Don’t you just hate it when people say that?
And although you I probably wouldn’t say so we might be thinking “what with?”
Many people in sales will immediately mark this down as a ‘no’, or at best a ‘no for now’ and not even bother to follow up.
I know, I have to admit that I’ve taken advantage of hundreds of those ‘failures to follow up’ and gained customers where someone else (who they can’t remember) has done all the work.
But what does ‘I’ll think about it’ really mean?
When someone comes up with this response it really means that there’s a conflict going on in their mind.
A conflict between their ‘intuition’ and their ‘logic’.
A conflict between their ‘right brain’ and their ‘left brain’.
‘Intuition’ is saying ‘hey that sounds like a great idea, let’s do it!’
‘Logic’ is saying ‘hang on, let’s think this through, what are all the details, what are the consequences likely to be, is there danger here?’
The thing is –
That when someone says “I’ll think about it” that’s usually exactly what they mean.
In the majority of cases it does not mean ‘No’ – although some individuals might use it as a ‘polite’ way of saying ‘no’ if they ‘don’t want to ‘offend’.
(Though I think you and I would prefer it is people were straight with us rather than fudging it like that.)
Sometimes people add in another factor to delay the decision saying that they need to consult someone else.
Of course that usually means that they’ll attempt to explain whatever it is to that ‘someone else’, not do it properly, and be advised not to touch it with a bargepole – or words to that effect!
But ‘thinking about it’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
You and I always ‘think’ about what we are doing or what we are about to do.
It’s just a matter of ‘how’ we think.
Sometimes you and I may go with the quick or immediate intuitive decision and deal with any ‘consequences’ afterwards.
And at other times you and I may make a conscious decision to wait for an appropriate period of time or additional information before we take action.
Of course that doesn’t mean that you or I delay things unnecessarily or get distracted into the nitty gritty detail that is, at decision making time, not entirely relevant.
Yes, you and I have to know the facts, but we don’t have to study for a Master’s Degree in the topic before we can move forward.
You see . . .
Decision making is all about timing.
In an ‘emergency’, perhaps when you need to slam on the brakes, then that ‘time’ is necessarily very short.
But when the decision is ‘bigger’, like changing our career or where we live then it’s going to take longer to decide exactly what you and I want to do about it.
The actual decision that you or I want to move house or change career tends to be intuitive and quick rather than ‘logical’ and time consuming.
The decision to do something ‘in principle’ is always (or should always be) quick.
As Sir Richard Branson said
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
You and I can work out the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ and so on later. We can ‘think about it’ after that initial decision has been made.
After all there’s nothing to stop you or I reversing any decision if it turns out to be, after all, not to our liking or ‘dangerous’. (Well, usually there isn’t!).
Our intuitive brain tells us when we need to make a decision about something such as when ideas come ‘out of the blue’, and for you and I that probably happens very frequently.
So ‘seize the day’, ‘go for it’, ‘give it a go’, ‘just do it’.
And if you have to ‘worry’ or ‘weigh up the odds’, or ‘examine the entrails’, do that afterwards.
Make a decision every day.
Write down, first thing, “By the end of today I shall have . . . [whatever it is you decide to do]”
Then figure out how to do it.