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The Secret Power of Commitments-Part 2

 

Guest articles > The Secret Power of Commitments-Part 2

 

by: Jon Gilge


I recently wrote an article about the importance of commitment questions in selling, focusing on how to use their true power to motivate clients to buy. In that article we discussed the theory of commitments, and how when used properly they serve to give the client ownership of the source of conviction in your product. I also covered how to structure a proper commitment sequence for maximum effect. If you haven’t read that article yet, you can read it here.

I pointed out two major effects of a quality commitment question sequence. The first was that, properly executed, it transfers the source of belief from the sales representative to the customer where commitment ownership occurs. The second effect, which we will discuss here, speaks to how these questions work on the evaluation that a client will make between the value of the product or service you are selling and the cost of that product or service.

Shifting the buying decision from an evaluation of price for features and benefits to an evaluation between price and desire for ownership.

It goes without saying that in the process of professional selling, the sales conversation concludes with the prospect being asked to make a purchase. (I have written about how to ask that question for maximum effect and ease of purchase here.) To fully understand the power of commitment questions we first need to look at what happens in the customers mind after you ask them for the order when proper commitment question sequences have not been used throughout your presentation.

It goes something like this:

“Mr Prospect, would you agree that the features and benefits of my product would add value to your operation?”

“Yes”

“I appreciate that. Since that is the case, the decision you will be interested in making today is how you would like to handle the investment so you can start enjoying those benefits as soon as possible: would you like to take care of the total investment today or should we bill you in 30 days?”

Now this is the part that happens in the prospects mind…

OK, I have to make a decision here. The cost of this purchase is $10,000.

For that money I will get…

Increased efficiency…how much energy did he say it would save me? It was a good amount.

He also said it was very durable and would last a long time. I don’t remember what he said exactly, but it seemed better than what we have now. How much better exactly?

And the company, they have won awards for service and that seemed pretty good. It sounds like their warranty is solid. What was it again- 5 years or was it 10?

Is all that worth $10.000? I’m just not sure…

What do you think the prospects answer to your buying question will be in this scenario?

What is happening here is that the prospect is evaluating the features and benefits of your product against the money that it costs to own them. Recall being what it is– imperfect at best, and severely limited in most cases– it is difficult for the prospect to properly weight the benefits against the price when most of the benefits have been forgotten by the time you ask for the order. Knowing that the scales must tip in favor of benefits, that is to say that the value of the benefits must outweigh the price, in order for the customer to buy, it is a severe disadvantage to your ability to sell when the client is made to use what they recall of the benefits to make their decision.

How then is a salesperson to gain the advantage in convincing the prospect to buy?

How can the salesperson help the client balance the full weight of the benefits of his product against the price of owning those benefits?

The answer lies in the proper use of commitment question sequences in your sales presentation.

In the first article on this topic we discussed how:

The commitment question sequence shifts the source of conviction away from your belief in the benefits of your product, to your client. In other words, rather than trying to convince your prospect to believe what you say, you will allow them the opportunity to convince themselves of their belief in your product, which they will never again doubt.

Once you have done this the entire decision making dynamic changes. Now, instead of the prospecting weighing money against the set of benefits that they remember, they are weighing money against a product, a company, and a service that they have convinced themselves that they want. This simplifies the decision and takes recall out the equation. It also removes the skepticism that the client is likely to have in you as the source of the information because you no longer are the source– by their verbally expressed commitments, they are. And where they are the source, what might have been a weak commitment to your product is now significantly strengthened because whatever they hear themselves say is instantly and completely credible. You have transferred ownership to them through their act of committing verbally to their reasons for wanting to own your product. Once they have owned a commitment by expressing it, they can forget about the reasons behind their commitment. What then becomes important is the commitment to the product itself, not the reasons. The commitment is durable. This is what will cause the prospect to buy.

By asking commitment question sequences throughout your presentation– regarding your company, product, and your service– when you ask a prospect the buying question at the end of the presentation it will allow them to compare prices against what they have convinced themselves that they want. This makes for a much easier decision.

Now let’s return to our buying question scenario, this time after a presentation that included several strong commitment question sequences:

“Mr Prospect, would you agree that the features and benefits of my product would add value to your operation?”

“Yes”

“I appreciate that. Since that is the case, the decision you will be interested in making today is how you would like to handle the investment so you can start enjoying those benefits as soon as possible– would you like to take care of the total investment today or should we bill you in 30 days?”

Back inside the prospect’s mind.

OK, I have to make a decision here. The cost of this purchase is $10,000.

For that money I will get…

To do business with a company that I definitely trust to deliver on their promises.

I get a product that is exactly what I need and want.

I get service and warranty that is exactly what I need to insure my investment over the long term.

Can you see the difference here? They are not weighing money against the benefits that they remember, but rather against a set of commitments they they have already made to the key elements that would motivate them to buy. In this scenario, most likely they will buy your product thanks to the way you gave them ownership of their belief in it, and gave them a buying decisions that compares price to their already established desire to own your product.

 


The Sales Giant is the publisher of the popular Sales Giant Training Blog (www.salesgianttraining.com/blog)  and the author of the FREE 'Master Closing Guide' that you can download instantly at www.salesgianttraining.com/free-master-closing-guide. For more information on all of the sales training resources they offer, please visit them at their online home at www.salesgianttraining.com.


Contributor: Jon Gilge

Published here on: 13-Feb-11

Classification: Sales, Psychology

Website: www.salesgianttraining.com

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