Overcoming Procrastination

Anyone who has ever sold anything knows exactly what I am referring to as the number one objection that rattles more salespeople then all other objections combined. What I am referring to is the “I want to think it over” objection! It might not be said in those exact words, but the message is the same. The prospect simply doesn’t want to make a buying decision. Assuming that you have presented all of the facts that are necessary for the customer to make a buying decision, one reason for procrastination may remain. The customer is afraid of making the wrong decision.

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I’ve concluded that procrastination is mainly the result of insecurity. People simply don’t want to make a decision today and take the risk that it might not be the right one. On the other hand, I’ve never known anyone to procrastinate when he or she knew that buying was absolutely the right thing to do. If you learn nothing else about closing sales, I want you to remember for the rest of your life that people put off until tomorrow only those decisions they lack confidence to make today.

It’s been said that nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm. I disagree because hesitation, which is the opposite of enthusiasm, is equally contagious. Just as prospects mimic your enthusiasm, so do they mimic your hesitation. I’ve seen more salespeople than I care to remember who blew sales because they lacked the self-confidence when it was time to execute their closes. Once fear sets in, it shows all over—in their eyes, facial expressions, and in their body language. Then it’s not long before those dreadful words are blurted out: “I want to think it over, and I’ll get back to you.”

On the other hand, some salespeople radiate self-confidence. They ooze it. So what happens? They generate decisiveness. Just as one salesperson makes you feel unsure of yourself, another inspires you with confidence.

Some salespeople lose sight of the fact that part of their mission is to help customers. First, you must inform prospects about how they can benefit from your product and how it represents a good value for their money. Second, you must help them make the proper buying decision. And third, you must service them.

What it all boils down to is that you do a grave disservice to your prospects when you let them hang on the fence, unable to reach a conclusion. It’s important to realize that when somebody procrastinates in making a buying decision, it’s because you haven’t convinced them that it’s to their advantage to act now.