As a health club professional working in sales, you likely have heard these comments from prospects when you go to close the sale:
“I need to think about it.”
“I want to think it over.”
“Sounds good, but I need to sleep on it.”
After spending a lot of time going over your services and options, talking about your prospective client's fitness goals and even letting yourself get excited about a new paying client, you get hit with this: “I need to think about it.”
The average number of decisions an adult makes per day is around 35,000, some studies say, so it’s little wonder prospects might need to think about it, but why? Is it their lack of decision-making skills? Have they already met their decision-making quota by the time you’ve reached them? Or is there more to it?
Let's look at the reasons behind the comment and the steps you can take to not only overcome this objection but to avoid it in the first place.
The first thing to note with any objection is that prevention is better than cure. It’s a hundred times easier to kill an objection before it comes to life than to overcome it once it’s been put out there. And that’s what pre-framing is all about. If you pre-frame as early as possible, the chances of this objection coming to life dwindle significantly.
Ask these pre-framing questions when you meet your potential client during goal setting:
1. “How long have you been thinking about doing this?”
This simple question has great impact. It forces your prospect to say out loud to you and to themselves how long they have been thinking about joining a gym. The truth is, they’ve probably been thinking about it for a long time. Use this question to remind them just how long they’ve been thinking about it.
2. “What’s stopped you from doing this until now?”
Expect answers such as time, money and commitment.
3. “What’s changed now?”
Ask this to really put the nail in the “I need to think about it” coffin. Usually when “I need to think about it” rears its ugly head, the truth is they need to think about whether they can afford your service, if they have the time or if they are committed. Just by answering this question (I got a new job that pays more and gives me more time, I’m committed to my health after a conversation with my doctor, etc.), they’ve already quashed their own objection.
This comes after your goal setting but before your price presentation. A great time to do this is if you are giving your prospect a tour of the facility and showing them areas they would use.
Why does this work? It gets your client in the "yes" mindset and allows them to see how this would benefit them so they have nothing left to think about.
Pre-close questions are designed to be answered with a yes, so use yes-inducing questions such as:
- Do you feel like this is something that would work for you?
- Can you see why most people start with a personal trainer?
- Can you see how this would help you toward your 20-pound weight-loss goal?
- Is this something you could see yourself using during your membership?
- Can you see how this would give you different results than what you did before?
What happens when all the pre-close conversation doesn’t work and they still hit you with those dreaded six words? Don’t sweat it, it can still be saved.
Acknowledge and Respond
The worst thing to do when you are hit with an objection is to gloss over it and keep going with your pitch. Acknowledge what’s been said: “OK, so you’re telling me you need to think about it? What exactly is it you need to think about?”
Go Back to the Beginning
This is where the pre-framing questions really come to your aid. Remember when we asked our prospect earlier how long they have been thinking about this? This is exactly why we asked, and now we’re going to use it to overcome the objection.
Try this on for size to remind your potential client why they are sitting in front of you: “I know when we spoke earlier you told me you had already been thinking about this for two years. This is something that’s obviously important for you to have been thinking about it for so long, so let's not waste any more time thinking about it; let's get you started.”
If you can’t get down to the real reason they are stalling on a decision, the truth may be an unspoken risk. How do we overcome an unspoken risk?
Three words: Money. Back. Guarantee.
Most health professionals shy away from talking about refunds, but in reality, you’ll have more people buy from you because they know the option to refund is there than you’ll have people actually asking for a refund.
The majority of people are afraid of paying for something that either they won’t use after purchase, they’ll get in trouble by someone else for buying or they’ll find cheaper/better somewhere else.
Not everyone is forthcoming with their reason for not buying. Not wanting to share with you their real reason for not buying is where needing to think about it comes into play. Ease their unspoken fear by letting them know about your money-back guarantee: “You do have a money-back guarantee. At least if you get started today while you’re here, it’ll give you a better idea as to whether this is the right decision for you compared to continuing to think about it like you have been doing for the last two years. Give it a go, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll give you a refund.”
This is perfect if you find it difficult for prospects to open up to you or if you suspect they are holding back. People will respect your transparency, and it will help them come closer to a buying decision.
The truth behind the “I need to think about it” objection can be a difficult one to uncover. However, with these steps, you can help make the decision for your prospect so easy that they won’t need to think twice about it.
Claire Garrigan is a fitness sales coach dedicated to helping fitness professionals close more sales, make more money and have happier clients all while keeping integrity front of mind. Known as the ‘girl with all the right questions’ who has the ability to uncover the motives for why people buy and to overcome objections before they become objections, Garrigan now runs WhyILoveMondays.com, an online resource for fitness professionals who want more ways to sharpen their sales skills without the used car salesman vibe. Her cheat sheet that’s helped hundreds of fitness professionals, "How to Successfully Sell Personal Training and Fitness Memberships," is available for free download on her website.