The words “I’m going to have to discuss this with my “husband/wife” fill the salesman’s heart with frustration more than any other phrase.
This defeated feeling is justified.
Parting ways without a signature on the agreement can be the kiss of death. Now, the client has time to think deeply about the purchase. A million rationalizations will enter his mind as to why the product is overpriced or why she doesn’t really need your service.
I’ve tried every trick in the book to bypass this objection.
I’ve lowered the price, offering discounts of 10, 15 and sometimes 20 percent. This stinks of desperation and the client losses respect for your hustle.
I’ve given glorious speeches about the incredible value of the service, promising the customer a life a rainbows and sunshine if they will only sign the dotted line.
I’ve also played dived and conquer. “Are you telling me you can’t make a big boy decision without your wife’s approval. Is she going to spank you if you buy?” I’ve subtly accused women of being Stepford wive’s for refusing to make a big purchase without the consent of their husbands.
Tactics like these can work, but not often enough.
It works when you’re selling a low cost service, like a $250 lawn care package.
Not so much when you’re trying to move used cars or major home improvement services.
As a salesman, you are going to have to accept the fact that a significant number of customers WILL NOT sign an agreement without speaking to a significant other.
Luckily, there is a way to get around this.
Plant Your Seed Early
After some obligatory rapport building it is time for some skillful seed planting.
Politely ask the client if he would like to involve anyone else is the discussion.
“Before we get going, is there anyone else who needs to be involved in this discussion.”
“Well, my husband needs to know about this but he is at work/out of state/on the moon.”
Plant your seed.
“Would he be available to answer the phone if we have a question he would know the answer to?”
Make sure she answers this question with, “Yes, I can call him if need be.” and “Yes, he will be available to answer the phone.”
You will reap the benefits of this confirmation later on.
And notice the ambiguity of the request.
Don’t say, “When we are done talking, will you please call your husband so he can give you permission to buy?”
Subtlety is the key here.
Now, fast forward to the climax of your sales pitch.
“Listen, Askari, I’m really interested in your product, but I have to talk to my husband before we move forward.”
It is time to harvest your crop.
“I can tell you have been really honest with me today. So, I am going to be really honest with you too. You know you need new insulation and I know you need new insulation. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that if I leave here without an agreement I’m probably never going to see you again. If I call my boss and tell him you are ready to move forward today, he will knock $150.00 off the list price. You said your husband would answer his phone. I’m going to go outside and call my boss. Call your husband and tell him what I just told you some we can make this happen.”
Does this always work? No, of course not. Nothing is a sure thing when you are dealing the unpredictable animal known as human beings.
However, this tactic puts you in drivers seat. Controlling the interaction is the most important part of increasing your closing percent.