It doesn’t matter what you are selling, or to whom, at some point you will hear the phrase, “I think I will shop around a bit” or something similar.
There are multitudes of sales books and sales gurus selling those books with their answers for how to deal with this objection, but what if it isn’t an objection at all?
What if it’s a buyer code for, “I don’t have enough information” or “I think your product is too expensive” or “I want to compare to another vendor’s product or service because you didn’t differentiate yourself enough.”
That’s right, you may just be experiencing buyer nullification. The buyer may have questions, but doesn’t want to be “sold” so they end the dialogue. The best way to deal with “shop around” objection is to avoid it in the first place. Are you qualifying your potential customers to ensure that they are the right fit for the product or service you are selling, and that you are the right company for them? Are you providing enough information to the customer based on what they are telling you they need? Do you know the competition well enough to speak to the differences in your product and theirs when the customer asks you if your product has certain functionality or features?
In a nutshell, a well-qualified customer who has been asked probing questions should be in a position to buy at the end of a sales presentation. If they are not, there is something that they are probably not telling you about your product or service. There is a closing technique that I love for situations like this that has been around forever in various forms. It has many names but the “door knob close” is one of my favorites. It’s called the door knob close because it is meant to illustrate that after being rejected for a sale, and getting to the door to leave, with a hand on the doorknob, the sales titan turns to the customer and says, “Mr Jones, I am disappointed that you aren’t buying today, but if you don’t mind, it would be great to know the real reason that you aren’t able to pull the trigger. I am always trying to improve and it will help me greatly to have your input.”
With their defenses down, most customers will proceed to say, “Jimmy your product is great and far superior to Company XYZ and their product. But it’s too darn expensive, and we don’t have the budget for that kind of investment this quarter!”
Letting go of the doorknob, young whippersnapper Jimmy says, “Oh my gosh Mr Jones! I am so glad you mentioned that! I was just about to leave, and if that’s the reason you are hesitating we are in luck. You don’t have to pay immediately because we have some billing options that I didn’t go over with you. My fault entirely. Let’s sit down if you have a few more minutes and get this deal closed!”
It might seem a little sneaky, but really it’s just a way of using a non-threatening way of getting to the truth. If you have spent the time to get to know them and build a good rapport, they will thank you for this and you will end up with that important sale under your belt. Good luck and remember not to accept the “shopping around” objection without a few more questions asked!