Commitment and consistency are key areas when conducting business that we and our teams need to be accountable for. In business, if we say we are going to do something, we must follow this through and deliver as the bare minimum. It is far better to undersell and overachieve than visa versa! A common issue can be sales departments making promises that production or operations are unable to deliver. If we fail and do not deliver on our commitments during the sales process, it is likely these leads will not convert into customers or the relationship will be short-term.
During the buying process and when meeting with prospects, we should always try to gain a commitment from them. If they verbally or in writing make a commitment, it is far more likely that our prospects will keep to these and turn into customers. Why is that? It is part of our psychology to be consistent with our commitments. An excellent example was research conducted at a Vancouver Racecourse, whereby punters were interviewed as they lined up ready to place a bet on an upcoming horserace. Whilst in the queue they were asked “is your horse going to win?”. The punters were not overly confident and not very committal. For the second part of the experiment, those same punters were asked exactly the same question immediately after they had played their bets and what was the reaction? Suddenly, the response was completely different, they were confident, they were sure, they had suddenly backed a winner! What has changed? They had placed a bet and made a commitment and it would psychologically be inconsistent to buy a ticket for a horse that wasn’t going to win. So how can this be applied to business and why is it relevant? Here are some ways that we can apply commitment and consistency to achieve business success and higher conversion rates:
Sales Process – During the sales process ask relevant questions and understand the needs and requirements of your customers. If you can establish their true pain points and challenges, along with a budget you are nearly there! If these align with your product/service offering and you can meet their budget, validate this with them and present back to them such as “so if we can offer you XYZ service and at XXX price then we can start working together?”. If they agree to this and make that commitment then they are far more likely to be consistent and become your customer.
Do what you say! – If you say you are going to do something then you must do this. It sounds simple but this is an area where many fail. So often I have been promised to receive something by the end of the day and it has not come through. Did I want or need it by the end of the day? No! However, the salesperson has set that expectation, unprovoked and then not delivered. Once someone fails to deliver on a commitment at this stage of the buying process (and hasn’t let me know before their deadline arrives as to why they can’t) I will never do business with them. Why should I and how can I expect them to deliver on what they say?
So remember to always be consistent with your commitments and look for ways in your sales process to encourage commitment from your prospects, this will help you increase your conversion rates of prospects to customers.