Small Commitments Mistaken for Larger Commitments

A bank can give you a credit card with little trouble. The goal of the bank is really to get you to borrow money, as that is how it profits from the transaction.

You can give the razor away without making any money. You need the recipient to buy the razor blades, the real reason you gave them the razor without capturing any value in that transaction.

You can ask people sign up for your service and get a high number of people to register. That small commitment is easily gained, but the more difficult commitment is getting them to buy what you sell.

The loyalty card provides benefits to those who possess it, but it does very little to improve loyalty.

Your prospective client can allow you to sign up as a vendor without ever placing an order with your company. By allowing you to register, they may benefit by getting rid of you, telling you they’ll call you when they need you.

It’s easy to mistake small commitments as something more than they are. When you sell to businesses, the small commitments often mask that you have not obtained the larger commitment you really need. You can go all the way through some process with your prospective client only to find out they have no real commitment to change.

The Big Commitment

In The Lost Art of Closing, I put “the commitment to change” as the third commitment in a series of ten commitments, even though the framework is mostly non-linear. The reason the commitment to change follows only “the commitment for time” and “the commitment to explore” is because you can get all the way to the end of the process to find out there was no real will to change. These deals are lost to the decision to do nothing—or to postpone the decision to some future date.

Without the commitment to change, your prospective client agree to all kinds of things that feel like progress but are no real indication that you are moving closer to a deal—or them to the better results you are trying to help them achieve.

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Filed under: Sales

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