Psychologists have long known that small commitments can lead to big commitments. In one research study they asked homeowners to place a big campaign sign in front of their houses. Most of the homeowners who were being asked for the first time declined. However, most of the homeowners who already had said yes earlier and had small signs on their property agreed to place the big signs.
The idea is that when buyers begin to make small, positive commitments throughout the selling cycle, it is enormously helpful when the time comes to close the deal. Small commitments serve to methodically break down barriers and to soften our natural in defensiveness over time.
In our sales workshops, we therefore always ask salespeople to design phone calls and meetings so that, at the end, they ask for an easy “yes.”
- May I send you a study we did on this subject? Yes.
- May I forward you a great article I just read about your hobby? Yes.
This sounds like a small gesture but it is enormously powerful and can become an important element of our overall selling technique when deployed consistently over time.