Since 1990, The Sales Board has been tracking the percentage of sales conversations that don’t end with a question that asks the customer to make a commitment—the act that usually goes by the mistaken name of “closing.” Scary as it may seem, the number has actually trended up recently. It used to be 62%. Now it’s 64%.

There are three primary reasons why failure to Ask for Commitment is huge problem that is only getting bigger.

Reason #1: Salespeople Don’t Have a Plan to Ask
Every time you leave a call or a customer conversation without gaining a commitment, the chances of getting a commitment later are reduced by 50%. Failure to have a plan for gaining commitment is the most frequent mistake made by salespeople. The mistake is even more common among other customer-contact employees.

Action Selling ® teaches sales and service teams to identify a Commitment Objective for every customer contact. Always. A Commitment Objective is a goal we set for ourselves to gain feedback, in the form of an agreement, that moves the sales/loyalty process forward. To lower the 64% number, we need to establish an action plan for every single interaction with a customer.

Reason #2…