How Long Is A Football Field Including End Zones Move the Ball Forward by Closing for Commitment

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Move the Ball Forward by Closing for Commitment

Always in our own end zone

When working on the phones to win new business, our second and third calls to decision makers often don’t “move the ball forward.” Instead, we end up with the same “field position” we had after our previous calls. Does the following answer sound familiar?

Decision Maker: “Oh, hi. I’m sorry, who is this again? Um, gosh, no, I don’t think I ever got your info. Why don’t you go ahead and resend it and check me out. Next month.”

We worked hard to get this person on the phone – twice – and now we’re still close to our end zone with more than half the field to hit!

Commitment = first down

The solution is to get the decision makers to do something small before talking to us. This gives us a piece of their thinking. Just like a first down in football, it “marks our spot” on our next play — starting our second call 10 yards farther toward our goal than we did at the start of the previous call.

Why does this work? When people say “Yes” or take an action, the event automatically takes up more space in their mind, consciously or unconsciously – even if it means they feel guilty for not doing it. And while that doesn’t guarantee they’ll do anything, it makes it more likely.

If I tell my boss I’m going to report before I go home and I don’t, I’ll think about it until it’s done. If we answer yes to the RSVP, we are more likely to go to the party. And if we sign up to bring beer, we’re more likely to do so. (Oh, there are commitment levels we could use!)

Who was the first?

Which of these scenarios ends with customer commitment?

Decision Maker: “Yeah, sure, feel free to call next week and talk to my office manager, Joe.”

Decision Maker: “Yeah, go ahead and call next week. I’ll let Joe know you’re calling.”

It’s a small difference, but in the first scenario you have all the action, and in the second, the customer takes over the action component of communicating with Joe. He may not do it, but he’ll think more of you than another salesperson, and he might even introduce you to Joe on his second call.

Let’s try it from the seller’s point of view. Which is the end of the commitment?

Closer: “Hey, if you’re ever thinking of changing your dealer because of a service problem, give me a call.”

Closer: “If I send you my contact information, can you keep it and call me if your local retailer has trouble meeting your needs?”

While neither tactic will get the decision maker to identify their primary vendor, in the second scenario, you’ve gotten the customer to say “Yes” and it’s more likely that they’ll keep your contact card and call you next month. remembers

Potential action items can be as small as your next call or as large as researching and calling you! As a sales professional, it’s up to you how big a game you play.

Just make sure you get the first one.

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