Take a moment and read this very powerful quote from Robert Cialdini. In fact, read it twice – or three times. Chew on it. Consider the ramifications. I’ll follow with some comments, but I want to challenge you to find the important messages for you.
“Once we realize the power of consistency is formidable in directing human action, an important practical question immediately arises: How is that force engaged? Social psychologists think they know the answer: commitment. If I can get you to make a commitment early on, I will set the stage for your automatic consistency with that earlier commitment. Once a stand is taken, there is a natural tendency to behave in a way that is stubbornly consistent with that stand.” Daniel Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
My thoughts: the final closing question is nothing but problematic unless it is based upon a series of agreements (commitments) from the prospect throughout the conversation. Think of the pressure you are putting on the customer to come up with a definitive yes/no decision without having made any other commitments along the way.
The fact is that buying is a process for the customer, not a moment. Therefore their decisions should be spread out over the entirety of the conversation. Do that right and the final close becomes far simpler for both parties.
What applications did you get from that powerful quote? I’d love to hear your thoughts – chime in below!