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

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

1 August, 2011

Two Women In The Clothes Shop“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 | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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