Is “I’m Just Looking” An Objection?

It is incredible that three mere words from a total stranger will often create fear, frustration and feebleness in some of the most experienced sales people.

The extremely common response of “I’M JUST LOOKING,” from a prospective customer, actually causes some retail sales reps to walk away and WAIT for the prospect to convert him or herself into a buyer.

Is it an Objection?
However, if you think about it, the term, “I’m just looking,” is not an objection. It is also not a stall.  Actually…

“I’m just looking,” is a literal and logical fact that is a clear and decisive step in the sales process.

This step in the sales process also is a good thing for the sales person.

The fact is that people do not LOOK at things they do not like or want. When was the last time you got up and went out to a new car dealership just to look at some cars when you had absolutely no intention of ever buying a new car? If you have went out and looked at some new cars, it is only because you had some desire to eventually purchase a new car.

Even the preverbal window-shopper still has a purchase in the back of their mind, even if that purchase, at the time, is not much more than a dream or a wish. When a prospect says that he or she is just looking, they are telling you that they are looking for something that they desire; something that they want or need.

The LOOKER is a BUYER
Instead of assuming that the “I’m just looking,” prospect is not a buyer; assume the opposite.

When a prospect says, “I’m just looking…” understand that
1. The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
2. The prospect may not yet have a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
3. The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible.

If you just look at those three points, you will note that they consist of the things you are supposed to do as a professional sales person; and that is to HELP the prospect.

Help the Prospect
Look at the above three points.

#1 – The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
Is it not your job to HELP people get what they want and need?

#2 – The prospect may not have yet a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
Is it not your job to HELP the prospect understand the VALUE of the item or service, and how they can afford it?

#3 – The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible
Is it not your job to HELP the buyer understand the urgency, and how and why they need to act quickly?

DO YOUR JOB — HELP

Instead of…

Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker, how may I help you today?”

Prospect: “No, thank you. I’m just looking.”

Try…

Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker and welcome to Heavenly Jewelers. Is there something specific you would like to LOOK at, or you or would you rather just LOOK around?”

(This instantly prevents a DEFENSIVE response from the prospect in regards to just looking.)

Prospect: “Ah, yeah, I’d like to just look around for a while.”

Sales Person: “Excellent! Thank you for choosing Heavenly Jewelers to look around. We encourage people to look as we have the finest collection of jewelry in the area to look at. Please look all you wish.”

(You have avoided defenses and stayed on the same side as the prospect. A little later…)

Sales Person: Is there any particular occasion you are looking around for? I mean, we have special collections with designs specific for certain occasions. Perhaps I can point you to one of those collections where you will have a lot more suitable items and you can take your time and look around there…”

Prospect: “Well…I was thinking of looking at something that I might use for a gift for my granddaughter’s graduation…just thinking about it though.”

Sales Person: “I understand. Take a look in this area…we have many gift items and you won’t waste your time looking at wedding rings and things for which you have no interest…”

Help the looker and remember that most lookers are buyers until a sales person insist that they are not.

Happy Selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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3 Steps to Handle the “I’m Just Looking,” Objection

“May I help you Sir?”

“No…I’m just looking…”

“Arrrrrrgh!”

Those words, “I’m just looking,” often strike terror in the heart of many sales people, anger and frustration in some and a sense of helplessness in others.  This one extremely common phrase causes some retail sales people to simply throw up their hands, walk away from the prospect and wait until the customer announces that they are no longer just looking and have decided to buy something.

Not an Objection
However, the term, just looking, is not an objection.  In fact, it is a logical, valid and honest response that actually spells good news for the sales person.  Consider this thought: When was the last time you walked onto a car lot just to look when you had absolutely no intention of ever buying a car?  If you have went out and looked at some new cars, it is only because you had some desire to eventually, purchase a new car.

Even the preverbal window-shopper still has a purchase in mind, even if that purchase in their mind, is more of a dream than a reality.  The fact is that people do not “look” at things they do not want.

What Does it Mean?
So what does it mean when a prospect says, “I’m just looking…”?

  1. The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
  2. The prospect may not yet have an idea of how much they will spend or can afford
  3. The prospect may not have a clear idea of when they would make a purchase or if they can

Help the Prospect
The way to deal with this is to do your job….help the prospect.  Three ways to help the prospect who is just looking:

1-      Assume the prospect may want to look
2-      Encourage, thank and help the prospect look
3-      Embrace the “looking” and help the prospect look more efficiently

 #1 – Assume the prospect may want to look

Instead of…
Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect, may I help you with something?”

Prospect:                     “No, thank you.  I’m just looking.”

Try…

Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect and welcome to ABC Jewelers.  Is there something I can show you or would you like to just look around?”

This instantly prevents a defensive response from the prospect in regards to just looking.

#2 – Encourage, thank and help the prospect look

Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect and welcome to ABC Jewelers.  Is there something I can show you or would you like to just look around?”

Prospect:                     “Ah, yeah, I’d like to just look around for a while.”

Sales Person:               “Great!  And thank you for choosing ABC Jewelers to do some looking.  We encourage people to look as we have the finest collection of jewelry in the area to look at.  Please look all you wish.”

You have avoided defenses and stayed on the same side as the prospect.

#3 – Embrace the “looking” and help the prospect look more efficiently

Sales Person:               “Mrs Prospect, as you can see, we have many sections and some of our collection is not openly on display.  Is there some area I can direct you to so you can look?  This way you can at least look at the things you want to look at.”

Prospect:                     “Well…I was thinking of looking at something that I might use for a gift for my granddaughter’s graduation…just thinking about it though.”

Sales Person:               “Ok.  Then you may want to look in this area…we have many gift items and you won’t waste your time looking at wedding rings and things for which you have no interest…”

Assume the prospect may want to look.

Encourage, thank and help the prospect look.

Then embrace the looking and help the prospect look more efficiently.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

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