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Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, bestselling author, sales leader, and entrepreneur. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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Reduce the Commitment Level

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There is a reason to reduce the commitment you are asking for from your dream client. That reason is because you make it easier to say “yes,” and because that “yes” is progress.

When you ask for an appointment, your dream client imagines the worst of all possible outcomes. They imagine that you have no agenda, that you are going to try to build rapport with some clumsy story about how much you have in common, and that you are going to be impossible to get rid of. Even if none of these things are true, you are paying for the sins of the bad salespeople who have come before you.

When you ask for 20-minutes to provide an executive briefing, the commitment is greatly reduced, as is their fear. You have a commitment of 20-minutes, not an open-ended meeting. That improves the commitment.

Much of the time when you ask for a commitment your dream client believes you are going to ask them to make a decision to buy. The reason so many of your prospective clients let your calls go to voice mail and refuse to answer your email is because they don’t want to give you a decision. They’re not ready to decide.

By asking for a meeting to review ideas and resolve concerns, you can reduce the commitment level. You can even say as much by saying, “Look, you aren’t going to be ready to make a decision yet, but we should get together so I can answer your questions and resolve any concerns you may have.” That’s a commitment that allows you to move forward without causing your dream client to resist the meeting because they don’t want to tell you “no.”

You don’t move deals faster by outpacing your dream client. To go faster, you have to slow down and bring your dream client along with you. By reducing the commitment your dream client needs to make to things that will help them move forward with you, you speed things up.

A commitment to move forward is better than no commitment, and it’s far better than asking for a commitment that causes your dream client to avoid you.

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