For designers and showroom salespeople
…means I don’t know.
It’s a beginning point in a conversation.
It’s a place to start an inquiry, not a place to stop the conversation and move on to something else.
“I don’t know” usually indicates that the buyer is early in that aspect of the decision making process. That’s all it means.
For trade showroom salespeople, when you ask a designer a simple question like “What is your client planning to invest in this project at this time?” and the designer says “I don’t know….” Pause. Then ask “What do you think they are expecting to invest in the items we’re discussing?” Or, if you know them fairly well ask “Is it important to you and to them that you do know?”
For designers, when you ask a client or prospect a question and they say “I don’t know….”. Pause. Then ask “Can we take a moment now to figure that out?”
For retail showroom salespeople, when you ask a prospect or customer a question and they say “I don’t know….” Pause. Then ask something like “Is this an important part of the (product) for you to know about?”. It might not be important to them, or they might not yet know that it’s important that they know the answer in order to move ahead.
Be inquisitive. You know why what you are asking is important. They might n0t know that what you’re asking matters – yet.
“I don’t know” doesn’t mean “I don’t care” or that money is not an object or time frame doesn’t matter or anything else. “I don’t know” means “I don’t know” and if they don’t know, you don’t know either.
Now, go sell something.