Asking for commitment
All of us in sales have, since day one, had it drilled into us that we must "ask for commitment" from the buyer. Unfortunately, too many of us interpret this to mean simply, "ask for the order." Thus, we feel that the only time to ask for commitment is at the end of the sale -- at the "close" -- when we ask for the Ultimate Commitment.
Source: Sales consultant Craig James
In reality, you should be asking for commitments at various points in a sales cycle. Why? Well, any of you who have experienced "things were going so great, why won't he/she call me back" syndrome will understand why.
First, if a prospect is unwilling to agree to do even the smallest request, what does that signal to you about how serious this prospect is?
Second, the more commitments you get your prospect to make and keep, the more he/she has invested in the deal, the more they’ve stuck their neck out, the more difficult it will be for them to simply walk away from it.
Think about it. If your contact has invested lots of their personal time, and gotten others to do the same (including the boss); if this investment has become a high-profile one throughout the organization, it's going to be pretty difficult for him/her to simply pull out and say, "we're just going to stick with the status quo," without getting a whole lot of egg on their face.
Remember, commitment is a two-way street. Too often, out of an eagerness to please, we commit to doing something for our prospects without asking for a reciprocal commitment from them. You have just as much of a right to ask a qualified prospect to invest time and effort to get you what you need as they do to ask you to get them what they need.