Staying Committed

Dear Persuader,

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in-between.” — Pat Riley

We’ve all been there. . . that perfect moment in the business life of a sales professional when we’ve made the sale and turned that prospect into a client.  It feels good.  We’ve done our job well.  But maybe something seems a little off.

This feeling is something to pay attention to.  Commitment is a tricky thing, a loaded word with connotations of “being stuck” and these days it seems many people are terrified of commitment in all arenas.

What should you be watching out for?  When a person gives you a commitment the biggest thing to look for is, are they congruent.  Is the person hemming and hawing?  Do they say things like, “I can probably swing that.”  The word ‘probably’ is a dead giveaway.  So is the word ‘try’.  If someone’s trying to buy or make a commitment, they’re not actually buying or making a commitment.

Were they really congruent when they gave you the ‘yes’ answer? Or were they less than specific?  “Yeah, I reckon so,” they might say.  Well, ‘reckon so’ doesn’t mean they fully agree to it necessarily.

You might be able to hear it tone of their voice (which is a hard one to describe in writing, but you know . . . they stop and start and um and uh).  Does their tone, when they agree, make you feel that they are really not committed?

You need to really evaluate if you’ve gotten a commitment from somebody, are they congruent?  Do they mean it?  If you spot any of the things like I just mentioned, the wisest thing to do is to stop and find out what the issue is.  It’s easier to fix an objection or a problem right then than it will be later on when you gloss over it (and letting the little nagging doubt grow into something larger) and just assuming or trying to convince yourself, well they must have been telling me the truth.  After all, all prospects tell the truth, right?  Just like all sales people do.

The thing is, we are truth tellers.  We tell the truth for all the obvious reasons, not the least of which is, that we want our unconscious mind to believe us.

It’s really important if you see any issues of congruency that you stop and say, “Listen, you know, you told me this answer but I’m just wondering if there’s anything else going on there that we need to explore.”   And then at that point, you’ll be able to deal with it and it won’t become a festering sore that will eventually erupt and lose you the deal.

Here’s to staying committed!

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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DrBillToth - March 2, 2010

Kenrick – Good Morning! I agree “commitment phobia” has run amok in our culture.
Please share with us the best way to 1.

DrBillToth - March 2, 2010

Kenrick – Good Morning! I agree “commitment phobia” has run amok in our culture.
Many people appear to be fearful of taking a stand, standing for something so they seem to be falling for anything. There is “magic” in commitment….and Gothe said it best;
“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment
one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things
occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of
events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen
incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt
would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and
magic in it. ” — W.N. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition – 1951

Live With Intention,


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