Act 7 Ask for Commitment

Don’t leave a call without it.

Matt glanced out the window at the mountainous terrain passing slowly below. The plane’s scheduled arrival in Denver was half an hour away. Quick flight, he thought. Or maybe it just seems that way because I’ve learned more about selling on this plane than I did in nine years on the job.

64% of all salespeople don’t close.

“What do you think?” he asked Joe. “Are we ready to close this sale?”

“Action Selling calls it ‘gaining commitment,'” Joe said. “Depending on your Commitment Objective for any given call, that can mean a number of things—scheduling a proposal meeting with a group of decision-makers, for instance. Regardless, when you get to Act 7 you’ve reached the heart of every salesperson’s primary mission. Remember what that is?”

“To gain commitment from others,” Matt said, repeating what he’d learned in Act 1. “Since my Commitment Objective for tomorrow’s call is to get Iverson to agree to buy our software, that’s the commitment I’m after.”

“To get it, you’ll have to ask for it,” Joe said. “It’s amazing how many so-called salespeople don’t. One study found that 64 percent of all salespeople fail to ask for commitment when completing a call. They present their product, they quote a price, the client says something like, ‘I’ll think it over and get back to you,’ or ‘Can I keep the brochures for a few days?’ and these comedians say, ‘Gee, sure, here’s my card, thanks for your time, bye.’ They’re strictly amateurs, no matter how long they’ve been selling for a living.”

Let’s not go there again, Matt thought, cringing at the memory of how he’d patted himself on the back that morning after leaving his brochures with Bob Howell.

“In my experience,” Joe said, “every time you leave a call without gaining commitment, your chances of getting a commitment later drop by at least 50 percent.”

Matt just nodded an acknowledgment. In his mind, however, he was banging his head on his tray table, visualizing all the chances he had let slip away…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).