What do you do when you’re in an enrollment conversation, it’s going really well, and then you get the response, “I need to think about it”?
Let me guess, it feels a bit like a pinprick in your balloon. When a prospect gives you this response, it can knock you off your game, but it doesn’t have to. Let’s dive in and explore, shall we?
First of all, 80% of professional coaches are one archetype on the Archetype Alignment Grid and that is called a Conversational Truth Guide (to read more about what that is and see if it resonates, click here. So for most professional coaches, people hire us because they trust us and they believe we can make a significant difference in their lives. The enrollment conversation is building a foundation for an in-depth, long-term relationship that will last many months and possibly years – and you both want to make sure your prospect is 100% all in.
Sometimes you will be able to create a beautiful, deep, and solid foundation in one call, but it’s also unreasonable to expect that everybody is going to decide on the spot to invest in a relationship with you. In fact, there are some people that simply won’t because it wouldn’t honor their decision-making process.
There is a Spectrum of Decisiveness
Some people are quick decision makers. Others need to marinate and examine all sides, and there are all the people in between on that spectrum. If someone is on the spectrum that requires them to think about their decision, it would be a total disservice to themselves not to create that opportunity to think about it and make sure it feels right.
And of course there are other reasons why people may need some time. Some need to speak with a significant other or their boss before committing to a big investment of time and money. Others need to look at their finances and put together a strategy to pay for your program.
Many coaches are taught by Sales Gurus to do everything you can to get a yes on the spot, including putting pressure on the prospect by offering a steep discount if they decide right there on the call. From my perspective, forcing people to make a decision on the spot often dishonors the decision-making process. For example, if you use incentive pricing and someone then makes a faster decision than they are ready to make as a result, it can erode the trust that is central to the coaching relationship. This shaky groundwork can actually heighten their likeliness to end their coaching relationship with you prematurely.
Trust the Science (and the Process)
Neuroscience shows us that humans make emotional decisions and then look for logic to back up their choice. Most people think it’s the opposite.
This means that most of your prospects will know in their gut whether they want to work with you or not after you initial Breakthough Session, even if they aren’t willing to commit to that answer right away. The good news is that if their gut says “yes”, they will look for evidence to support that answer when they go off to “think about it.” And when those folks do decide to work with you, you can feel confident that they are totally committed to moving forward.
When I’m in this situation, of course, I’ll give a prospect a chance to think about it and I’ll also set up another time to talk – preferably within 48 hours. Neuroscience also shows us that regardless of someone’s decision making process when we get farther than 48 hours from that decision, the easier it is for our saboteurs to take the wheel and start to undermine the choices we’ve made and potentially start to waffle and not move forward.
Creating follow-up structure is key. Don’t just have them “get back to you”; set up a follow up call with them. This way, even if the answer is no, they can cancel the appointment and then it’s clean and clear. You’ll know they’re not interested and won’t be left wondering.
I’ll leave you with this: about 50% of my current clients needed to take time to think about it before saying ‘yes’ to working with me. I can tell you that it was worth the wait!
Tara Butler Floch