As I mentioned in my last article (“There Is an Art to Producing a Good Optional Close,” July 22), there are good options to use when closing and there are bad options.

A good optional close is, “Do you want this specific air conditioner with this specific air cleaner?” A bad optional close is, “Do you want a heat pump or a ‘straight cool’ air conditioner?”

Avoid questions on issues that cause the customer to say, “I need to think it over.” Make sure to resolve these issues prior to your initial closing attempt.

What if you’re unable to isolate on one particular furnace or air conditioner and the customer uses that reason to give you the “I want to think it over” objection?

Narrow things down to them wanting to buy from you, and that the only decision they have left to make is to decide exactly what equipment they want. Ask something like, “So, you want me to do this for you — you just need to decide which equipment you want?”

They might respond with, “No, we think your prices are too high,” or some other objection, which is fine. Then it’s not a matter of overcoming the “I want to think it over” objection, it’s a matter of overcoming the price objection! That’s good information to have, isn’t it? You don’t want to leave the call believing they’re going to buy, they just need to decide which equipment they want when, in reality, they’ve already made the decision to buy from your lower-priced competitor.

When things are going well, they’ll answer in the affirmative. Yes, they do want to buy from you, they just need to decide what equipment to select. Say, “OK, why don’t I just put you on the schedule for next week? You’ve got a three-day ‘right to cancel’ anyway. Why don’t I write you up for (the lower-priced model you’ve talked about) and include an addendum stating that you can upgrade your purchase to the other model we talked about?

“If you decide to go with the better model, just give me a call. Otherwise, we’ll come out here expecting to install (the lower priced model you’ve talked about). By the way, if you decide once we get here that you want the better model, just let us know and we’ll have it delivered here to the jobsite. This way I can get you on the schedule and get this done for you.”

Of course, they may have decided on the particular equipment they want and still tell you they need to think things over.


You know what amazes me? Sometimes a married couple can listen to what a total stranger has to say and make up their minds to hand over several thousand dollars for the permanent installation of a product that will directly affect their comfort and overall enjoyment of living in the home without even taking a few moments to talk things over in private. Yet, that’s exactly what we expect our customers to do.

If you were in their position, wouldn’t you want to discuss things with your spouse for at least a few minutes before making a final decision of that magnitude? Sure you would.

Have you ever had a call where you quoted them on equipment, been told they need to talk it over, leave, then had them call the office with the “go ahead” before you even arrived on your next call?

All in all, the outcome was acceptable, but, let’s face it, leaving without the order is always risky. If all they needed was 10 minutes or so of private discussion, why didn’t they just give you the OK while you were there?

Because you didn’t give them the opportunity.

Here’s how I give customers who tell me they need to talk it over or think it over. As you know, I always do a complete inspection as part of my sales calls. This includes removing all access panels on their existing equipment.

After going over my findings on the equipment with the customer, I always conclude that portion of the presentation by saying, “I’m going to reassemble your equipment, but I’ll just leave it open for the time being in case we need to refer back to something in here during our conversation.”

Now, after I’ve made my first closing attempt and they’ve told me they need a little extra time, I can respond by saying, “Of course you do. And I need to go put your equipment back together anyway.”

The few minutes they get alone while I’m reassembling their equipment is often all the time they need to reach a decision and to survive the “I want to think it over” objection.

It’s been said that a good salesman never leaves the prospect alone. Allow me to correct that statement. Actually, a poor salesman never leaves the prospect alone.

Greer is the owner of HVAC Profit Boosters Inc. and the instructor of the “Sales Survival School” in Ft. Meyers, FL. For more information, call 800-963-4822 or visit (website).

Sidebar: Sales Survival School

Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 10-13
Oct. 22-25
Nov. 12-15

All schools are held at HVAC Profit Boosters Inc. in Ft. Myers, FL. For more information, contact Greer at 800-963-4822.

Publication date: 08/12/2002