I have discovered that of all the things salespeople dread, the TAI (think about it) is the one that sparks the most fear. You must realize that the TAI is like a Band Aid over a wound that the prospect refuses to show to you. You must begin to realize that YOU are the one that caused the injury, and it was the result of one or more of the following:
- A prospect not liking you or believing what you’ve said
- The buyer having a fear or a risk that was never verbalized
- The prospect not wanting to be confrontational and say “no” to your face
- Believing your price is too high and that they can get it for less from your competitor
- Being too embarrassed to admit they are broke and simply can’t afford your product or service
- Not addressing the real decision maker as a result of not establishing their identities up front
- The buyer just not being sold up to this point
- The buyer having little confidence in you
- Failing to uncover their motive for buying
The answer to all of these is in prevention rather than just simply learning a catchy TAI response.
To determine if the TAI is preventable, answer the following questions:
Did you ever determine what their expected outcome is?
Have you asked enough questions to discover motive and urgency?
Did you establish rapport and friendly dialogue?
Have you offered a value proposition that favors the prospect?
Were you able to create a real difference between you and your competitor(s)?
TAI’s will be reduced dramatically and may be preventable by including the above ingredients into your sales casserole, but even when you’ve said and done the right things, you may still end of hearing it. When TAI’s surface and block your path, you’ve come upon a “fork in the road”.
Yogi Berra says that “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” OK, here it is. Pay close attention to this response, as it is an effective strategy to help you determine which fork you should take:
“It’s been my experience that when buyers are not ready to move forward, it’s normally one of two things; either there’s a concern about the (service or product) I just discussed, or there’s uneasiness over the price. Which one’s bothering you?”
After asking this question be sure the prospect/buyer is the next one to speak, because it’s important to get the words to come out of their mouth, since that’s the only way to get to the truth. A TAI can be one of three things; a legitimate stall, an unvoiced objection, or a blow off showing no interest. Here are some ideas to help you navigate these roadblocks:
First, if the buyer really does need time to think about it, you will know it, because they will almost sound as if they’re apologizing. You will hear something like, “There is nothing wrong; I/we just don’t make snap decisions, so I/we need to discuss it to make sure we’re on the same page.” When you hear something like this you should either offer to leave the room for a few minutes, if you think that is adequate, or ask how long the decision will take, and then agree on a specific time for a next-step meeting (not a call), after the time period that was requested .
Secondly, if a specific objection surfaces, use your normal objection process to neutralize that concern.
Finally, if it is a blow-off, your response will probably trigger a gotcha look on the buyer’s face. Although the rejection will temporarily hurt, you’re better off knowing where they stand and not investing any more time if they truly aren’t interested.
By either employing the prevention steps and/or the TAI response, you will increase sales, fatten your paycheck, improve your attitude, and bolster your confidence. Try it and see! I’d love to conduct a workshop for your team and help them apply and improve TAI handling, as well as other skills your team might need. You can reach me here.
© 2015 Robinson Training Solutions LLC