“4 people are on a bus. Three decide to get off at the bus stop. How many are left? Four, because deciding is different than doing.”
Decisions are worthless … unless you turn them into commitments – Fred Kofman
In a sales situation, your client’s decision indicates his intention, but did he commit and is he accountable? In a sales environment a commitment is a very different concept to that of a decision. A decision without a commitment is only 80% of the work done – and we all know it is the 20% that really counts!
Plan to get a Commitment
To get a commitment at the end of a meeting depends on your planning before the start of that meeting. It all depends on your objective. If you have the goal not to leave the meeting until you have some kind of commitment from the client – you have a good chance in actually getting a commitment. If you did not have such an objective – the chances are that you might leave the meeting with no commitments from the client.
Be careful of half requests
Poor planning, low skill level or low self-confidence can have a detrimental effect on getting a commitment from the client. Sometime we want to avoid a confrontation or just feel that we do not have the right to ask for a commitment from the client. Then we tend to use phrase like:
• Do you think it can work…?
• Someone should follow up…
• Do you agree that…?
• Are you willing to try it…?
• Do you think your Manager would…?
These are vague statements that might get a decision or some kind or an agreement form the client, but did it compel the client to make a commitment?
To make a clear request you must use direct language to explain what you want as well as the conditions or timelines of the request. There are many ways to ask for the business or a commitment:
1. If you think it can work – let us set a POC up within 2 weeks.
2. May I deliver the 1st batch on Friday?
3. I will arrange for us to have a meeting next week.
4. Ask your Manager for his input and let me know by Friday.
You might have done everything right, but then the client tries to get away.
This is how they say: “NO”
• Yes, I’ll try and see what I can do.
• I think it can be done.
• I will look into it.
Do not let them get away with it… get a commitment!