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Sustaining Commitment

 

Disciplines > Sales > Sales articles > Sustaining Commitment

Affirm the close | Keep them happy | Help them bed down | See also

 

It is one thing to get to closing and make the sale. In many selling situations, however, it can all come unravelled later and the customer may cancel the order or ask for their money back.

Affirm the close

It is surprising how often people think they are buying something different to what you think you are selling them. Immediately after the close, repeat what has been agreed to ensure they know what they are buying and not buying.

Also spend a little time telling them what a great decision they've made, what a wonderful product they have and how they are going to really enjoy having and using it. Do not over-do this -- the goal is that they leave with a warm rosy glow and believe that you really care about both them and the product.

Keep them happy

Between signing the contract and receiving the goods is a critical period where they may change their mind and cancel the order. There are several things you can do in this period:

  • Immediately after you have closed the deal, send them a confirmation document. Include interesting and helpful information with this, such as photos and specifications.
  • Enroll them in an owners club where they can meet other owners (and through which you can tell them about other products).
  • Keep them up to date on preparation and delivery progress.
  • Give them more detail about installation and help them plan for training, etc.

All post-close engagement with them serves to deepen their commitment, and anything that you do for them increases their obligation to go through with the sale.

Help them bed down

Once they've got the product, then there can be a certain 'bedding down' process, where they install it, get used to it, and generally make the most of their new acquisition. This can be a tricky time for them and a bad early experience can find them knocking on your door or, worse, never coming back to you ever again.

Things you can do to help them settle with the product include:

  • Install the product for them and check that it is functioning correctly.
  • Train them in its use, both with a 'quick start' help and longer-term expertise development.
  • Help them educate other people about it (for example by giving them a training manual or Powerpoint slides).
  • Offer maintenance support.
  • Call to check any early problems and ensure these are fixed.

See also

Obligation principle, Change techniques

Sales Books

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