not want to make the wrong decision or have to defend that they made the wrong decision so it is easy to make the buyer feel as if they did.

You do have options to help people feel as they have made the right decision. One of the first is to not use the phrase “If I were you I would get this product” if that line is used you haven’t allowed the person to make the determination of what they really want. They do not have control of the decision you do as a seller.

You could use a line like “most people chose this option for these reasons, are these reasons that you would want this product”?

If you group the buyer with an everybody else situation they will either be ok with what everybody else does or they will tell you why not and give you some options of what they are looking for. If they explain what they are looking for find that is different from the group option change your product or service and give it to them.

By knowing how people make decisions you can better pattern your proposals or presentations so that in the end you win.

In the next article we will go through what it takes to walk a person through the “I wanna think about it” objection.

I would like to thank you in advance for your comments.

Now go implement!

19 thoughts on “Why people say “I wanna think about it” part 1”

  1. Hi Scott,

    I’m so glad you didn’t just leave with the insult your customer attack of “buyers are liars” and instead took a more professional tact. I particularly liked how you provided the tip of suggesting, “most people….” since it lets them identify with their peers and not us the sales person and allows them to further surface their buying reasons.

    Excellent sales strategy!

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  2. Don’t some people say “I wanna think about it” because they actually just want the sales process to stop – they have no intention of buying the product/service, and they just want to be “polite” … or does that really fall into the second reason?

    As for the people who actually do want to buy and “wanna think about it”, your advice of knowing how people make decisions is essential. I am REALLY looking forward to your next post!

    Best, Neil

  3. Although it’s a common response, very little sales training covers how to genuinely overcome that particular objection. Knowing the motivation behind the objection is a great start, and I look forward to the next post.

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  4. You addressed an aspect of “I wanna think about it” that I have never heard before, the group that is NOT going to make a decision today. We are frequently told that if you hear that phrase, it simply means we have not shown enough value. I am glad to see you note that there is a group that needs to internalize the decision. The sale however, is not lost; this group is a prime target for follow-up calls, and will appreciate the opportunity to ask more questions & get more details. In fact, the calls themselves (if handled correctly) can help you breed loyalty even before the sale.

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  5. Actually I often use “I wanna think about it” because 99 out of 100 times, if I sleep on it overnight I will have several questions I wouldn’t have had until after the purchase and then had to live with that dreaded buyer’s remorse, which I can’t stand.


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